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Interpreting the varied non secular texts and practices of the past due Hellenistic and Roman sessions, this selection of essays investigates the various meanings and services of formality sacrifice within the historical international. The essays survey sacrificial acts, old theories, and literary in addition to inventive depictions of sacrifice, exhibiting that any try to determine a unmarried underlying importance of sacrifice is futile. Sacrifice can't be outlined simply as a primal expression of violence, regardless of the widespread equation of sacrifice to faith and sacrifice to violence in lots of smooth scholarly works; neither is it adequate to argue that each one sacrifice might be defined by way of guilt, through the necessity to arrange and distribute animal flesh, or through the communal functionality of either the sacrificial ritual and the meal.
because the authors of those essays show, sacrifice might be invested with all of those meanings, or none of them. The killing of the animal, for instance, may perhaps happen offstage instead of in sight, and the sensible, day by day regimen of plant and animal choices can have been invested with that means, too. but sacrificial acts, or discourses approximately those acts, did provide an immense website of contestation for lots of historical writers, even if the religions they have been protecting now not participated in sacrifice. Negotiations over the which means of sacrifice remained significant to the aggressive machinations of the literate elite, and their refined theological arguments didn't rather a lot undermine sacrificial perform as proceed to imagine its crucial validity.
old Mediterranean Sacrifice offers new perception into the connections and alterations one of the Greek and Roman, Jewish and Christian religions.

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