Religion Past and Present

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(3,214 words)

[German Version]

I. Concept

Talion is derived from the Roman lex talionis, in which it referred to a regulated act of retribution – in keeping with a legal norm that was meant to place limitations on self-administered justice. This stands in contradiction to the general understanding of talion as “doing as you are done by,” also in the sense of self-administered justice. In modern usage, talion is thus particularly understood in t…

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Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel, Otto, Eckart, Reeg, Gottfried, Krawietz, Birgit and Ogris, Werner, “Talion”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 29 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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