The first known mention of the word 'Abracadabra" was in the second century book called Liber Medicinalis by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle.
The power of the amulet, he claimed, makes lethal diseases go away.
It was used as a magical formula by the Gnostics of the sect of Basilides in invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease and misfortune It is found on Abraxas stones, which were worn as amulets. Subsequently, its use spread beyond the Gnostics.
In 14th century London, the word was often seen posted on doorways to ward off sickness during the Great Plague.
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