Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth

Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth

Language: English

Pages: 360

ISBN: 0520058755

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Blood sacrifice, the ritual slaughter of animals, has been basic to religion through history, so that it survives in spiritualized form even in Christianity. How did this violent phenomenon achieve the status of the sacred? This question is examined in Walter Burkert's famous study.

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2.148; Ov. Met. 9 .1- 9 2 ; cf. H. P. Isler, Acheloos (1970), 1 1 - 2 8 , 1 1 5 - 1 9 . 58Gazette Archeologique 3 (1877), pi. 26; P. Baur, AjA 9 (1905), 159; Furtwangler, RML I 2176. ^M uller-Karpe (1966) 252, T. 9 3.1. “ See n. 5 1 above; III.7 below. For the sacrifice of a bull see Pind. 0 1 . 13 .19 ; Simonides fr. 79 Diehl; Burkert (1966) 98. 61 For A sia Minor see G. Perrot and Ch. Chipiez, Histoire de Vart V (1890), 4 8 - 5 1; Herter, RE XIX 17 2 8 -3 3 ; F. Poulsen, Delphische Studien

one suprem e and perm anent authority. The rit­ ual provides the orientation that transform s confrontation into unity. In the storm of history, it w as alw ays those societal organizations w ith religious foundations that were finally able to assert them selves: all that rem ained of the Rom an Empire w as the Roman Catholic Church. A n d there, too, the central act rem ained the incredible, one-tim e and voluntary sacrifice in w hich the will of the father becam e one with that of the son, a

10.45; Polemon Schol. Pind. Ol. 7 .153d (

his grandfather K rotopos. The a ik iv o v lam ent is sung in his honor at the Festival of the Lam b, w hich is held to com m em orate his nam e and "h is youth am ong the la m b s."24 It is, of course, only an appealing conjecture that the main sacrificial victim at this festival w as a lamb, but an ancient A rgive tradition sp eaks o f a "lam b-singer," dpvwdo*;, so called because he w as aw arded the sacrificial lamb as a p rize.25 Thus, it w as not A r­ give dignitaries but a w an d erin g

death by being torn apart, "collecting," and burying; cf. I.8 .n .i2 above. 35Astour (1965) 16 3-6 8 . -"’ See above at n. 16. 116 TH E D ELPH IC TRIPOD a w h o le .1 M oreover, like O lym pia— or even more so, because of its great popularity— the sanctuary w as repeatedly entangled in political and m ilitary disorders, and each Sacred War brought n ew form s of adm inistration w hich influenced the function and sense of identity of Apollo's servants. Thus, as at O lym pia, various traditions

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