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Encyclopedia > Sacrifice
Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome
Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome

Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning "to make sacred", from Old French, from Latin sacrificium: sacer, sacred; sacred + facere, to make) is commonly known as the practice of offering food, or the lives of animals or people to the gods, as an act of propitiation or worship. The term is also used metaphorically to describe selfless good deeds for others, or a short term loss in return for a greater gain (such as in a game of chess). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (825x1024, 290 KB)Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: Bas-relief, Capitoline Museum Rome Source antmoose, 4 June 2005 Released to Creative Commons by the photographer File history Legend: (cur... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (825x1024, 290 KB)Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: Bas-relief, Capitoline Museum Rome Source antmoose, 4 June 2005 Released to Creative Commons by the photographer File history Legend: (cur... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ... Bas relief is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. ... The Capitoline Hill (Capitolinus Mons), between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the most famous and smallest of the seven hills of Rome. ... Look up sacrifice in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of Belgium and Switzerland from around 1000 to 1300 A.D. It was known at the time as the langue doïl to distinguish it from the langue... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Christianity, Propitiation is a theological term denoting that by which God is rendered propitious, i. ... Taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony on the eve of Diwali. ... Look up metaphor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The practice of sacrifice is found in the oldest human records. The archaeological record contains human and animal corpses with sacrificial marks long before any written records of the practice. Sacrifices are a common theme in most religions, though the frequency of animal, and especially human, sacrifices are rare today. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek: αρχαίος, archaios, combining form in Latin archae-, ancient; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... A sheep is led to the altar, 6th century BC Corinthian fresco. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

Contents

Concepts of sacrifice in various religions

Judaism

See also: Korban and Shechita

In Judaism, a sacrifice is known as a Korban from the Hebrew root karov meaning to "[come] Close [to God]". Korban (קרבן) (plural: Korbanot קרבנות) is a Jewish practice of sacrificing an animal or of making an offering at the Temple. ... Shechita Shechita (Hebrew:שחיטה) is the ritual slaughter of animals, as prescribed for slaughter of mammals and birds according to Jewish dietary laws. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Korban (קרבן) (plural: Korbanot קרבנות) is a Jewish practice of sacrificing an animal or of making an offering at the Temple. ... “Hebrew” redirects here. ...


The centrality of sacrifices in Judaism is clear, with much of the Bible, particularly the opening chapters of the book Leviticus, detailing the exact method of bringing sacrifices. Sacrifices were either bloody (animals) or unbloody (grain and wine). Bloody sacrifices were divided into holocausts (burnt offerings, in which the whole animal was burnt), guilt offerings (in which part was burnt and part left for the priest) and peace offerings (in which similarly only part of the animal was burnt). Yet the prophets point out that sacrifices are only a part of serving God, and need to be accompanied by inner morality and goodness. This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ...


After the destruction of the Second Temple, ritual sacrifice ceased except among the Samaritans (see). Maimonides, a medieval Jewish rationalist, argued that God always held sacrifice inferior to prayer and philosophical meditation. However, God understood that the Israelites were used to the animal sacrifices that the surrounding pagan tribes used as the primary way to commune with their gods. As such, in Maimonides' view, it was only natural that Israelites would believe that sacrifice was a necessary part of the relationship between God and man. Maimonides concludes that God's decision to allow sacrifices was a concession to human psychological limitations. It would have been too much to have expected the Israelites to leap from pagan worship to prayer and meditation in one step. In the Guide for the Perplexed he writes: A stone (2. ... For the ethnic group of this name, see Samaritan. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew:מורה נבוכים, translit. ...

"But the custom which was in those days general among men, and the general mode of worship in which the Israelites were brought up consisted in sacrificing animals... It was in accordance with the wisdom and plan of God...that God did not command us to give up and to discontinue all these manners of service. For to obey such a commandment would have been contrary to the nature of man, who generally cleaves to that to which he is used; it would in those days have made the same impression as a prophet would make at present [the 12th Century] if he called us to the service of God and told us in His name, that we should not pray to God nor fast, nor seek His help in time of trouble; that we should serve Him in thought, and not by any action." (Book III, Chapter 32. Translated by M. Friedlander, 1904, The Guide for the Perplexed, Dover Publications, 1956 edition.)

In contrast, many others such as Nachmanides (in his Torah commentary on Leviticus 1:9) disagreed, contending that sacrifices are an ideal in Judaism, completely central. Nahmanides is the common name for Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi; the name is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Ben Nahman, meaning Son of Nahman. He is also commomly known as Ramban, being an acronym of his Hebrew name and title, Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, and by his Catalan name...


The teachings of the Torah and Tanakh reveal Judaism's abhorrence of human sacrifices. “Tora” redirects here. ... Tanakh (‎) (also Tanach, IPA: or , or Tenak) is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Christianity

In Christian teaching, God became incarnate in Jesus Christ to accomplish the reconciliation of God and humanity, which had separated itself from God through sin (see the concept of original sin). According to the view that has dominated Western theology since early in the 2nd millennium, God's justice required an atonement for sin from humanity if human beings were to be restored to their place in creation and saved from damnation. However, God knew limited human beings could not make sufficient atonement, for humanity's offence to God was infinite, so God became a man to become the sacrifice of the everlasting covenant. In Christian theology this sacrifice replaced the insufficient animal sacrifice of the Old Covenant; Christ the "Lamb of God" replaced the lambs sacrifice of the ancient Korban Todah (the Rite of Thanksgiving), chief of which is the Passover in the Mosaic law. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born (Psalm 51:5). ... Brass Agnus Dei from altar-front in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, Kentucky Lamb of God (Latin: Agnus Dei) is one of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament and consequently in the Christian tradition. ...


Geza Vermes writes that the title Lamb of God does not necessarily refer to the metaphor of a sacrificial animal. He points out that in Galilean Aramaic the word talya, literally "lamb," had the common meaning of "male child". This is akin to "kid" meaning "child" in modern colloquial English. The female equivalent of Talya was Talitha, literally "ewe lamb" and figuratively "girl" (the word is found in the Narrative of the Daughter of Jairus). Thus, "Lamb of God" could have been a slang means of saying "Son of God" or "God's Kid". Geza Vermes (born 22 June 1924) is a Jewish scholar and writer on religious history, particularly Jewish and Christian. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Son of God is...


In the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as among some High Church Anglicans, the Eucharist or Mass is seen as a sacrifice. It is however, not a separate or additional sacrifice to that Christ on the Cross; it is rather the exact same sacrifice, which transcends time and space ("the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world") (Rev. 13:8), renewed and made present, the only distinction being that it is offered in an unbloody manner. The sacrifice is made present without Christ dying or being crucified again; it is a re-presentation to God, of the "once and for all" sacrifice of Calvary by the now risen Christ, who continues to offer himself and what he has done on the Cross as an oblation to the Father. The complete identification of the Mass with the sacrifice of the Cross is found in Christ's words at the last supper over the bread and wine: "This is my body, which is given up for you," and "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed...unto the forgiveness of sins." The bread and wine, offered by Melchizedek in sacrifice in the old covenant (Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110;4), are transformed through the Mass into the body and blood of Christ (see transubstantiation; note: the Orthodox Church does not hold as dogma, as do Catholics, the doctrine of transubstantiation, preferring rather to not make an assertion regarding the "how" of the sacraments), and the offering becomes one with that of Christ on the Cross. In the Mass as on the Cross, Christ is both priest (offering the sacrifice) and victim (the sacrifice he offers is himself), though in the Mass in the former capacity he works through a solely human priest who is joined to him through the sacrament of Holy Orders and thus shares in Christ's priesthood. Through the Mass the merits of the one sacrifice of the Cross can be applied to the redemption of those present, to their specific intentions and prayers, and to the redemption of the souls in purgatory. A prophecy of the sacrifice of the Mass, offered in every corner of the world, is found in the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament: "from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, my name has been glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering, for my name is great among the Gentiles" (Mal. 1:10-11). Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church or Catholic... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Eastern Orthodox Church... High Church relates to ecclesiology and liturgy in Christian theology and practice. ... For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek — by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–67 Melchizedek or Malki-tzédek (מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק / מַלְכִּי־צָדֶק, Standard Hebrew Malki-ẓédeq / Malki-ẓádeq, Tiberian Hebrew Malkî-ṣéḏeq / Malkî-ṣāḏeq), sometimes written Malchizedek, Melchisedec, Melchisedech, Melchisedek or Melkisedek, is a figure mentioned by various sects of both Christian and Judaic traditions. ... Main article: Eucharist (Catholic Church) Transubstantiation (in Latin, transsubstantiatio) is the change of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ occurring in the Eucharist according to the teaching of some Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church. ... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the... For the Northern Irish singer songwriter, see Malachi Cush. ...


The concept of self-sacrifice and martyrs are central to Christianity. Often found in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity is the idea of joining one's own sufferings to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Thus one can 'offer up' involuntary suffering such as illness, or purposefully embrace suffering in acts of penance, such as fasting. Some Protestants criticize this as a denial of the all-sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, but it finds support in St. Paul: "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church" (Col 1:24). Pope John Paul II explained in his encyclical Salvifici Doloris: Look up Martyr in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

"In the Cross of Christ not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed...Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished...In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ...The sufferings of Christ created the good of the world's redemption. This good in itself is inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it. But at the same time, in the mystery of the Church as his Body, Christ has in a sense opened his own redemptive suffering to all human suffering."

Most Protestants reject the idea of the Eucharist as a sacrifice, inclining to see it as merely a holy meal (even if they believe in a form of the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine, as Lutherans do). The Catholic/Orthodox response is that the sacrifice of the Mass in the New Covenant is that one sacrifice for sins on the Cross which transcends time offered in an unbloody manner, as discussed above, and that Christ is the real priest at every mass working through mere human beings to whom he has granted the grace of a share in his priesthood. Since the word 'priest' carries heavy connotations of 'one who offers sacrifice', Protestants usually do not use it for their clergy. Evangelical Protestantism emphasizes the importance of a decision to consciously, personally accept Christ's sacrifice on the Cross as atonement for one's individual sins if one is to be saved - this is known as 'accepting Christ as one's personal Lord and savior.' For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... The Real Presence is the term various Christian traditions use to express their belief that, in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ is really (and not merely symbolically, figuratively or by his power) present in what was previously just bread and wine. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ...


The Orthodox church sees the celebration of the Eucharist as a continuation, rather than a reenactment, of the Last Supper, as Fr. John Matusiak (of the OCA) says: "The Liturgy is not so much a reenactment of the Mystical Supper or these events as it is a continuation of these events, which are beyond time and space. Unlike many of the Protestant bodies, the Orthodox also see the Eucharistic Liturgy as a bloodless sacrifice, during which the bread and wine we offer to God become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the descent and operation of the Holy Spirit, Who effects the change." This view is witnessed to by the prayers of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, when the Priest says: "Accept, O God, our supplications, make us to be worthy to offer unto thee supplications and prayers and bloodless sacrifices for all thy people," and "Remembering this saving commandment and all those things which came to pass for us: the cross, the grave, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting down at the right hand, the second and glorious coming again, Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all," and "… Thou didst become man and didst take the name of our High Priest, and deliver unto us the priestly rite of this liturgical and bloodless sacrifice…" The Last Supper in Milan (1498), by Leonardo da Vinci According to the Gospels, the Last Supper (also called Lords Supper) was the last meal Jesus shared with his Twelve Apostles before his death. ... The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in North America. ... The Divine Liturgy is the common term for the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine tradition of Christian liturgy. ... John Chrysostom (347 - 407) was a notable Christian bishop and preacher from the 4th and 5th centuries in Syria and Constantinople. ...


Modern Christianity has tended to lessen the focus on the concept of sacrifice. The idea of original sin in combination with the idea that sin demands atonement or punishment appears less relevant. The focus appears to be on Christ's life as moral teacher rather than as sacrificial victim. Interest in a renewed focus on Christ's sacrifice increased after the release of the 2004 Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ.[verification needed] This article is about the film. ...


Islam

Main article: Dhabiha

An animal sacrifice in Arabic is called Zabiha (أُضْحِيَّة) or Qurban (قُرْبَان) . However Qurban has a pagan connotation in some places except in India/Pakistan, where qurbani is always used for Islamic animal sacrifice. In the Islamic context an animal sacrifice referred to as Zabiha (أُضْحِيَّة) meaning sacrifice as a ritual, is offered only in Eid ul-Adha. ..."therefore, to thy Lord turn in prayer and in Sacrifice. " (Nahr)-Al Quran, 108.2 Qurbani is an Islamic prescription for the affluent to share their good fortune with the needy in the community. On the occasion of Eid ul Adhaa, affluent Muslims all over the world perform the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), by sacrificing a goat or sheep. The meat is then divided into three equal parts. One part is retained by the person who performs the Qurbani. The second is given to his relatives. The third part is distributed to the poor. The Muslims say that this has nothing to do with blood and gore (Qur'an 22:37: "It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches God. It is your piety that reaches Him..."). The sacrifice is done to help the poor, and in remembrance of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. The sacrificial animal may be a lamb, a sheep, a goat, a camel or a cow. The animal must be healthy and conscious. Dhabiha (, ) is the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals excluding fish and most sea-life as per Islam. ... Eid ul-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd al-’Aḍḥā) occurs on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... An angel prevents the sacrifice of Isaac. ...


The Islamic system of slaughter is called Ḏabīḥah. Dhabiha (, ) is the prescribed method of slaughtering all animals excluding fish and most sea-life per Islamic law. ...


Hinduism

Main article: Yajna

The Sanskrit word Yajna is usually translated in English as "sacrifice" but its primary meaning is any kind of worship, especially the one involving certain oblation being put into the sacred fire with the chanting of the mantras. Yajna typically refers to any fire-offering or such equivalent ritual of the Vedic Indo-Aryans. The offerings were usually of vegetable origin, including saw-dust for the fire, grains like barley, etc. Milk and ghee (clarified butter) was also offered in large quantities. A mysterious, unidentified plant's juice, called Soma, was offered at special Soma sacrifices. The Vedas actually contain the mantras to be chanted for these yajnas. A few historians claim that the Vedic fire-sacrifices also involved the slaughter of certain animals, such as goats and sheep (and probably the bull)—but animal sacrifice was only meant for larger and very special Yajnas (This is also claimed by most Buddhist and Jain texts). They also claim, that the ancient Hindu scriptures allow eating the flesh of such sacrificed animals as the only lawfully allowed meat. But these facts are hotly debated by many contemporary Hindus. They claim that the instances in the Vedas depicting animal sacrifices are either misunderstood / misinterpreted by historians or very deliberately misrepresented. Animal sacrifice (of goats and buffaloes) is rare but is held on certain festivals in contemporary India, and Sri Lanka, especially to honor the Mother Goddess (Durga) by the followers of certain cultic groups of Hindus belonging to the sect of Shaktism. Due to severe condemnation by most other Hindus, calling this as a barbaric act, these animal sacrifices are quickly disappearing in India and Sri Lanka. Among the Hindus of Nepal, animal sacrifices are common even today, not only for the Mother Goddess, but also for almost all deities of the Hindu pantheon. The Hindu way of slaughtering the animal may be less painful than others, as it involves an immediate severing of the whole neck of the animal by one quick stroke of a sword or an axe (otherwise great calamities are believed to befall the sacrificer), rather than slitting of the throat. In Hinduism, Yajña यज्ञ (Sanskrit yajñá worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) is a Vedic ritual of sacrifice performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. ... In Hinduism, Yajña यज्ञ (Sanskrit yajñá worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) is a Vedic ritual of sacrifice performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... Ghee in a jar Wikibooks Cookbook has an article on Ghee Ghee (Hindi घी from Sanskrit ghá¹›ta घृत sprinkled ) is a type of clarified butter important in Indian cuisine. ... This article is about the Vedic plant and ritual. ... The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... Species See Species and subspecies The goat is a mammal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... Species See text. ... In Hinduism, Durga (Sanskrit: , Bengali: ) is a form of Devi, the supreme goddess. ... Shiva and Shakti as One Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that worships Shakti, or Devi Mata -- the Hindu name for the Great Divine Mother -- in all of her forms whilst not rejecting the importance of masculine and neuter divinity (which are however deemed to be inactive in the absence...


Sacrifice by type of offering

Animal sacrifice

Main article: animal sacrifice

Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. It is practiced by many religions as a means of appeasing a god or gods or changing the course of nature. Animal sacrifice has turned up in almost all cultures, from the Hebrews to the Greeks and Romans (particularly the purifying ceremony Lustratio) and from the Aztecs to the Yoruba. However, the practice was a taboo among the Ancient Egyptians, and they tended to look down on cultures that practiced this custom. Animal sacrifice is still practiced today by the followers of Santería and other "lineages of Orisa", as a means of curing the sick and giving thanks to the Orisa (Gods). However in Santeria, such animal offerings constitute an extremely small portion of what are termed "ebos" – ritual activities that include offerings, prayer and deeds. Some villages in Greece also sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints in a practise known as kourbània. The practise, while publicly condemned, is often tolerated for the benefits it provides to the church and the sense of community it engenders. A sheep is led to the altar, 6th century BC Corinthian fresco. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Romans sacrificing pigs, rams and bulls during a suovetaurilia Lustratio was an ancient Roman and ancient Greek purification ceremony,[1] involving a procession and in some circumstances the sacrifice of of a pig (sus), a ram (ovis) and a bull (taurus) (suovetaurilia). ... The word Aztec is usually used as a historical term, although some contemporary Nahuatl speakers would consider themselves Aztecs. ... The Yoruba (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are a large ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in Africa; the majority of them speak the Yoruba language (èdèe Yorùbá; èdè = language). ... Map of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was the civilization of the Nile Valley between about 3000 BC and the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. As a civilization based on irrigation it is the quintessential example of an hydraulic empire. ... “Lukumi / Yoruba Religion / La Religión” redirects here. ... This article is about the type of spirit. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Human sacrifice

Main article: Human sacrifice

Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures. People would be ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease a god or spirit. While not widely known, human sacrifices for religious reasons still exist today in a number of nations. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Some occasions for human sacrifice found in multiple cultures on multiple continents include:

  • Human sacrifice to accompany the dedication of a new temple or bridge.
  • Sacrifice of people upon the death of a king, high priest or great leader; the sacrificed were supposed to serve or accompany the deceased leader in the next life.
  • Human sacrifice in times of natural disaster. Droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions etc were seen as a sign of anger or displeasure by deities, and sacrifices were supposed to lessen the divine ire.

Some of the best known ancient human sacrifice was that practiced by various Pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica. The Aztec were particularly noted for practicing this on an unusually large scale; a human sacrifice would be made every day to aid the Sun in rising, the dedication of the great temple at Tenochtitlán was reportedly marked with the sacrificing of thousands, and there are multiple accounts of captured Conquistadores being sacrificed during the wars of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the Americas continent. ... The cultural areas of Mesoamerica Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Spanish: Mesoamérica) was a geographical culture area extending from central Honduras and northwestern Costa Rica on the south, and, in Mexico, from the Soto la Marina River in Tamaulipas and the Rio Fuerte in Sinaloa on the north. ... It has been suggested that Mexica be merged into this article or section. ... The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Plan of Tenochtitlan (Dr Atl) Mexico City statue commemorating the foundation of Tenochtitlan Tenochtitlan (pronounced ) or, alternatively, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, was the capital of the Aztec empire, which was built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now central Mexico. ... Conquistadors (Spanish: []) (English: Conqueror) were Spanish soldiers, explorers and adventurers who invaded and conquered much of the Americas and Asia Pacific, bringing them under Spanish colonial rule between the 15th and 17th centuries, starting with the 1492 settlement by Christopher Columbus in what is now the Bahamas // Hernán Cort...


In Scandinavia, the old Scandinavian religion contained human sacrifice and both the Norse sagas and German historians relate of this, see e.g. Temple at Uppsala and Blót. Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe and includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. ... Norse mythology, Viking mythology or Scandinavian mythology refer to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people. ... Excerpt NjÃ¥ls saga in the Möðruvallabók (AM 132 folio 13r) circia 1350. ... The Temple at Uppsala was a temple in Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), near modern Uppsala, Sweden, that was created to worship the Norse gods of ancient times. ... The Blót was the pagan Germanic sacrifice to Norse gods and Elves. ...


There is evidence to suggest Pre-Hellenic Minoan cultures practised human sacrifice. Sacrificed corpses were found at a number of sites in the citadel of Knossos in Crete. The north house at Knossos contained the bones of children who appeared to have been butchered. It is possible they may have been for human consumption as was the tradition with sacrificial offerings made in Pre-Hellenic Civilization.[1] The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur (set in the labyrinth at Knossos) provides evidence that human sacrifice was commonplace. In the myth we are told that Athens sent seven young men and seven young women to Crete as human sacrifices to the Minotaur. This ties up well with the archaeological evidence that most sacrifices were of young adults or children. The Minoan Civilisation was a pre-Hellenic Bronze Age civilization which arose on Crete, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. ... This article is about a type of fortification. ... A portion of Arthur Evans reconstruction of the Minoan palace at Knossos. ... For the famous World War II battle, see: Battle of Crete For other uses, see Crete (disambiguation). ... Cities are a major hallmark of human civilization. ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night. ... In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μινόταυρος, Minótauros) was a creature that was part man and part bull. ... Athens (ancient Greek: αἱ Ἀθῆναι (plural), evolving into the modern αι Αθήναι in Greek until recently, and η Αθήνα nowadays (IPA : singular see below: Origin of the name ) is both the largest and the capital city of Greece, located in the Attica periphery. ... Child sacrifice is the ritualistic killing of children in order to please, propitiate or force supernatural beings in order to achieve a desired result. ...


Human sacrifice still happens today as an underground practice in some traditional religions, for example in muti killings. Human sacrifice is no longer officially condoned in any country, and these cases are regarded as murder. Muti is a generic term for medicine in Southern Africa. ...


Some people in India are adherents of a religious sect that is referred to as Tantrism; a small percent of unscrupulous Tantric practitioners engage in human sacrifice, often with the promise of inducing childbirth in a sterile couple (see Further Reading). These superstitious practices are quickly disappearing. Human sacrifice has been completely absent at all times in mainstream Hinduism, and is severely condemned and seen with utmost horror by all mainstream Hindus. But the absence of any central dogma in Hinduism has allowed some unscrupulous sideline cults to exist. A few Indian tribes like Maraya and Thugs used to also practice human sacrifice. In Hindu narratives, practising human sacrifice and eating human meat was a work of the demons (See Demon). Tantra (Sanskrit: loom), tantric yoga or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Dogma (the plural is either dogmata or dogmas, Greek , plural ) is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, ideology or any kind of organization, thought to be authoritative and not to be disputed or doubted. ... “Fiend” redirects here. ...


In the Aeneid by Virgil the character Sinon claims that he was going to be a human sacrifice to Poseidon to calm the seas (of course Sinon was lying). Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos): is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BCE (between 29 and 19 BCE) that tells the legendary story... Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), later called Virgilius, and known in English as Virgil or Vergil, was a classical Roman poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the substantially completed Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that became... In Greek mythology, Sinon, a son of Aesimus (son of Autolycus), or of the crafty Sisyphus, was a Greek warrior during the Trojan War. ... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ...


Human sacrifice is a common theme in the religions and mythology of many cultures. The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and...


Other aspects

Self sacrifice

Self-sacrifice, the act of deliberately following a course of action that has a high risk or certainty of suffering or death (which could otherwise be avoided), in order to achieve a perceived benefit for certain others, is a powerful theme with a well established place in many cultures, myths, and societies. Examples include: Culture (Culture from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate,) generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... Look up Myth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ...

  • Warfare - an act of bravery for a soldier to lay down their lives for others, both companions on the battlefield and the civilian population at home. Also in more controversial terms, calculated tactics such as kamikaze and suicide bombing.
  • Other quasi-military bodies, such as emergency services, and police, where risking death for others is not as much expected, but is on occasion an aspect of the work involved.
  • Social relationships - risking life for friends and family members.
  • Deeply held causes - for example, self-immolation as a form of protest.
  • Myth and religion - where a god or high ranking person (typically the King) sacrifices themselves for the good of the people, to remove some evil spell, or to put right some deep-seated wrong.

In cases where literal death is not at issue, self sacrifice connotes a theme of self-deprivation, that one does not have all one might, or accepts a loss or discomfort, for the benefit of others. Examples include: USS Bunker Hill was hit by Ogawa (see picture left) and another kamikaze near Kyūshū on May 11, 1945. ... A suicide bombing is an attack using a bomb in which the individual(s) carrying the explosive materials composing the bomb intend(s) and expect(s) to die upon detonation (see suicide). ... Emergency services are public services that deal with emergencies and other aspects of Public Safety. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up Myth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Look up king in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

  • Social causes - refusal to travel abroad or consume, out of a sense of environmental responsibility.
  • Undergoing hardship to save money, in order to provide a better life for a child.
  • Accepting blame, suffering or pain, in order to protect others from being hurt or suffering.

The term ecological wisdom, or ecosophy, is a philosophy of ecological harmony or equilibrium. ...

Sacrifice in games

Sacrifice is also used metaphorically to describe a number of plays in games. Sacrifices, in this sense, are plays that deleteriously lose pieces or opportunities in order to obtain some other advantage. Tug of war is an easily organized, impromptu game that requires little equipment. ...


In chess, a number of changes are described as sacrifices: these typically involve losing a piece or a pawn to disrupt the opponent's formation and open up an attack. Chess openings that involve sacrifices are usually called gambits by chess players; in these gambits, usually a pawn is deliberately lost; gambits that lose a piece are rare and risky. Chess is a recreational and competitive game for two players. ... In the game of chess, a sacrifice is the deliberate giving up of a chess piece by a player, allowing or even forcing the opponent to capture it. ... Initial placement of the pawns. ... A chess opening is the group of initial moves of a chess game (the opening moves). ... A gambit is a chess opening in which something, usually a pawn, but sometimes even a piece, is sacrificed in order to achieve an advantage. ...


In contract bridge, a sacrifice is a deliberate higher level bid of a contract which is likely to fail, in the hope that the adverse cost of the failure will still be less than the opponents' likely successful score would have been. Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game of skill and chance (the relative proportions depend on the variant played). ... A sacrifice is a usually deliberate bid of an unmakeable contract in contract bridge in the hope that the penalty will be smaller than the value of an opponents contract. ...


In baseball, a sacrifice fly is a play in which a batter hits a fly ball deep into the outfield for an out so as to enable a runner on third base to score. Likewise, a sacrifice bunt in baseball is one in which a batter deliberately allows himself to be put out while advancing a team mate to second and/or third base, from where he has a greater chance to score. Players who commit either a sacrifice fly or bunt are not charged with a "time at bat," thus the out that they sacrificed is not charged against their batting average. This article is about the sport. ... In baseball, a batted ball is considered a sacrifice fly (denoted by SF) if the following four criteria are met: There are fewer than two outs when the ball is hit. ... In baseball, a sacrifice hit is the act of deliberately striking the ball in a manner that allows a runner on base to advance to another base, while the batter is himself put out. ...


In a few role-playing games, some characters have the ability to give up their hit points in order to restore all others' hit points and magic points. This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Magic points (MP) are units of magical power that are used in many role-playing, computer role-playing and similar games as an expendable resource that is needed to pay for magic spells. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Sacrifice

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ... Ritual murder is murder performed in a ritualistic fashion or on a basis of rituals. ... // Ceremony of Burning a Hindu Widow with the Body of her Late Husband, from Pictorial History of China and India, 1851. ... Immolation means a sacrificial killing by burning, such as: Animal sacrifice Human sacrifice Sati is a Hindu funeral custom involving immolation. ... The Celts practised human sacrifice on a limited scale as part of their religious rituals. ... The Ashvamedha (Sanskrit horse sacrifice) was one of the most important royal rituals of Vedic religion, described in detail in the Yajurveda (YV TS 7. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... Jephtha יפתח -- one of the so called Judges in Israel between the conquest of Canaan and the first king. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Lycaeus (Mons Lycaeus, mod. ... 112 Iphigenia is an asteroid. ... Nordic religion is a termed used to abbrevate the religion preferably amongst the Germanic tribes living in Nordic countries under pre-Christian period that are supported by archaeology findings and early written materials. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Behanzin in 1894 Behanzin (d. ...

External links

Further reading

  • Davies, Nigel (1981). Human Sacrifice: In History and Today. Dorset Press. ISBN 0-88029-211-3. 
  • Lancaster, John. "In India, case links mysticism, murder", Washington Post, 2003-11-29. 
  • Heinsohn, Gunnar: The Rise of Blood Sacrifice and Priest Kingship in Mesopotamia: A Cosmic Decree? [2](also published in: Religion, Vol. 22, 1992)
  • Sacrifice (Catholic Encyclopedia)
  • Bataille, Georges (1992). Theory of Religion. Zone Books. ISBN 0-942299-09-4. 
  • Carter, Jeffrey (2003). Understanding Religious Sacrifice. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-4880-1. 

... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 2003 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... November 29 is the 333rd day of the year (334th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sacrifice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3533 words)
Animal sacrifice (of goats and buffaloes) is rare but is held on certain festivals in contemporary India, especially to honor the Mother Goddess (Durga) by the followers of the Hindu sect of Shaktism.
Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion.
Sacrifice of people upon the death of a king, high priest or great leader; the sacrificed were supposed to serve or accompany the deceased leader in the next life.
Human sacrifice - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3206 words)
Sacrifice upon the death of a king, high priest or great leader; the sacrifices were to serve or accompany the deceased leader in the next life.
The ancient Chinese are known to have made sacrifices of young men and women to river deities, and to have buried slaves alive with their owners upon death as part of a funeral service.
In the ancient Near East, human sacrifice was suppressed throughout the Persian Empire, partly as a consequence of the spread of Zoroastrianism, which taught that human sacrifice was a sign of Ahriman, not of the Wise Lord Ahura Mazda.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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