Curses and Binding Rituals in Italy: Greek Tradition and Autochtonous Contexts
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The paper aims to investigate the history of curse texts in the Italian Peninsula by comparing the Greek defixiones from Magna Graecia and Sicily with the extant Sabellic curses and the earliest Latin examples, considered in their respective contexts, in order to pose questions on the origin and development of this kind of rituals, even in the absence of epigraphic evidence. The paper is focused on identifying formal and verbal parallels that can be used to establish patterns of influence and diffusion, also with the help of indirect sources. Questions such as those regarding the formulary are also discussed, in order to both understand how the Greek customs influenced the Sabellic and Latin rituals and evaluate the continuity of autochtonous traditions that cannot be related to the Greek world.