Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (Oxford Classical Monographs)
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In this study of the ritual of animal sacrifice in ancient Greek religion, Judaism, and Christianity in the period between 100 BC and AD 200, Maria-Zoe Petropoulou explores the attitudes of early Christians towards the realities of sacrifice in the Greek East and in the Jerusalem Temple (up to AD 70). Contrary to other studies in this area, she demonstrates that the process by which Christianity finally separated its own cultic code from the strong tradition of animal sacrifice was a slow and difficult one. Petropoulou places special emphasis on the fact that Christians gave completely new meanings to the term `sacrifice'. She also explores the question why, if animal sacrifice was of prime importance in the eastern Mediterranean at this time, Christians should ultimately have rejected it.
angles,5 but the inclusion of these issues in the book would not change the main lines of the argument. Even from the point of view of Christianity, it has been proved that the role of the imperial cult was secondary in the persecutions of Christians.6 Categories of evidence such as iconography, animal remains, and cultic ediWces will not be used in this book. The systematic presentation of depictions of sacriWce would require a study of the conventions used to represent animals, participants,
that of Greek sacred laws. A marginal reference to Appian’s De bello civili will be made in the context of sacriWcial obligations imposed on individuals. One of the satires of Lucian (On SacriWces) has already concerned us, as a source of description of ritual. As will have become obvious, Greek treatises speciWcally addressing animal sacriWce are lacking from the period studied in this book, when Christianity encountered the pre-existent practice of animal sacriWce. The exception to this rule
practice. Here are some Plutarchan examples of divination from animal sacriWce: Plutarch tries to justify the unexpected approach of Aratus to Antigonus Doson (c.224 bc) by giving the evidence for a sacriWce predicting this approach (Aratus 43.4–5). In a sacriWce oVered by Aratus, the mantis found the liver to have two gall bladders enclosed in a single foil of fat. The omen meant that Aratus would enter into friendship with the person he most hated.51 In Cimon 18.4 the reader is prepared to
denied,157 the evidence for the increased role of individuals in contributing to local sacriWcial cults suggests that civic religion had room for further enrichment. iv. Occasions on Which SacriWce on the Part of the Individuals Was Seen as an Externally Imposed Obligation or as a Personal Duty Keeping to the context of ritual dialogue between community and individual, here I present the opposite pole of the harmonious vitality of animal sacriWce presented in section iii: here, animal sacriWce
the religious meaning of sacriWce are not ‘primitive’ either: for instance, terms used of pollution and its removal presuppose mental categories of a high level. Smith also stresses that the selection of an animal for sacriWce is a secondary level of selection after that of selective breeding. This selective kill has nothing to do with the fortuitous kill carried out by a hunter. As for the terrible emotions usually attributed to the ‘primitive hunter’, these derive from the reinterpreted reality