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The Probert Encyclopaedia of General Information

TALISMAN

A talisman is a figure cast or cut in metal or stone etc, and made, with certain superstitious ceremonies, at some particular moment of time, as when a certain star is at its culminating point, or when certain planets are in conjunction. The talisman thus prepared is supposed to exercise extraordinary influences over the bearer, particularly in averting disease. In a more extensive sense the word is used, like amulet, to denote any object of nature or art, the presence of which checks the power of spirits or demons, and defends the wearer from theirmalice. Relics, consecrated candles, rosaries, images of saints, etc, were employed as talismans in the middle ages; and at that time the knowledge of the virtues of talismans and amulets formed an important part of medical science.
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