Publication details

Cursing in the Sanctuary: Some Textual Remarks on a Curse Tablet from Kempraten



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Eirene: Studia Graeca et Latina
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords curse tablets; defixiones; prayers for justice; kempraten; magic; simile formula
Description During archaeological excavations conducted in the period 2009–2013 at Kempraten (Centum Prata) on the shores of Lake Zürich in the municipality of Rapperswil- Jona, five lead curse tablets were found in the remains of a Gallo-Roman sanctuary complex. One of these tablets (DTK 1) was found in 2009 and first published in 2015.It is fashioned in the shape of a tabula ansata and contains a prayer for justice directed to Mater Magna, a goddess identifiable in Roman religion with the Anatolian Cybele. We propose a new reading of the tablet's simile-formula, sic iace(at) in xancto (=sancto) que(m)admodum haec epistula iacitura est, and we compare this new interpretation with other explicit mentions of the deposition of curse tablets in Graeco-Roman sanctuaries.
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