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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Sacrificing to the Gods: Ancient Evidence and Modern Interpretations

Sacrificing to the Gods: Ancient Evidence and Modern Interpretations

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 Sacrificing to the Gods: Ancient Evidence and Modern Interpretations
Source:
The Gods of Ancient Greece
Author(s):

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.003.0006

This chapter examines the nature of ancient Greek sacrifice. After reviewing some of the theses defended by scholars about Greek sacrifice, it re-examines particularly: a) the theory that Greek sacrifice was based on the motif of the “non-violence”, in order to disclaim any “guilt of murder”; and b) the statement that the consent of the victim (by a sign of the head) was a very essential modality of the sacrificial ritual. It then discusses the relations between gods and sacrificial animals, taking as example the association between Zeus and the piglet. Finally, it reconsiders the problem of Greek gods as “receivers” of “human victims”.

Keywords:   Victim, Sacrifice, Zeus, Piglets, Ritual

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