“Fake News”: risate e parolacce nelle tombe di Tarquinia


  • Johann Rasmus Brandt University of Oslo



Parole chiave:

dirty words, ecstasy, Etruscan tomb paintings, laughter, orgasm, Phersu, Tarquinia


xxxArnold van Gennep’s theory on passage rites can be applied to explain the funerary rituals among the Etruscans.
Among the three phases of passage, separation, transition,
and reunification, the second phase was the most critical,
when, according to Mary Douglas, strong forces and dangers, here referred to as demons, were released. In this phase the deceased’s soul found itself in a liminal space attacked by these fearful demons. The funerary participants could help the soul by approaching the demons, which was achieved through ecstasy and orgasm. By entering the liminal space of the demons, an opening was also made for the demons to enter the world of the participants and create havoc. The participants protected themselves against this danger through laughter and dirty words and by creating a society turned upside-down. All these situations can be found depicted in Etruscan tomb paintings.





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