Anathema

A denunciation or curse. The word is Greek, and means to place, or set up, in allusion to the mythological custom of hanging in the temple of a patron god something devoted to him. Thus Gordius hung

up his yoke and beam; the shipwrecked hung up their wet clothes; workmen retired from business hung up their tools, etc. Hence anything set apart for destruction; and so, set apart from the Church as under a curse.

Me tabula sacer
Votiva paries indicat uvida
Suspendisse potenti
Vestimenta maris deo.

Horace: Odes (v. 13–16).

Horace, having escaped the love-snares of Pyrrha, hangs up his votive tablet, as one who has escaped the dangers of the sea.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Anathema from Fact Monster:

  • anathema - anathema anathema [Gr.,=something set up; dedicated to a divinity as a votive offering], term that ...
  • What does it mean? - anathema --Listen to the pronunciation: WAV format or AU format What would be anathema to the ...
  • Lázaro Cárdenas - Cárdenas, Lázaro Cárdenas, Lázaro , 1895–1970, president of ...
  • Juan Montalvo - Montalvo, Juan Montalvo, Juan , 1832–89, Ecuadorean essayist and political writer. A champion ...
  • excommunication - excommunication excommunication, formal expulsion from a religious body, the most grave of all ...

Related Content