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  • The inverse of praise: Epigraphic practices of Indo-European cursing

    Peter Jackson Rova

    Chapter from the book: Larsson, J et al. 2024. Indo-European Interfaces: Integrating Linguistics, Mythology and Archaeology.

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    Ritual practices of cursing and heroic commemoration among speakers of ancient Indo-European languages exhibit numerous features of inherited juridico-religious vocabulary. Through its grounding in the ethos of a pre-ancient, semi-nomadic tribal society, this vocabulary can be linked to a set of contiguous notions, such as the poetic realization of glory, afterlife recompense, the wolfish persona of warrior chieftains, and the humiliating treatment of cowards and criminals through strangulation and phallic aggression. In what follows, an attempt is made to demonstrate the tenacity of this conceptual system by paying brief initial attention to a Greek funerary epigram from 6th BCE century Rhodes, and then by analysing two runic inscriptions from 6th to 7th century CE southern Sweden (Björketorp and Stentoften).

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    Rova, P. 2024. The inverse of praise: Epigraphic practices of Indo-European cursing. In: Larsson, J et al (eds.), Indo-European Interfaces. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bcn.g

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    Published on June 11, 2024


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