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J Theol Studies 1952 LAST 92 7

J Theol Studies 1952 LAST 92 7

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Published by Dew Nada
dewnada, sator square
dewnada, sator square

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92 NOTES AND STUDIEStance in the Phrygian story. According to one of the Phrygian versionsof the myth the youthful Attis was loved by Agdistis; but when hegrew up the king of Pessinus gave him his daughter's hand in marriage.In fury Agdistis came to the wedding feast; Attis was seized withecstatic raving, and eventually collapsed under a pine-tree where hetook his life by self-emasculation.
1
In both forms the death of Attisoccurs when he is
veoyafjujs.
The sculpture may be assigned with probability to the second orthird century
A.D.,
and there can be little doubt that the figure wasoriginally a household god for a domestic shrine. Probably there was asimilar figure of Cybele opposite to him. This is suggested by the in-clination of the figure towards one side. And in any event, although theGreat Mother might be worshipped without Attis, it would be unusualto find a solitary Attis unaccompanied by his formidable lover.
2
H. CHADWICK
THE ROTAS-SATOR SQUARE: PRESENTPOSITION AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
THIS
note is written in response to a request from the editor for a state-ment in i
,500
words about the present state of opinion on the twenty-fiveletter square
ROTASOPERATENETA R E P OS A T O R
or, as it came regularly to be written after the fourth or fifth century,S A T O R
A R E P OTENETOPERAROTAS
1
See Hepding, op. cit., pp. 98 ff.Cf. the remarks of Hepding, op. cit., p. 127; also Leipoldt, op. cit., p. xviii:'Kultbilder des Attis sind kaum nachweisbar: der Gott trat im Kult hinterKybele zurttck.'
  a  t   e nn S  t   a  t   e  Uni   v e  s i   t   y (   a  t   e n oi   b  )   on J   ul   y 3  , 0  t   t   p :  /   /   j   t   s  . oxf   o d  j   o un a l   s  . o g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f   om 
 
NOTES AND STUDIES 93and about the probable lines of future study. It is not meant to benovel.The briefest summary will be enough for the history of the matter upto 1938, because in that year the essential facts were excellently set outby Professor Donald Atkinson in the
Bulletin of the John RylandsLibrary,
xxii. 419-34. Nor is it necessary to deal with its use, often incorrupt forms, down to the nineteenth century.What has happened in the last fifty years is, first, that the origin ofthis construction has been securely established in Roman times. In 1899
F.
J. Haverfield
(Archaeological
Journal,
lvi. 319-23, at 320) said of anexample dug up thirty-one years before, scratched on plaster from thesite of a Romano-British building near Victoria Road, Cirencester, thatit was notable since it 'is the only instance in which this widespreadcharm can be attributed to a Roman date'. This statement was doubtedbecause it was based on nothing more than the evidence of the find-spotand of the Romano-British appearance of the plaster and the lettering(particularly of the A's) and because the other copies then known were allmedieval or later; but Haverfield's opinion has been amply confirmedby subsequent discovery. During the winter of 1931-2 the excavatorsof Dura-Europos, on the Euphrates, found three specimens on the wallsin a part of the temple of Azzanathkona which seemed to have been con-verted into a military office (M. I. Rostovtzeff (ed.),
The ExcavationsofDura-Europos:
Preliminary
Report of Fifth
Season
(New Haven, 1934),159-61), and a year later a fourth (op. cit,
Sixth Season
(ibid. 1936),486),all of which must have been written before the destruction of Duraby the Persians soon after
A.D.
256. Then in 1936 a version was dis-covered by M. Delia Corte on a column of a building cleared near theamphitheatre at Pompeii
(Rendiconti
Pontifida Ace. di archaeologia,
Ser.
3,
vol. xii (1936), 397-400), and this led him to recognize that in 1929 hehad already published fragments of a similar text from the house of
P.
Paquius Proculus in the same city
(Not. degli Scavi,
Ser. 6, vol. v(1929), 449, no. 112). It has indeed been argued by J. Carcopino
(Mus.Helveticum,x
(1948), 16-59,
at
44
^0 ^
at
these Pompeian examples werewritten by treasure-hunters among the ruins many years after the erup-tion in
A.D.
79—perhaps even so late as the third century; but, unlessthis somewhat improbable hypothesis is correct—and cogent reasonsagainst it have been given by Atkinson
(Journal of
Ecclesiastical
History,
ii (1951),
1-18),
the two texts from Pompeii show that this square wasknown by the late seventies of the first century.The second result of investigation has been to produce a plausibleaccount of the nature of this construction. The widespread appearancesof the formula—from the Euphrates to France and from Ethiopia to
  a  t   e nn S  t   a  t   e  Uni   v e  s i   t   y (   a  t   e n oi   b  )   on J   ul   y 3  , 0  t   t   p :  /   /   j   t   s  . oxf   o d  j   o un a l   s  . o g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f   om 
 
94 NOTES AND STUDIESBritain—and its use for the most varied purposes from the early MiddleAge to the nineteenth century had long ago raised suspicions that it mustonce have conveyed to those who knew its secret more than the wordsthemselves seem to say—'the sower Arepo holds the wheels with care',or the like. Accordingly attempts were made to discover a hidden mean-ing by the anagrammatic method of rearranging the letters of which thesquare is composed. Various results of at most moderate credibilityhad been attained in this way. They tended to have religious, or evenspecifically Christian, senses—as inO Pater ores pro aetate nostraor Retro Satana toto opere asperor Petro et reo patet rosa Sarona (alleged to mean 'for Peter evenguilty the rose of Sharon is open'; cf. Acts 935)
1
. Such associations couldbe supported by the undoubtedly Christian connexions in which thesquare is found, possibly from the eighth century. That may be thedate of a version published in 1898 by A. H. Sayce
(Recueil de
travaux,
xx. 174—6, at 176) from a tomb near Faras in Nubia, where the fivewords are preceded by a Coptic phrase recognized by W. E. Crum(Egypt Exploration Fund,
Archaeological
Report,
1897-8, 63) as 'thenames of the nails of Christ('8 Cross)' (cf. R. Basset,
Les apocryphesithiopiens,
v (Paris, 1895), 16). Again, in the time of Constantine VIIPorphyrogenitus, Sator, Arepon, and Teneton are found in Cappadociaas the names of the shepherds in the Nativity Story (G. de Jerphanion,
Les
iglises rupestres
deCappadoce,
L 1 (Paris, 1925), 78, and 158 and pi.
38,
2). And, finally, in Abyssinia during the sixteenth century the fivewords appear, according to I. Ludolf
{Ad suam historiam Aetfuopicamcommentarhu
(Frankfurt a./M., 1691), 351), as the names of the fivewounds of Christ.Thus the way for a convincing solution on Christian lines had beento some extent prepared when in 1924 C. Frank
(Die
deutschen
Gaue,
xxv, which is not accessible to me) is said to have pointed out that thesquare could be rearranged so as to produce the first two words of the
oratio domrdca
twice over (save that there was only one N instead oftwo) plus A and O repeated; and when in 1926 F. Grosser
(Arckiv f.Religiottstoiss.
xxiv. 165-9), without knowledge of Frank's pronounce-ment, arrived at the same result and said that the single N could beexplained by
a
cruciform arrangement of the letters on which it
was
usedtwice—thus
1
All three quoted by G. de Jerphanion in
Recherches de Science rdigieuse,
xxv(
1O
35)>
222
» the first from
Onomatologia curiosa, artificia et magica
(Nuremberg,1764), which is inaccessible to me, the second apparently from the same source,and the third, by K. Graf von Hardenberg, from
Darmstddter Tageblatt,
1935,
no.
69, also inaccessible to me.
  a  t   e nn S  t   a  t   e  Uni   v e  s i   t   y (   a  t   e n oi   b  )   on J   ul   y 3  , 0  t   t   p :  /   /   j   t   s  . oxf   o d  j   o un a l   s  . o g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f   om 

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