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Sator-Rotas Square
(210 words)

[German Version]

(Sator arepo tenet opera rotas). The sator-rotas square began to appear in the mid-1st century throughout the Roman Empire, initially beginning with ROTAS, later with SATOR. In the Middle Ages and the modern period, popular belief put the square on amulets and used it widely as a charm or magic formula. The five lines of five letters can each be read from all four sides and in all directions:

ROTAS SATOR

OPERA AREPO

TENET TENET

AREPO OPERA

SATOR ROTAS

The interpretation is not clear. The formula is not Christian, but it has been used by Christians since the…

Cite this page
Koch, Guntram, “Sator-Rotas Square”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 02 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_124713>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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