Religion Past and Present

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(163 words)

[German Version]

Like other excretions of the human body (Saliva), sweat externalizes an individual’s vital force, making it available for use. In ancient India, an archer’s sweat applied to an arrowhead had the power to destroy the enemy (Kauśikasūtra 17.44). St. Paul’s face cloths or handkerchiefs were used to heal the sick and exorcise evil spirits (Acts 19:12). The sudarium of Veronica, purportedly bearing the image of Jesus’ face, is said to have healed Emperor Tiberius. In Egypt the salves and frankincense earmarked for the gods were called the “sweat of the gods…

Cite this page
Kraatz, Martin, “Sweat”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 17 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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