Není rituál jako rituál. Očišťují či krášlí? Hřebeny pozdní antiky.

Title in English Not every ritual is a ritual. Purify or Beautify? Late Antique Combs.


Year of publication 2020
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Combs have been considered as a symbol of purity and beauty since time immemorial. It is therefore no coincidence that combs might be find in the Roman baths at the very same time when they were used by both women and men as one of the many items in their everyday hygiene. At the same time,they were perceived as objects full of elegance and luxury. It is logical that the first Christians left to combs their traditional functions. However, during a formation of new public rituals in the fourth century, these objects of everyday life gained a new religious significance. Due to their traditional function, they become instruments of a ritual purification. In the period from the fourth to the sixth century, combs thus began to serve during purgatory rituals of the body and mind. They represented an important role as "purification masters" during baptisms and funerals. Following this, scenes from the Old and New Testaments began to appear on these combs. The role of combs has changed over the centuries. With a certain amount of exaggeration, one can even ask: Do combs still belong to bathrooms in this period?
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