Adiuro te - Eine Beschwörungsformel über mehr als 1000 Jahre

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

Adiuro te – An incantatory phrase for more than 1000 years” – The incantatory formula adiuro te … can be observed for more than 1000 years in Latin epigraphic sources from the Roman Imperial period to the High Middle Ages. The testimonies in question are characterized as very specific artifact groups, each defining a very typical epigraphic habit. In North African curse tablets dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries, adiuro te … was used above all to influence the course of chariot races. In late antique early Christian funerary inscriptions, especially in Rome and the surrounding area, the formula was used to protect against reburial and desecration of graves. Slates with inscriptions, known from the presentday Spanish provinces of Salamanca and Ávila dating from the period of Visigoth rule, mark the transition of the meaning of adiuro te … between the invocative request of superior powers for help and an exorcistic use to ward off Satan and his harm. This connotation characterizes the phrase in the Middle Ages. It was common in Christian amulets, which in Middle Germany and Scandinavia were supposed to protect their wearers from evil. The article outlines the characteristics of the various groups of inscriptions and thus considers the formula in its longue durée.

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