Love, wish for revenge, fear, hope: ancient cursing rituals managed to embrace a vast spectrum of emotions. They were prompted by emotional experiences, they manipulated feelings, and their result could have been a renewed emotional state. This paper intends to look at how the archaeological and ritual settings contributed to shape the emotional and bodily experience of individual participants. Active compounds such as frankincense could have helped the up-lifting of negative emotions, but lead exposure could have provoked health damage. Sensory deprivation could have enhanced the sense of being in contact with the divine or could have distorted perception. The case studies include a selection of documents from the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore in Corinth (I–IICE),the sanctuary of Isis and Magna Mater in Mainz (I–IICE), and that of Anna Perenna in Rome (II–VCE). From these texts and their contexts, it is possible to attempt a sketch of the cognitive and embodied aspects of cursing rituals as a multi-sensory experience.

Experiencing curses: neurobehavioral traits of ritual and spatiality in the Roman Empire

Irene Salvo
2020-01-01

Abstract

Love, wish for revenge, fear, hope: ancient cursing rituals managed to embrace a vast spectrum of emotions. They were prompted by emotional experiences, they manipulated feelings, and their result could have been a renewed emotional state. This paper intends to look at how the archaeological and ritual settings contributed to shape the emotional and bodily experience of individual participants. Active compounds such as frankincense could have helped the up-lifting of negative emotions, but lead exposure could have provoked health damage. Sensory deprivation could have enhanced the sense of being in contact with the divine or could have distorted perception. The case studies include a selection of documents from the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore in Corinth (I–IICE),the sanctuary of Isis and Magna Mater in Mainz (I–IICE), and that of Anna Perenna in Rome (II–VCE). From these texts and their contexts, it is possible to attempt a sketch of the cognitive and embodied aspects of cursing rituals as a multi-sensory experience.
2020
9783110557572
Greek and Latin curses, Corinth, Mainz, Rome, sensory histories.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1087106
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