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    Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece (Hardback) By (author) Dennis D. Hughes

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    DescriptionNumerous ancient texts describe human sacrifices and other forms of ritual killing: in 480 BC Themistocles sacrifices three Persian captives to Dionysus; human scapegoats called pharmakoi are expelled yearly from Greek cities, and according to some authors they are killed; Locrin girls are hunted down and slain by the Trojans; on Mt Lykaion children are sacrificed and consumed by the worshippers; and many other texts report human sacrifices performed regularly in the cult of the gods or during emergencies such as war and plague. Archaeologists have frequently proposed human sacrifice as an explanation for their discoveries: from Minoan Crete children's bones with knife-cut marks, the skeleton of a youth lying on a platform with a bronze blade resting on his chest, skeletons, sometimes bound, in the dromoi of Mycenaean and Cypriot chamber tombs; and dual man-woman burials, where it is suggested that the woman was slain or took her own life at the man's funeral. If the archaeologists' interpretations and the claims in the ancient sources are accepted, they present a bloody and violent picture of the religious life of the ancient Greeks, from the Bronze Age well into historical times. But the author expresses caution. In many cases alternative, if less sensational, explanations of the archaeological are possible; and it can often be shown that human sacrifices in the literary texts are mythical or that late authors confused mythical details with actual practices.Whether the evidence is accepted or not, this study offers a fascinating glimpse into the religious thought of the ancient Greeks and into changing modern conceptions of their religious behaviour.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece

    Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Dennis D. Hughes
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 138 mm
    Height: 216 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 538 g
    ISBN 13: 9780415034838
    ISBN 10: 0415034833

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD, HBLA
    B&T Merchandise Category: TXT
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 03
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAG
    BIC subject category V2: HRKP
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 17440
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Approval Code: A13260000
    BISAC V2.8: SOC036000, HIS002000, HIS000000
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDAG
    Abridged Dewey: 393
    DC22: 393
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC20: 393
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: BL795.H83H, BL795.H83 H84 1991
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHD, NHC, QRS
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Taylor & Francis Ltd
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    06 August 1991
    Publication City/Country
    Review quote
    "In sum, Dennis Hughes has written a stimulating, highly useful, and often . . . convincing book. It is certainly a solid and important contribution to the study of ancient Greek religion."-"Journal of the International Plutarch Society