Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece Essay by JPWrite

Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece
This paper explores various ancient Greek cultures and the religious circumstances which justified the practice of human sacrifice.
# 67356 | 864 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2006 | US
Published on Jul 06, 2006 in History (Greek and Roman) , History (Religion)

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This paper examines the common misinterpretation regarding the ancient Greeks being too civilized a culture to commit human sacrifice. The writer of this brief yet concise paper proves that the Greeks did in fact commit human sacrifices as a major component of their religious beliefs and activities. The Greek's belief in Dionysus, the god of crop fertility, was a significant element in these sacrifices. Dionysus symbolized flesh and blood as bread and wine. An annual worship held in his name was to insure crop fertility. This was a common practice for many societies throughout Ancient Greece, including the Myceneans. The Myceneans were a powerful civilization who sacrificed humans in honor of the Olympian gods and archaeological evidence has been found to back these claims.

From the Paper:

"The Mycenean civilization practiced this as well as many other forms of human sacrifice: "The burnt offering altar was often used in Mycenean rituals, and became a major form of practice. This form of human sacrifice was used late, almost until the end of the Mycenean civilization. "The burnt offering altar was a large, grill-like structure where prophets placed hot coals. The altar placed on the chest of the strongest warrior in town, the usual subject of this ritual. The sacrifice would be long and grueling, and the victim would not die until the prophets finished their praying to the gods. The Myceneans were a powerful civilization who were mentioned in the Homeric poems. They sacrificed humans in honor of the Olympian gods, and archeological evidence has been found."

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