= Paper =
The concept of dema is used in ethnography to designate a particular category of primordial beings in paleo-cultivator cultures. Certain Italian scholars have used it in their research on the origins of Rome, specifically when referring to Romulus. We might mention in particular A. Brelich, working in 1960, and, more recently, the archaeologist A. Carandini. The current paper retraces the history of the concept since its first appearance in 1922 up to the present day : how it has evolved over the decades, and how scholars have frequently applied it without sufficient rigour, generating between them a series of false hypotheses and propositions. In the interests of interdisciplinarity, it might be desirable to stray into the field of ethnography, but it is imperative to proceed with method. This requirement has not been respected in research done on the origins of Rome, an area in which the demas of ethnology have absolutely no role to play.