Sacer, sacrum, sanctus, religiosus. Valutazioni e contraddizioni storico-semantiche
Chirassi Colombo, Ileana
The paper focuses on the semantics inherent in concepts such as 'sacer sacrum, sanctus, sanctum' in Latin and the influence they had in European cultural and political life. Rudolph Otto dedicated to the 'sacred' a well-known book titled 'Das Heilige' 1917. Acknowledgeding the impossibility to exactly understand the notion of 'sacer', he chooses to translate it through 'numinous', from 'numen', a word that defines the impersonal manifestation of absolute Power. At the end of the fifties, Mircea Eliade introduced the term 'hierophany' manifestation of the 'sacred', from the greek word 'hieron', to define something absolutely powerful that can reveal itself and may be at human disposal. We assume that, in a historical perspective, the sacred does not exist as such but we must recognize it as a tremendously powerful device which can be used – as it has been used and it is still used – in different ways in human History.
Polymnia: Collana di Scienze dell'Antichità. Studi di Archeologia
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Ileana Chirassi Colombo, " 'Sacer, sacrum, sanctus, religiosus'. Valutazioni e contraddizioni storico-semantiche", in Sacrum facere : Atti del I Seminario di Archeologia del Sacro : Trieste, 17-18 febbraio 2012, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014, pp. 11-21.