Sacrifice In The Iliad

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In order to understand the ways blood sacrifices, or rites, affected society, we must examine the basic definition. Blood is symbolic of nearly every bodily process, life, death, sickness, health, and spirit are all represented by our blood. Sacrifice stems from the Latin 'sacrificus', meaning "performing priestly functions or sacrifices." By this definition we start to understand that sacrifices were seen as sacred events to be used at the most delicate of times. In the Iliad, this is perfectly represented by forming a truce during war. Sacrificing to the gods was viewed by society as a natural part of their belief system, pleasing the gods in order to gain favor. It's plausible, then, to assume that those who actively sought favor with the…show more content…
In fact, nearly every culture where religion has been hailed as a way of life, sacrifice is present. Some examples of well known religions with sacrificial ways are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. The nuances that each religion implemented in their specific rituals may vary, but the initial concept stands that religion and sacrifice are closely related. One of the earliest examples of sacrifice, or libation as it is termed by the ancient Greeks, can be found in the story of Cain and Abel, in which Abel, the shepherd, offered to God the finest of his firstborn sheep. Cain, the worker of the land, brought to God some of his harvest. God looked favorably upon the younger Abel and his offering, but disregarded Cain's sacrifice. Furious, Cain deceived his brother and killed him. From this early offering to God to the modern examples such as monetary libation, we see a number of influential events that ultimately cause human and animal sacrifice to be pushed to the background in favor of less primal and religious
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