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Open Access On the Building of a Narrative

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On the Building of a Narrative

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The Ver Sacrum Ritual

image of Mnemosyne

The ver sacrum ritual remains a riddle in the early history of the Apennine peninsula. Several ancient Roman as well as Greek sources use the ritual in explaining Samnite movements across the peninsula, as ritual group expulsion of settlers sent out to colonize new lands. In short, this becomes the narrative ‘plot’ of archaic colonization.The ritual is however described very differently in the different sources, with regard to detail and to the plot elements involved in the tale. This article explores the various layers in the rendering of the ritual, and the different voices that take part in forming the ver sacrum narrative. With this perspective the ver sacrum becomes an expanded testimony of a tradition, used by different authors to stress various elements of their own historical reports.

Affiliations: 1: University of Gothenburg, Dept. of Languages and Literatures karin.tikkanen@sprak.gu.se

The ver sacrum ritual remains a riddle in the early history of the Apennine peninsula. Several ancient Roman as well as Greek sources use the ritual in explaining Samnite movements across the peninsula, as ritual group expulsion of settlers sent out to colonize new lands. In short, this becomes the narrative ‘plot’ of archaic colonization.The ritual is however described very differently in the different sources, with regard to detail and to the plot elements involved in the tale. This article explores the various layers in the rendering of the ritual, and the different voices that take part in forming the ver sacrum narrative. With this perspective the ver sacrum becomes an expanded testimony of a tradition, used by different authors to stress various elements of their own historical reports.

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2017-10-26
2018-07-23

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