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Exorcism
(944 words)

[German version]

In the strict sense, this is the ritual driving out of a demon ( Demons), who is causing an illness in the person possessed. The process primarily involves the use of verbal rites (ἐπῳδαί, carmina) (Isid. Orig. 6,19,55: sermo increpationis in diabolum ut excedat): the exorcist makes verbal contact with the demon and forces it to leave the person. The Greek root ἐξορκίζειν (ex(h)orkízein), which originally merely meant ‘to swear’ (dating from Demosthenes; ἐξορκισμός; ex(h)orkismós, ‘oath’, Pol. 6,21,6), is understood in this context as ‘to conjure out’.

In this sens…

Cite this page
Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH), “Exorcism”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 11 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e408000>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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