Online Encyclopedia

ABRAXAS, or ABRASAX

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 72 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
ABRAXAS, or ABRASAX, a word engraved on certain antique stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets. or charms. The Basilidians, a Gnostic sect, attached importance to the word, if, indeed, they did not bring it into use. The letters of a,(3paEar,in the Greek notation,make up the number 365, and the Basilidians gave the name to the 365 orders of spirits which, as they conceived, emanated in succession from the Supreme Being. These orders were supposed to occupy 365 heavens, each fashioned like, but inferior to that above it; and the lowest of the heavens was thought to be the abode of the spirits who formed the earth and its inhabitants, and to whom was committed the administration of its affairs. Abraxas stones are of very little value. In addition to the word Abraxas and other mystical characters, they have often cabalistic figures engraved on them. The commonest of these have the head of a fowl, and the arms and bust of a man, and terminate in the body and tail of a serpent.
End of Article: ABRAXAS, or ABRASAX
[back]
ABRAUM SALTS (from the German Abraum-salze, salts t...
[next]
ABRIDGED BALLISTIC TABLE

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.