There are very great resemblances between the secular amulets of Spain and of Italy, even more, perhaps, than might be expected to have resulted from the Rorhan colonisation of the country, and its subsequent close relations with Italy. From these resemblances we may draw conclusions as to the purposes of certain objects identical with objects still, or until recently, used in Italy, but the manner of whose former employment in Spain was not readily ascertainable. It is unfortunate that the fragmentary nature of the material available has made a fuller comparison of the amulets of the two countries impracticable. Besides the amulets showing the results of Roman and Italian influences there are others wherein the effects of the Moorish occupation may be traced, others which may be assumed to be of prehistoric origin, if not of prehistoric introduction, and finally those which are at present in process of infiltration from other countries.
It would be easy to give European or Oriental parallels, and in some instances many of them, to almost every amulet referred to, for a number of the Spanish amulets are outcrops of very widespread superstitions, but I have limited my comparisons almost exclusively to some of the parallel amulets of Italy, a co-heir with Spain of the ancient Roman influences which so largely predominate in the beliefs of the Spanish people.
A belief in the evil, envious, or jealous eye and its effects is still prevalent in Spain, but to a stranger the Spaniards will generally say very little regarding it or an amulet against it, unless some knowledge of the subject is shown by their questioner. Amongst people of the middle classes there appears to be some shame in acknowledging the belief to a stranger, and there seems to be a common opinion that it is unknown to, or not shared by, the residents of more northerly lands.
Horns. But few of the ancient amulets against the evil eye are still in use, at least openly, in the cities ; of those that remain the most noticeable are in the form, or of the nature of horns.
(Fig. 1, PI. IV.) 1 A piece of deer's horn, with an iron loop for
1 Throughout the descriptions the Arabic numerals are used to denote the figures of the objects, and the Roman numerals the plates on which they are shown.