08 Sas smaràoz, San Michele all’Adige, Trento, Italien

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a. Der sas smaràoz heute. Es sind die Löcher sichtbar, die ihn als einen ehemaligen Torgglstein kennzeichnen.

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b. Ein Bild vom sas smaràoz, als der Stein noch an seiner ursprünglichen Stelle stand, wo er vielleicht als als Gerichtsstein diente.

08 The name of sas smaroz hints to the ancient origins of this stone, which in actual fact is a wine press counterweight maybe of Roman times. It might have been used during the Longobard reign as a gathering point for village meetings, but its role shifted during the Medieval Period. The inscription reads “…the stone had a legendary function. The fugitive who was able to jump on the stone would be awarded with immunity from arrest and persecutions”. The idea that a fugitive could gain his freedom by completing some symbolic act is an ancient Germanic tradition. A similar tradition relates to the “Arimannean” houses which are found in the near Fiemme Valley and relate back to Longobardean traditions. In these houses, the outer fence represented a sacred and inviolable limit. Similarly, in Tyrolean villages the “Trauflinie”, that is the roof’s “dripping line”, represented a similar symbolic barrier. Whoever trespassed it was at the owner’s mercy. The “sas smaròz” was previously located lower in the valley, next to a building (and perhaps under its “dripping line”), which would now be more or less where the car is in the above picture. The word “smaròz” could come from the archaic german word “smorozen” (begging) which now is known as “schmarozen” (eating at someone else’s expense) or “Schmarozer” (parasite). The reason for its name is probably due to the proximity to a convent where beggars would gather.


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