ON THE RELIGIOUS USE OF VARIOUS STONES 287
divers precious stones, so this Thy servant, wearing it, may be
replenished of Thy grace, with the manifold gifts of all precious
virtues, through the King eternal, Thy Son our Lord. Amen."
a tractate "Of the Crown of the Virgin," ascribed to Saint Ildefonso
(607-669), the writer describes this wondrous gold crown as adorned
with twelve precious stones, six splendid stars, and six beautiful and
fragrant flowers, thus uniting the fairest treasures of earth and sky
in honor of the Queen of Heaven.11
gems, stars and flowers are given in the following order: Topaz,
Sirius, sard, lily, chalcedony, Arcturus, sapphire, crocus, agate, the
evening star, jasper, the rose, carbuncle, the Sun, emerald, the
violet, amethyst, the Moon, chrysolite, sun-flower, Chrysoprase, Orion,
beryl, camomile. "That thus," the writer concludes, "with precious
stones, radiant luminaries, and fair flowers, a splendid crown may be
ennobled, beautified and adorned, and may be the more willingly and
gladly accepted by Our Lady. ' '
a private collection in Smyrna there is a black hematite engraved
somewhat in the style of an Abraxas gem ; and certainly not Christian.
On it is represented a galloping horseman, beneath whose steed is a
crouching man; above the rider's head appears a star. The reverse bears
the inscription : σφραγίί θεού, ' ' seal of God. ' ' In
contrast with this is an intaglio carnelian of the Munich Royal
Collection, with the figures of the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus,
and the Greek words ή έ«ώχ τί?? αγίας Maplas, " the image of the Holy Mary. ' ' This is one of the best examples of Byzantine work in gem-cutting.12
"The Complete Ceremonies and Procedures Observed at the Coronation of the Kings and Queens of England, London, n. d., p. 28.
u Sanctorum Hildefonsi, Leodegarii, Juliani, " Opera Omnia," ed. Migne, Parieiis, 1882, coll. 283-318.
»Adolf Furtwängler, "Die Antiken Gemmen," Berlin, 1900; vol. i, Plate LXVII, Nos. 5, 2; described in vol. ii, p. 309.