1920s-era cigarette trading card art and text:
One of the most famous of all talismans, and used
as a magical formula by the Gnostics in Rome for
invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease,
misfortune and death. Sammonicus, the celebrated
Gnostic physician, instructed that the letters of this
magical triangle which he used for curing agues and
fevers, were to be written on paper, folded into the
shape of a cross, worn for nine days suspended from
the neck, and, before sunrise, cast behind the patient
into a stream running eastward. It was also a most
popular charm in the Middle Ages. During the Great
Plague, 1665, great numbers of these amulets were
worn as supposed safeguards against infection.
From a simple metal chain is suspended a copper inverted equilateral triangle surmounted by a stylized floral design and terminating in a finial ball at the bottom. Inset into the triangle, which forms a bezel around it, is a triangular carved piece of white stone on which the following letters are engraved:
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