Of all genres of what we might call pagan magic or ritual texts, probably none have survived as plentifully as lapidaries or stone-books. These stones sometimes served as protective amulets (compare Theophrastus on the use of plants as amulets), sometimes as something like talismans, i.e., consecrated object similar to miniaturized cult statues. In the latter case, they are often engraved with an image of a deity and need to be consecrated. Such engraved gemstones were then often worn on rings.
In Latin, a composite work On Stones survives, consisting of:
- Two Dedicatory Letters.
- On Stones and their Engravings: two texts describing planetary phylacteries.
- On Stones: [work in progress].
In Greek, there are:
- Proclus on Metals: assigning a metal to each of the classical planets.
- The Pseudo-Orphic Lithika in verse: [work in progress].
- The Pseudo-Orphic Lithika Kerygmata in prose: [work in progress].
- Socrates and Dionysius, On Stones: [work in progress].
- The Nautical Lapidary: [work in progress].
[Further Greek and Arabic sources to be added in the future.]