Wednesday, March 14, 2012


An Example of Epipompē

Richard Wünsch first used the terms apopompē and epipompē to describe two different ways of banishing evil, in "Zur Geisterbannung im Altertum," Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Universität zu Breslau = Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde 13-14 (1911) 9-32. Wünsch used apopompē to mean simply driving away evil, epipompē to mean driving away evil onto someone or something else.

I recently came across a good example of epipompē in the last stanza of a hymn to Pan (Carmina I.2) by Marcantonio Flaminio (1498-1550), translated by Carol Maddison in Marcantonio Flaminio: Poet, Humanist and Reformer (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965), p. 65:
Hail, ruler of the Naiads,
Hail and drive away weeping
Disease and wretched famine
To the most distant homes of the Arabs
And the fierce Turks.

Salve, o Naïdum potens,
Salve et hinc lacrimabiles
Morbos, et miseram famem in
Extremas Arabum domos,
Et feros age Turcas.

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