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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
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