Strategies of Addressing Higher Powers from Graeco-Roman Antiquity to the Latin Middle Ages



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The adjuration formula epigraphical documents. Every formula contains a verb of adjuration – in Greek orkizo and its compounds, in Latin adiuro or coniuro – in the first person singular or plural with explicit performative utterance. A direct addressee is always implicitly or explicitly present – syntactically this is the object of the verb of adjuration. By mediation clause, we mean frequent prepositional phrases introduced in Greek typically with kata, and in Latin with per. These are supposed to enhance the adjuration by invoking a higher power or an entity making sure that the direct addressee does what they are commanded to do. The desired effect is simply what the author of the inscription wishes to achieve. Occasionally, the adjuration formula may contain a clause promising rewards for the direct addressee should they produce desired effect – or, alternatively, a punishment or a threat if they fail to do so.
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