Sanctifying and Sanctioning: The Serbo-Croatian osveta, osvetiti (se) Reconsidered
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The Serbo-Croatian osveta ‘revenge, vengeance’, osvetiti ‘to revenge, avenge somebody, ~ se ‘to avenge on, avenge oneself’ is generally considered to derive from Common Slavic *sveto ‘holy, saint, sacred’, with some difficulties in interpreting its semantic development. This article offers a thorough analysis of the words in question, focusing on their earliest Old Serbian attestations and resulting in the conclusion that osveta was probably calqued on Latin sanctio. If true, it provides an early instance of the reception of Roman law among the Southern Slavs.
Keywords:Serbo-Croatian; Slavonic; Common Slavic; Latin; revenge; legal terms; law; Roman; customary
Source:Etymologica Slavica, 2019, 146, 181-190
- Warszawa : Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk