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Bibil Identifier bibil:210199
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Romans and Ritual Murder
Author Schultz, Celia E.
Journal Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Volume: 78, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Language English
Pages 516-541 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The Roman abhorrence of human sacrifice presented by ancient literary sources stands in contrast to the frequency of rites requiring the death of a human being performed by the Romans during the Republic (509–44 BCE). After examining the ways our sources talk about ritual murder, especially as it was practiced by foreign peoples and subversive or tyrannical elements within Roman society, this discussion turns to the issue of the forms of ritual murder performed by the Romans. Of these various rites, the only one clearly identified by them as human sacrifice, that is, as an offering to the gods of a human life, is the live interment of Gauls and Greeks. Other forms of ritual murder—the burial of unchaste Vestal Virgins and the drowning of hermaphroditic children—were not, in Roman opinion, sacrifice. This distinction made the disposal of Vestal Virgins and hermaphrodites acceptable.
DOI 10.1093/jaarel/lfq002
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Graeco-Roman World : History and Civilization
Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Human Sacrifice
Last modification 2017-10-27