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Contamination et vengeance : pour une diachronie du miasma

Abstract : This paper tackles the question of miasma, seen both in terms of definition and from an historical perspective. It is argued that the hermeneutics applied so far prove only partially adequate to account for the presence of religious as well as political and juridical aspects. It is therefore proposed to apprehend pollution within the frame of an interconnected cosmology maintaining that this allows us to understand more perspicuously the interaction of the above mentioned aspects. The second part of the paper deals with the still controversial question of the absence of miasma in Homer, and envisages it in the context of blood revenge, considered as the recognized norm to deal with the aftermath of the shedding of blood. Miasma is consequently interpreted as an Athenian elaboration, connected to Dracon's law and its endeavour to come to terms with the predicament created by self-help in the matter of homicide. Strictly implemented by the law as it was, miasma functions as a deterrent factor, expressing at the same time social blame, and religious reprobation.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 15, 2019 - 4:37:30 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 1:12:50 AM

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Manuela Giordano. Contamination et vengeance : pour une diachronie du miasma. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2014, N.S.12, pp.291-310. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.3241⟩. ⟨halshs-02100244⟩



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