This paper deals with the much disputed etymology of Lat. paricīdas, a technical term occurring in a legal fragment transmitted by Paulus Diaconus’ De significatione verborum (247, 19-24 Lindsay). The ancient word is attributed toNuma Pompilius’ legal code dating back to the 8th-7th century B.C. Relying on a vast scientific literature that includes hundreds of titles, firstly the philological data are thoroughly discussed, and three phonologically different variants of the word are reconstructed: the archaic /pārĭkīdas/ in Paulus Diaconus, the classical /părrĭkīda/ and the Late Lat. /părĭkīda/. Secondly, the history of parricīda from a semantic point of view is accurately described: a general meaning ‘sacrilegous, wicked criminal’ separated from single co-existing references such as ‘wicked homicide’ and ‘kin-murderer’ (not only ‘parent-murderer’) is proposed. By developing A. L. Prosdocimi’s idea that in Numa’s law paricidas did not refer to the son, as major comments maintain, but to the father who murdered the ‘free’ son (liberum), a new reading of Paulus’ passage is suggested: «si liberum sciens morti duit, paricidas esto». It must be pointed out that various interpolations have been often suspected by historians and antiquarians within this fragment. According to this new interpretation, the father was also a ‘kin-murderer’, a ‘wicked criminal’, when he abused of his power, namely the ius vitae necisque, and deliberately killed his son, who was «liber», i.e. a ‘son’ and simultaneously a ‘free citizen’. All in all, the only etymological hypothesis fitting this semantic and historical reconstruction is the one Fröhde’s: the first morpheme in pārĭcīda is Lat. *pāsos, cf. Gr. πηός ‘kinsman’. The ancient *pāso-kaidas ‘kin-murderer’ turned out to be the ‘wicked criminal’ par excellence: the latter meaning prevailed during the Republic and was mainly referred both to the ‘wicked homicides’ (also in Numa’s fragment) and to the ‘parent-murderers’ (e.g. in the Lex Pompeia of the 1st century B.C. In Cicero’s De legibus the ancient generic meaning ‘wicked criminal’ was still attested.
Stravaganze supreme sull’etimologia di lat. pārĭcīdas / Mancini, Marco. - (2020), pp. 143-185.
|Titolo:||Stravaganze supreme sull’etimologia di lat. pārĭcīdas|
MANCINI, MARCO (Corresponding author)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Citazione:||Stravaganze supreme sull’etimologia di lat. pārĭcīdas / Mancini, Marco. - (2020), pp. 143-185.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|