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ANAHITA  January 1999

ANAHITA January 1999

Subject:

Child sacrifice etc.

From:

Gail Higginbottom <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 14 Jan 1999 19:38:12 +1030

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

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Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (82 lines)

Sarah Morris -Head of Classics, Linguistics and Archaeology - (UCLA I think)
recently gave a talk at our University on the topic of human sacrifice.
I jotted a few notes of references of names mentioned etc. in
ancient times.  I might add they are very brief and some points have been
referred by others on ANAHITA.
For the full story, please contact Sarah Morris who has been researching
on the topic.
There was also a very recent paper in French which looked very good on
the topic of sacrifice on depicted pottery which I shall chase up.


1) Erectheus - papyrus fragments  re - 3 daughters
2) 5 styles of sacrifice in the Bible -Leviticus
3) Daughter of Heracles offers herself
4) Death of children near alters in the depiction of the Trojen War e.g.
Neoptolomous kills Polycena (?) to repay for the death of Acilles (Achilles
demand for a sacrificial bride).  She is killed over the tomb which is depicted
in art as having a ritual fire atop.  (again you will have to ask Sarah
Morris for the details of the evidence).
This picture apparently is in the same style as a picture found on a
near Eastern sarcophagi fragment near Smyrna.
5) Troad Tomb: -  pictures of the enemy being put to death.  Greek
conquerers.
6) Pausanius said that Human sacrifice occured in Arcadia, but no human
bones have been found to verify this.
7) Sarah Morris seems to think that most Greek stories locate such actions
of human sacrifice amongst the "barbarians" - non-Greeks. e.g. Heracles
in Egypt (Herodotus).
8) Canaanite rites to save cities; e.g. King Moab
9) Sites settled by Phoenecians (as the Greeks called the later, or
descendents of, Canaanites) : Children  of specific ages buried with
other offereings; sometimes they cheated apparently and offered animals
instead. The rich bought children so that they could offer them.

Sarah Morris addressed the question of "How much did the Greeks know of the
sacrificial sites and rituals in Lefkandi, Krete, Korinth, Sicily etc.?"

Regarding immortality, Sarah discussed the idea of mother's being seen as
responsible for a child's life and death, and this is why mothers are
usually depicted as passing their children through the fire to
immortalise them. (Whether the mother be immortal or mortal).

A question on my own behalf:

The hypothesis that there are near Eastern and Greek connections in their
myths, regarding the passing of the use or right of human  sacrifice, seems
appealing.  I think the parallels are strong thematically between Iphigenia
being replaced by a deer and replacement of animals in the old testament
for children.  Are some of the gods (or society) saying enough of this?

Does anyone have any ideas on this?

Gail.



G ail Higginbottom,
Discipline of Classics,
Centre for European Studies,
University of Adelaide,
Adelaide, South Australia,
Australia. 5005.
and
Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics

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