MEDIOEVO

Incmaro di Reims
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Fin dall’epoca carolingia la Chiesa cercò di ostacolare le pratiche funerarie “superstiziose”.

L’arcivescovo Incmaro di Reims vietò al clero di partecipare alle commemorazioni dei morti celebrate nel settimo e nel trentesimo giorno dopo il decesso. I preti non dovevano brindare all’anima del morto e nemmeno partecipare ai banchetti.

Fu inoltre vietato indossare maschere (larvae) dette “talamasca, in quanto per la Chiesa erano espressione di uno spirito maligno, un dannato o un demone.

Secondo Incmaro c’era uno stretto legame tra le maschere e i morti che, associate alla commemorazione periodica dei defunti, avrebbero potuto evocarne l’ombra trasformando chi le portava in un posseduto dai morti.

La maschera è la rappresentazione cristiana del diavolo e dei demoni, poiché trasforma l’uomo che fu creato a immagine di Dio

Il termine larva indicava lo spirito malvagio, divenuto agli occhi della Chiesa un dannato o un demone. Ogni volta che la Chiesa condanna le mascherate parla di Larvae daemonum.

Incmaro usa anche il termine “talasca”, quasi sicuramente di origine germanica, mentre il suffisso “masca” compare per la prima volta nell’Editto di Rotari del 643. La parola completa, talemaschier, entrerà nella lingua francese nel Trecento, col senso d’imbrattare o annerire il viso, ovvero la forma più frequente della maschera medievale.

In alcune parti della Francia masca ha assunto anche il significato di spirito o strega notturna che divora i bambini. Nel Duecento ne troviamo testimonianza In Gervasio di Tilbury, che ne fa un equivalente di lamia.

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