Etymology of Victim

Seen in Latin as victĭma, at the behest of ancient Rome, this word described that person or animal that gave its life voluntarily or otherwise, as a tribute to God or a divinity, referring to the executor as victumarius. Although it is not possible to confirm this, we can conclude its relation to rituals for the theories that relate it to vĭcis, which indicates an ‘exchange or replacement’, with obvious roots in the Indo-European weik(2)-, which implies the action of ‘choosing’ (in regards to sacrifice), as well as if we relate it to weik(4)-, which refers to ‘turning or changing’, and from which the word vĭncta, is detached, for ‘tying or binding’.

Jesus is clearly the greatest reference when speaking of sacrifices as he gave his life for humanity. However, at that time this vision was understood by him and his followers, while those responsible for torturing him and putting him on the cross was limited to killing everything that his physical presence represented. From the mid-seventeenth century, the term begins to be applied in a criminal sense, as well as to a health condition.

Search a Word