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Katharsis
(608 words)

[German version]

(ἡ κάθαρσις; hē kátharsis). Katharsis, derived from καθαίρειν (kathaírein, purge), generally means any type of purgation and elimination of visible (dirt) and invisible uncleanliness (religious defilement: míasma, cf. Hdt. 1,35; Aristot. Poet. 17,1455b 15).

In the 2nd half of the 5th cent. BC the term was used as medical term for the removal of harmful substances from the human body or soul (LSJ, s.v. κ. II). The cultic-ritual and medical-psychological meanings have merged in Aristotle's concept of katharsis, which of old has been a matter of scholarly con…

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Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg), “Katharsis”, 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 24 November 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e610880>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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