Nourishing the dead: The Refrigerium as symmetric cure for the death of significant people

Pasquale Scarnera


The rite of “nourishing the dead” has had an extraordinary extension in time and space, presenting itself throughout antiquity and up to the early middle ages, and throughout the Mediterranean basin, despite its illogicality. Psychoanalysis allows us to glimpse in this singular rite a technique of mourning, which explains this exceptional resilience throughout time and space, suggesting new fields of research for both Anthropology and the Clinic of Mental Disorders.


refrigerium; anthropology; psychoanalysis; symmetric logic.


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