According to Durkheim, the notion of ‘sacred’ is per se ambivalent, because it includes antinomic notions such as the pure and the impure. This theory would be justified by the original ambiguity of the Latin sacer. Only one case is always quoted: the peculiar condition of the homo sacer, a criminal consecrated to the gods. But the ambiguity of the sacer is not a problem for the Romans. The uncertainties of modern interpretation stem from the fact that this consecratio of a criminal is often explained as a sacrifice, but the destiny of the homo sacer is more analogous to the fate reserved for the violators of international treaties: on the profane side, the culprit is deprived of his citizenship and becomes a foreigner. Nor, however, is he accepted by enemies. In the same way, from an anthropological point of view, the consecrated person stays on a liminal stage: he remains forever in an uncertain gap between the sphere of men and the world of the gods. There is no ambiguity of the sacred because the homo sacer could not really reach the gods or pollute them.