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Chapter Ten. On mutilated mirrors By

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Chapter Summary

The act of breaking or covering over a mirror is commonly accompanied by strong feelings, probably because of the widespread perception that a mirror contains within itself another world that is no longer accessible if the mirror, a kind of pathway to that world, is closed down. This chapter surveys as fully as possible the published examples of ritual cancellation or damaging of Etruscan mirrors, and probes the nature of the belief that may have motivated these acts. Thus far only a small percentage of Etruscan mirrors have been identified as having been intentionally mutilated so that they could no longer be used. The chapter suggests that there is yet another category to be recognized and that is mirrors that have been pounded or hammered. Finally, two appendices are presented. The first appendix deals with mirrors of śuθina, and the second appendix deals with mutilated mirrors.

Keywords: Etruscan mirrors; mirrors of śuθina; mutilated mirrors

10.1163/ej.9789004170452.i-292.73
/content/books/bej.9789004170452.i292_012
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