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Questions tagged [sacrifice]

For sacrificial rituals or processes in mythology, or any other processes in which a character undergoes an ordeal.

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Why does Achilles sacrifice 12 Trojan men on Patroclus' funeral pyre? Will this benefit Patroclus in the afterlife? (Illiad Book 23)

In the Iliad, Achilles gives his friend Patroclus an elaborate funeral, involving the sacrifice of various animals, including 2 of Patroclus own dogs (presumably so they can be with him in the ...
Timothy's user avatar
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8 votes
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What did the Mayans hope to accomplish from ritual sacrifice?

There are many descriptions of Mayan religious practices involving human sacrifice. For example, the Wikipedia has a long article on bloodletting and human sacrifice by the Mayans. However, these ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
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Source for claim that white animals were sacrificed to Olympian gods?

The Wikipedia article about Zeus contains these two sentences: Certain modes of ritual were held in common as well: sacrificing a white animal over a raised altar, for instance. Olympian gods, by ...
Crouching Kitten's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
118 views

Is there any evidence of the Ancient Greeks worshipping Zeus's daughter Helen?

Is there any evidence of the Ancient Greeks worshipping Zeus's daughter Helen? For example, did they build any shrines in her honor or did they offer sacrifices to her?
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
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Greek myths centered on self-sacrifice

One of them main themes within christianity is the idea of self-sacrifice: Jesus is said to have accepted crucification in order to save mankind. In contrast, in older mythologies, like the greek, the ...
Marcel's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
253 views

Why did Odysseus not sacrifice poultry?

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is rich: he owns cattle, swine, sheep, goats. Kirkē asks Odysseus to sacrifice cattle and sheep, and to do libation with milk, honey, wine, flour; Teiresias asks Odysseus ...
b_jonas's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
176 views

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices?

Which ancient cults would cut out the hearts of live animals and offer them as sacrifices? The Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 2:3) mentions a concept called עורות לבובין which Maimonides and other commentators ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
771 views

What was the Aztec religion's view of virginity?

This is a follow-up question to: "Why did druidesses vow perpetual virginity?" What was the Aztec religion's view of virginity? Did they, like the Romans with their vestal virgins, view ...
Geremia's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are there any examples of human sacrifice in tribal societies?

Specifically, I mean human sacrifices of their own members (not outside members or prisoners). After watching a chilling movie related to the topic I started thinking more about human sacrifice and ...
tr3ndyBEAR's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

Did a pagan cult remove the gallbladder of animals before sacrificing them?

Rabbi Gedaliah ibn Yachya in his work Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah (Jerusalem, 1962), p. 223 alleges that when sacrificing animals, some pagans would remove the gallbladder (מרה, marah) from the animal in ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
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Is there a specific term in Norse mythology for Odin's self-sacrifice?

Norse mythology knows some terms for quite complex concepts, such as "Ragnarök". Is there a term for Odin's nine-day self-sacrifice?
AFoeee's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why thank the person who is cutting out your heart?

So, my grandfather got back from vacation yesterday. As we were looking through his pictures today and explaining them to me (what's he doing/going on...), we came to the part with the Aztec Pyramids. ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

What kind of offerings did worshipers make to Thor?

I'm currently playing a role-playing game as a cleric that worships a god of storms and I'm researching what kinds of offerings that god would likely accept. What examples are there of the kinds of ...
mgillesp's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why did the gods demand Iphigenia's sacrifice?

In the Greek drama (?) Iphigenia, in order to be able to go on a war against Troy, the Greeks need wind, and for the wind, they need to sacrifice Agamemnon's daughter (the gods demand it). Menelaus ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

Was Hermes originally mortal?

In Greek mythology the story of the birth of the god Hermes makes it sound as if he was originally mortal and that he somehow managed to bribe his way into becoming the twelfth [i.e. the last] of the ...
Adinkra's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
698 views

Any examples of dying and resurrecting gods that exist only in heaven, not earth?

In recent years proponents of the Christ-myth theory (e.g., Earl Doherty in his writings) have begun to argue that St. Paul in his epistles was setting forth the view that Christ was wholly divine and ...
Arthur George's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
802 views

What myth explains animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods?

I seem to remember a particular ancient Greek myth that used to explain how animal sacrifices to the Olympian gods were performed. In particular, when poultry or mammals was sacrificed, the humans ...
b_jonas's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why do sacrificial victims break flutes on the steps of a temple before their death?

Sahagún's Codex Florentine includes an account of people sacrificed for Tezcatlipoca (an Aztec god): For him who was thus, who had no flaw, who had no bodily defects, who had no blemish, who had no ...
user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why would slaves be sacrificed after their master's death?

Sacrifice is a common practice in the Norse pagan religion. Sacrifice (blót) played a huge role in most of the rituals that are known about today, and communal feasting on the meat of sacrificed ...
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21 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Odin the only being who gained knowledge of the runes?

In order to learn the secrets of the runes (symbols of some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos), Odin hangs himself from Yggdrasil, pierces himself with his own spear, and peers downward to the ...
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