Some remarks on the linguistic peculiarities and vocabulary of the Latin tabellae defixionum



Year of publication 2017
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description When interpreting defixiones, one has to take into account not only the Vulgar-Latin development or syntactic rules, but also specific cursing rules as well as author's education. All these factors, although often contradictory, may, at the same time, influence the final structure of a cursing text. As for the evidence of the noun nomen in defixiones, it is attested both in the sense of “name” and “person”. The former refers to gods and humans mostly known to the author, whereas the latter refers both to people known and unknown. Both meanings are also found in the texts influenced by legal language, even in the cases when the name of the culprit, is unknown - nomen furis. Finally, the combination of nomen and the Genitive of a proper name is probably due to misunderstanding the magical cursing guidelines.
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