104 THE CURIOUS LORE OP PRECIOUS STONES
sapphire is noted as a regal gem by Damigeron, who asserts that kings
wore it about their necks as a powerful defence from harm. The stone
preserved the wearer from envy and attracted divine favor.113
For royal use, sapphires were set in bracelets and necklaces, and the
sacred character of the stone was attested by the tradition that the
Law given to Moses on the Mount was engraved on tablets of sapphire.114
While we should probably translate here "lapis-lazuli" instead of
"sapphire," all such passages were later understood as referring to the
true sapphire, which is not found in pieces of the requisite size.
the twelfth century, the Bishop of Rennes lavishes encomiums upon this
beautiful stone. It is quite natural that this writer should lay
especial stress upon the use of the sapphire for the adornment of
rings, for it was in his time that it was beginning to be regarded as
the stone most appropriate for ecclesiastical rings. The sapphire was
like the pure sky, and mighty Nature had endowed it with so great a
power that it might be called sacred and the gem of gems. Fraud was
banished from its presence and necromancers honored it more than any
other stone, for it enabled them to hear and to understand the
traditional virtue of the sapphire as an antidote against poison is
noted by Bartolomaeus Anglicus, who claims to have seen a test of its
power, somewhat similar to that recorded by Ahmed Teifashi of the
n3 Pitra, " Specilegium Solesmense," Parisiis, 1855, vol. iii, p. 328.
114 Epiphanii, " De XII gemmis," Tiguri, 1565, fol. 6.
115 Marbodei, " De lapidibus," Friburgi, 1531, Ms. 46, 47.