Brill’s New Pauly

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(219 words)

[German version]

That which is withdrawn from everyday use and is given over to the gods (cf. sacrare, 'to make sacer': sacrifice [I A]). In the earliest Latin sources, the adjective sacer is used in connection with sacrificial animals (Plaut. Men. 290) and objects dedicated to a deity (CIL I2 47; 365; 396; 580). In archaic Roman law, a person guilty of certain crimes could be declared sacer. The person concerned was excluded from human society and could be killed without punishment (CIL I2 2; cf. Fest. 424 L.). Although over the course of time Roman jurists insisted that only…

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Rives, James B. (Toronto), “Sacer”, 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 27 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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