Usi letterari e significati culturali del "krédemnon" in Grecia antica: la "retorica costitutiva" del velo nella prassi dell'invisibilità

Giuseppina Paola Viscardi


As a medium, the body bears witness to the religious traditions trying to inscribe their belief systems onto and into the body by means of a "constitutive rhetoric", that is «the art of constituting character, community and culture in language» (J. Boyd White, Heracles' Bow, Madison 1985, p. 37), relating to "the language or symbols capacity to create a collective identity for an audience especially through condensation symbols, literature, and narratives" (T.O. Sloane, in Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, New York 2001, p. 616).
Looking at the ways of conceptual representation inherent in a given culture – in our case ancient Greek culture – this paper starts by actual consideration that veiling or unveiling the head or body is never a neutral act, for the loading of communicative intentions and of symbolic implications that concealment and revealing of oneself collect and convey. Hence, the need for a rigidly codified and normatively founded regulation (of which we have evidence from the Assyrian law code to Koranic regulations, passing through Biblical requirements and Greek-Romans rituals and customs) of the processes of exposure understood as revelation of what we tend to conceal as the innermost and secret part (the body, the person, the identity, the essence not only of the individual as a social being, but also of the deity as a manifestation of the "separate" dimension of the sacred). This protection is entrusted to the veil "system" and the dynamics of concealment and representation, disappearance and performance, that are activated by the usage of the veil as a semiotic device and by the visual pattern of the un/veiled body in the "practices of invisibility".

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