Swinging on a Star: The Mythical and Ritual Schemata of Oscillation

Luigi Canetti, Donatella Tronca


The article examines some feasible semantic, gestural and ritual links between the Greek notion of aiora and the Latin term oscillatio. Associations have been drawn between the Greek festival of Aiora and the oscillating movement of a swing, but there are also connections to death by hanging and roving. Through the analysis of pagan and Christian sources from Antiquity and Late Antiquity, this paper re-establishes the possible link between the festival of the Aiora and a Roman practice known as oscillatio with its associated votive images called oscilla. There are several contexts where the swinging and oscillating schemata that constitute the essentials of dancing feature ritual movements deemed capable of restoring symmetry after a traumatic event.


Swing rite, aiora, oscilla, schemata

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2240-5380/10.2020.45


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