Pagan Christs, by John M. Robertson, , at sacred-texts.com
Given the prima facie fitness of the hypothesis, however, there at once arises the question, What positive evidence have we for the existence in the Mediterranean world of any such man-sacrificing ritual about the beginning of the Christian era?
As to the commonness of the practice among "savage" or primitive peoples, there is no question. It is frequent to this day in parts of Africa, 2 and in the Malay Archipelago; 3 it is probably not wholly obsolete in India; 4 and it occurs from time to time in primitive Russia, among ignorant and fanatical peasants. 5 In Polynesia and Maori New Zealand it was normal in the past century; and among Native Americans it occurred, as a religious usage in war time, as late as 1837. 6 And the ancient testimonies show the practice at no distant time to have subsisted among nearly all the races then known, especially among the Semites and the "barbarians." Despite some allegations to the contrary, human sacrifices were normal among all branches of the Aryan race. 7 Lusitanians, 8 Gauls, 9 and Teutons 10 alike, at the period of their contact with the Romans, normally
sacrificed to their Gods captives and prisoners, sometimes by burning, 1 sometimes by hanging, 2 sometimes by crucifying, 3 sometimes by throat-cutting or other letting of blood. 4 Of the ancient Slays we have equivalent records. 5 Among some tribes of the more easterly Galatæ 6 and the Massagetæ 7 and other Scythians 8 similar usages were reported; and while human sacrifices had in the time of Herodotus, by his account, long ceased to be offered in Egypt, 9 the memory of them was, to say the least, sufficiently fresh among the Greeks and Romans. 10
The records of the substitution of a goat for a boy in sacrifice to Dionysos at Potniæ, 11 and of a hart in substitution for a virgin at Laodicea; 12 the stories of King Athamas, called upon by the Delphic oracle to sacrifice his firstborn son Phryxos, 13 of King Lycaon who sacrificed a child to Zeus, 14 of Aristodemos offering up his child on the call of the oracle when the method of the lot failed, 15 and of Menelaos sacrificing two children in Egypt when stayed by contrary winds, 16 tell of a once recognised conception and practice; and those of the sacrificing of three Persian boys to Dionysos Omêstês at the battle of Salamis, 17 and of seven children by the Persians to the God of the Underworld when they were entering Greece, 18 are equally significant. Among the Eretrians and Magnesians, again, sacrifices of human firstlings were said to have been anciently offered; 19 in Sparta, in Chios, and in Tenedos, 20 there were similar memories; and the custom was notoriously well established in Thrace. 21 There is reason, too, to infer an act of child sacrifice behind Pausaniass tale of the infant placed in the forefront of an Elean army. 22
Anciently, it would seem, human sacrifice of all kinds was
common to the Hellene stock; 1 and the attempts of Mr. Gladstone and others to elevate that race by ascribing their unquestioned acts to the influence of their neighbours, merely substitute a confession of weak imitativeness for one of savage proclivity.
The sacrificing of children in particular may or may not have spread from the Semites, among whom it was at one time normal, 2 as it was among the pre-Christian Mexicans and Peruvians, 3 and seems to have been till quite recently among the northern Zulus. 4 Female infants were frequently put to death among the Arabs before Mohammed, 5 whether or not by way of sacrifice; as they have been in China and elsewhere in Asia in recent times; 6 and they were sacrificed on special grounds in the South Sea Islands 7 before the arrival of the missionaries. Among the North American Indians propitiatory sacrifices of children are known to have occurred in the nineteenth century. 8 It was among the Semites, in any case, that they were most common in the Mediterranean world. The standing provision in the Hebrew code, and the stories of Abraham and Isaac and Jephthah's daughter tell of a once regular practice; and the Greek and Latin testimonies as to Carthaginian usage are overwhelming. 9 The association of Carians with Greeks in the sacrifice of the sons of Phanes in the Perso-Egyptian wara rite consummated by the drinking of their blood, mixed with wine and watersuggests the preponderance of eastern influence, especially as regards the sacramental conception. 10
Such practices gradually became more and more rare among the civilised peoples, and are held to have subsisted latterly in only one or two places in the civilised parts of the Roman Empire; 11 and there are various traces of the gradual process of mitigation. In the Leucadian sacrifice of a man to Apollo by throwing him from a rock into the seaof which Strabo preserves the memory. 12the last stage
seems to have been one in which not only was the victim a condemned criminal, but attempts were made to ease his fall by attaching to him wings and even birds, while many men waited below, in boats, to rescue him and carry him beyond the boundaries, Such mitigations were likely to be common; 1 but it is on record that only in the time of Hadrian was the annual human sacrifice to Zeus abolished at Salamis in Cyprus; 2 and the possibility of either secret or open survivals in Asia Minor in the first century would thus seem to be considerable. There are, indeed, indications which cannot be put aside, of occasional resort to human sacrifice in the Greek-speaking world in modern times. 3 The stories of its practice by Elagabalus seem not impossible; 4 and the various accounts of the manner of the sacrifice of a slave by the Catalinarian conspirators may point to various forms of survival. 5
To begin with, we have Strabo's account of human sacrifice as being practised in his time by the primitive Albanians, who lived south of the Caucasian mountains and west of the Caspian sea, in the land watered by the Cyrus and the Araxes. Under the high-priest of the Moon-Goddess were a number of "sacred" slaves (hierodouloi); and when one of these became divinely possessed and wandered alone in the woods he was seized, bound with sacred fetters, and maintained sumptuously for a year. When the festival day came he was anointed with a fragrant ointment, and slain by being pierced to the heart with a sacred lance through the side. Auguries were then drawn from the manner of his fall, and the body was carried away to a certain spot and ceremonially trampled upon by all as a means of purification. 6 Here we have a sacrifice corresponding in one notable detail to one of the gospel narratives, and having other marked features in common with other well-known rites of human sacrifice. 7 In the annual spring sacrifice at Salamis, again, the victim was led thrice round the altar (as in the rite of the Karhâda Brahmans), then pierced by the priest with a lance, and the corpse was finally burned on a pyre. 8 And that this mode
of sacrifice in turn had a far-eastern origin or precedent may be inferred from the manner of the buffalo-sacrifice of the Bataks of Sumatra 1 to the "Sombaon"a term expressive of sacro-sanctity. In certain cases the buffalo is tied to a stake which has been decked and dedicated; the slayer is robed, and crowned with leaves; and he spears the victim in the side after asking the onlookers, "Shall I spear?" In all likelihood the buffalo is a surrogate for an ancient human sacrifice.
Later testimony brings us closer to civilisation in the same period. Tertullian is not the best of witnesses; and when he asserts that children are secretly sacrificed by non-Christians in Carthage in his own day, 2 he is but doing what he denounces the pagans for doing as against his own sectpublishing a rumour which had never been investigated. But when he tells that children were publicly sacrificed to Saturn as late as the proconsulship of Tiberius, who therefore "crucified" a number of priests on the sacred trees beside their temple, he is saying something that squares with a good deal of testimony as to Semitic practices. Thus we have the explicit record 3 that Hamilcar sacrificed his own son at the siege of Agrigentum, 407 B.C., and the many testimonies as to wholesale sacrifices of children among the Carthaginians. There is good evidence that an annual sacrifice of a boy to Kronos had anciently taken place at Tyre, but that it was given up, the citizens refusing to renew it when the city was besieged by Alexander; and the writer who records this also asserts that the Carthaginians maintained the practice of one annual sacrifice till the destruction of their city. 4 To the same effect, Pliny alleges 5 that the victim was annually sacrificed before the image of Herculesthat is, Melkarth. Even the lack of agreement as to dates of cessation is a proof that such usages could subsist without exciting much concern in the more civilised sections of the Roman empire. The story of the ecclesiastical historian Sokrates, 6 to the effect that the Mithraists in Alexandria had habitually offered human sacrifices to Mithra down till somewhere before or after the year 300, is on the face of it worthless; 7 but that there had been such sacrifices at Alexandria at some period is not incredible. Among the Arabs, it seems certain, human sacrifices subsisted in the generation before Mohammed; 8
among the Japanese, they flourished later still; 1 among the Hindus, as we have seen, they have lasted down to our own time among the primitives.
In view of the importance of this point to our inquiry, it has to be remarked, first, that there is no clear record of the date of cessation of the human sacrifices in the Thargelia at Athens. The historians pass over these matters with no apparent sense of the social and moral significance of such a problem. Grote does not so much as mention the Thargelia in connection with the practice of human sacrifice; and even Dr. Frazer 2 remarks that "the Athenians regularly maintained" a number of possible victims, without suggesting any period for the usage. Professor Mahaffy, on whom as a culture-historian the problem pressed, makes a notable admission. "I think," he writes, "that Aristophanes alludes to this custom as bygone, though the scholiasts do not think so; but its very familiarity to his audience shows a disregard of human life strange enough in so advanced a legal system as that of Athens." 3 The fact seems to have been that where criminals were concerned no notion of humanity or illegality came into play; though in the story of the sacrifice of the daughter of Aristodemus there is an evident prevalence of horror at the act. 4 The horror of Themistocles at the demand that he should sacrifice captives of princely blood at Salamis 5 is really no ground for thinking, as does Professor Mahaffy, that he or any other Athenian would wince at putting a criminal to death by religious rites; and such usages, ceasing to be called human sacrifices, may have subsisted long after the Periclean period. 6
Secondly, there is reason to infer from the uneasy language of Pausanias 7 that human sacrifice to Lycaean Zeus was still performed in his time during periods of prolonged drought; and, as we shall see, there are more explicit albeit doubtful assertions as to its continuance at Rome at a still later period.
Among the barbarians, too, there were cannibal sacraments. Herodotus tells that his "Androphagoi" were the only people among the Scythians who ate human flesh; 8 but he also asserts that "when a Scythian overthrows his first enemy he drinks his
blood"; that when the Scythians make solemn covenants they mix their blood with wine and drink thereof; 1 that the Massagetæ sacrifice their aged kinsmen and eat their flesh; 2 and that the Issedones eat the flesh of their dead fathers, mingled with animal flesh, at a grand banquet. 3 Of the "Indian" Callatians and Padæans he gives similar accounts. 4 From such testimony it appears that an anthropophagous sacrament could subsist among a people not generally given to cannibalism; nor does it appear from Herodotus that even the Androphagoi were at all shunned by other tribes. Substantially following Herodotus, Pomponius Mela, in the chapter in which he mentions the Androphagoi and Sacco, tells of some in their region who hold it best to slay nothing, and of some who, when a near relative is growing weak through age or sickness, slay him as a sacrifice and hold it fas et maxime pium to eat of their bodies. 5 Pomponiuss geography is certainly of the wildest; but it is sufficient to note that he locates these sacramentalists in the region of Nysia, of mount Meros, sacred to Jove, and of the cave in which was nourished Father Liber. As there is little doubt that the ancient Akkadians and later Babylonians sacrificed their first-born children, 6 there need be none as to similar practices among later Asiatic barbarians.
Returning to the civilised pale, we have the terse testimony of Pliny that among the Druidical rites suppressed by Tiberius had been one in which hominem occidere religiosissimum erat, mandi vero etiam saluberrimum. 7 On this Pliny declaims, in the imperialistic manner, that nec satis æstimari potest, quantum Romanis debeatur for ending such horrors. Yet we have not only the record of the early burying alive of four alien men and women in the Forum Boarium of Rome, 216 B.C.; 8 we have also Pliny's own avowals that only in the year 657 of Rome (97 B.C.) was there passed a senatus-consultus forbidding human sacrifices; 9 and that despite this there had been seen in his own time (etiam nostra aetas vidit) such a sacrifice, 10 in the form of the burying alive of two aliens of a nation with which Rome was at war. The law, it appears, referred only to private sacrifices, not to public. 11 It had been even an established rule that before a battle a dictator or consul or praetor was entitled to sacrifice any Roman soldierquem velit ex legione
[paragraph continues] Romana scripta civem devovere. 1 We have also the innuendoes of Horace 2 and Juvenal 3 to the effect that even in their own day ancient savageries, such as the sacrifice of boys by slow starvation, could be performed in private, as well as the records of the sacrifice of two soldiers of Julius Cæsar to Mars, 4 and of the slaying of three hundred of the enemies of Augustus as a sacrifice to the deified Julius. 5 Lastly, Suetonius explicitly asserts that the dreadful rites of the Druids, which Pliny declares to have been abolished by Tiberius, were not put down till the time of Claudius, and in this connection he adds that only under Augustus were those rites forbidden to the citizens of Rome. 6 Here, again, the divergence of the testimony tells of indefinite possibilities of survival for bloody rites, even near the centre of government. 7
On the general question, for the rest, we have from Porphyry, without dates, a list of cases of human sacrifices formerly practised by the Greeks, as in Rhodes, Chios, Tenedos, Salamis, Crete, Athens, and Sparta, no less than by Egyptians, Arabs, and Phnicians. 8 And not only Porphyry, but Eusebius, 9 Minucius Felix, 10 and Lactantius 11 speak of the sacrifice of a man to Latiarian Jove as being still practised in their time; while Plutarch 12 tells of a secret rite, by implication one of human sacrifice, which he declares to be practised in the month of November in the Rome of his day. Of the eating of sacrificed human victims Porphyry mentions no cases among civilised peoples; and he gives but a loose account of the practice among the Bassaroi of Thrace, who had imitated it from the Taurians; 13 but Tertullian is again more explicit and, at the same time, very circumstantial. "At this day," he writes, "among ourselves (isthic) blood consecrated to Bellona, taken in the palm from a punctured thigh, is given to her sealed ones"i.e., her initiates. 14 In another passage, he speaks of a surviving usage of drinking human blood in the
worship of the Latiarian Jove. 1 His further allusion to the practice of drinking the blood of slain gladiators as a remedy for epilepsy suggests many further possibilities of the same kind; and he expressly asserts that the men of his day have seen a man burnt alive as Hercules. 2
122:2 See above, pp. 106-9; and cp. Miss Kingsley, West African Studies, 2nd ed. 1901, pp. 120, 123; Major Glyn Leonard, The Lower Niger and its Tribes, 1906, pp. 161, 200; Partridge. Cross River Natives. 1905, pp. 56-59, 62; Cunningham, Uganda and its Peoples. 1905. pp. 218, 226; Sir A. B. Ellis, The Ewe-Speaking Peoples, 1890, p. 117 sq.; The Tshi-Speaking Peoples, pp. 32, 35-72, 85, 228-30, etc.; Mockler-Ferryman, British West Africa, ed. 1900, pp. 41-42.
122:3 Warneck, Die Religion der Batak, 1909, p. 126.
122:4 As to recent instances in India, see Crooke, Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India. ed. 1896, ii, 169 sq.: Thurston, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, iii, 379, iv, 56-58; and Prof. H. L. Strack, The Jew and Human Sacrifice, Eng. tr. 1909, p. 42. Cp. R. W. Frazer, Lit. Hist. of India, p. 43, as to surviving fears on the subject. Cp. Sir G. S. Robertson, The Kaffirs of the Hindu-Kush, ed. 1900, p. 401, as to the occasional sacrifice of Moslem prisoners of war by the Aryan Kafirs before their subjection to Afghanistan.
122:5 Prof. H. L. Strack, The Jew and Human Sacrifice, as cited, pp. 38-42: Westminster Gazette, Feb. 6, 1906.
122:6 Lindesay Brine, Travels amongst American Indians, 1894, p. 132.
122:7 As to ancient Aryan India, cp. Rajendralāla-Mitra. Indo-Aryans, 1881, ii, 70; Tylor, Primitive Culture, 3rd ed. i, 465-7; W. Crooke Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India, ii, 167, and refs., and p. 320; Barth, Religions of India. Eng. tr. pp. 57-59; H. H. Wilson, Jour. of Roy. Asiat. Soc., vol. xiii, 1852, pp. 96-107; R. W. Frazer, Lit. Hist. of India, 1898, pp. 43, 89.
122:8 Strabo, iii, 3, §§ 6, 7.
122:9 Cicero, pro. M. Fonteio, xiv; Cæsar, De Bello Gallico, vi. 16; Lactantius, Div. Inst. i, 21; Strabo, iv. 4, § 5; Dionys. Halicarn. i, 38; Pomponius Mela, iii, 2; Lucan, i, 444-5; Tertullian, Apologeticus, ix; Justin, xxvi, 2.
122:10 Strabo, vii, 2, § 3; Tacitus, Germania, ix, xxxix; Procopius, Bell. Goth. ii, 15. Other testimonies are collected by Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, Eng. tr. i, 44-6. Cp. Montelius, Temps préhistoriques en Suède, Reinach's tr. 1895, pp 263, 300. See also Vigfusson and Powell, Corpus Poeticum Boreale, i, 120, 409-10, as to the human sacrifices to Thor.
123:1 E.g., among Gauls, as described by Cæsar.
123:2 Paulus Orosius, v, 16; Procopius, as cited.
123:3 Among the Gauls. Strabo, iv, 4, § 5.
123:4 Among the Cimbri (Strabo, vii, 2, § 3) and Scythians (Herodotus. iv, 62).
123:5 Rambaud, Hist. de la Russie, 2e édit. pp. 32-34, 53, 57, 85; Bastian, Der Mensch, iii, 108.
123:6 Diodorus, v, 32.
123:7 Herod. iv, 94.
123:8 Herod. iv, 103.
123:9 Herod. ii, 45, 119. Cp., however, Diodorus, i, 88; Amélineau, La morale égyptienne quinze siècles avant notre ère, 1892, introd. p. 76; Lane, Manners and Customs of Modern Egyptians, ed. 1871, ii, 229-230; Constant, De la Religion, 1833, iv, 180; and Ghillany, Die Menschenopfer der alten Hebräer, 1842, pp. 116-117. The testimonies as to human sacrifice in early Egypt are abundant. Cp. the citations from Manetho in Eusebius, Præparatio Evangelica, iv, 16; In laude Constantini, c. 13; Porphyry, De Abstinentia, ii, 55; Plutarch, Isis and Osiris, c. 73 (cp. c. 31); and the scenes on the monuments copied by Pleyte, La religion des pré-Israelites, 1862, Pl. v.
123:10 Cp. Ovid, Fasti, v, 621, 629; Lactantius, Div. Inst. i, 21; Æneid, x, 517, 520; Macrobius, Saturnalia, i, 7; Plutarch, Quæst. Roman. 83.
123:11 Pausanias, ix, 8.
123:12 Eusebius, In laude Constantini.
123:13 16 Apollodorus, i, 9, §1 1, 2; Herodot. vii, 197; Pausanias, ix, 34.
123:14 Pausanias, viii, 2. Cp. iv, 9.
123:15 Pausanias, iv, 9.
123:16 Herodot. ii, 119.
123:17 Plutarch, Themistocles, xiii. They were said to be nephews of Xerxes.
123:18 Herodot. vii, 114.
123:19 Plutarch, De Pyth. Orac. xvi.
123:20 Porphyry, De Abstinentia, ii, 55; Eusebius, In laude Constantini, c. 13. See also above, p. 60, as to the sacrifices to Artemis at Patræ in Achaia.
123:21 Herodot. ix, 119.
123:22 Pausanias, vi, 20. Cp. J. C. Lawson, Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion, 1910, pp. 272-3.
124:1 Cp. R. H. Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, 1901, p. 297; Murray, Rise of the Greek Epic, 1907, p. 12.
124:2 Above, p. 64.
124:3 Acosta, followed in Purchas his Pilgrimes, ed. 1906, xv, 304, 331-2.
124:4 Rev. J. Macdonald, Light in Africa, 1890, p. 157. Cp. Colenso, sermon on Abraham's Sacrifice, 1864, p. 2, as to Zulu sacrifices. Quasi-sacrificial treatment of the body of a chief's child which died while its father was sick is noted by the missionary Holden, cited by Krapf, Natur- und Kulturleben der Zulus, p. 107. As to the burying alive of infants see A. B. Ellis, The Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast, 1887, p. 234.
124:5 Sale, Prelim. Diss. to Koran, 1833, p. 137.
124:6 Prof. E. H. Parker, China, 1901, p. 273; Thurston, Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, 1906, p. 502 sq. The Chinese practice is, of course, wholly economic. Reclus and Keane, Universal Geography, vii, 157. So in early Greece. Cp. Murray. pp. 150-1.
124:7 Mariner's Tonga Islands, 1827, i, 190, 300; ii, 22.
124:8 Admiral Lindesay Brine, Travels amongst American Indians, 1894, pp. 171-3.
124:9 See refs. above, p. 61; also Diodorus, xiii, 86, xx, 65; Cyril on Micah, vi, 7, and Jud. xi, 31; Suidas, s.v. Ζαρδωιος γελως; Silius Italicus, iv, 770; Quintus Curtius Rufus, v, 3.
124:10 Herodot. iii, 7. But cp. ii, 119, as to the sacrifice of children by Menelaos in Egypt.
124:11 Cp. Grote, Part i, e. 6 (i, 119, note, ed. 1888).
124:12 B. x, c. ii, § 9. Cp. Kaliach, Comm. on Leviticus, i, 341 sq., as to the general tendency to mitigation,
125:1 Cases occur to-day among primitives, e.g. the mock sacrifice of a little girl to a sacred tree in one tribe in Uganda. A slight incision was made in her neck and she was thrown into a lake, where a man was ready to save her. She was then dedicated to perpetual virginitypresumably as the bride of the tree. Sir H. H. Johnston, The Uganda Protectorate, 1902, ii, 720.
125:2 Lactantius, as cited; Porphyry, De Abstin., ii, 56.
125:3 See J. C. in Lawson, Ancient Greek Folklore, etc., as cited, pp. 339-342, 436. Cp. p. 266.
125:4 Lampridius, Heliogabalus, c. 8.
125:5 Plutarch (Cicero, 10) describes a cannibal sacrament of eating and drinking. Dio Cassius (xxxvii, 30) specifies a placing of the hands of the conspirators in the entrails of the victim; Sallust (Cat. 22), and Florus (iv, 1), a simple drinking of the blood.
125:6 Strabo, xi, 4, § 7.
125:7 The use of the spear in one animal sacrifice is noted among the Oddēs (or Voddas or Wudders) of Southern India. Thurston, Castes and Tribes, v, 422.
125:8 Eusebius, Præp. Evang. iv, 16.
126:1 Warneck, Die Religion der Batak, 1909, pp. 106-8.
126:2 Apologeticus, ix.
126:3 Diodorus, xiii, 86.
126:4 Quintus Curtius, iv, 3, 1 38.
126:5 Hist. Nat. xxxiv, 4, § 26.
126:6 Eccles. Hist. B. iii, c. 2.
126:7 See below, Part III, 1 8.
126:8 Cp. Weil, Biblical Legends of the Mussulmans, Eng. tr. 1846, p. 63; Curtiss, Primitive Semitic Religion To-day, 1902, p. 209 and context.
127:1 Lafcadio Hearn, Japan, 1904, p. 166.
127:2 G. B. iii, 125.
127:3 Social Life in Greece, 3rd ed. p. 239, citing the Ranae, 732; Hipponax, Fr. 4-9, ed. Bergk; Archilochus, Fr. 113; Ister, Fr. 33, ed. Müller. Professor Murray, Rise of the Greek Epic, pp. 12-16, also leaves the matter vague.
127:4 Paus. iv, 9, 13.
127:5 Cp. Plutarch's stories concerning Pelopidas (cc. 20-26) and Agesilaus (c. 6).
127:6 Cp. Miss Harrison, Prolegomena, as cited, pp. 97, 104.
127:7 vii, 38 Cp. Augustine, De civ. Dei, xviii, 17, and Frazer, G. B. iii, 149, note.
127:8 iv, 106.
128:1 iv, 70.
128:2 i, 216.
128:3 iv, 26.
128:4 iii, 38, 99.
128:5 De situ orbis, iii, 7. Cp. Strabo, xi, § 6; vii, 3, § 9.
128:6 Tiele, Hist. comparée des anciennes religions, trad. Fr. p. 247; Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 78.
128:7 Hist. Nat. xxx, 4.
128:8 Livy, xxii, 57; Plutarch, Marcellus, 3.
128:9 Hist. Nat. xxx, 3.
128:10 Id. xxviii, 3.
128:11 Cp. Bastian, Der Mensch in der Geschichte, iii, 105.
129:1 Livy, viii, 10. In the early story of the capture of a maiden "for Talassius" Livy (i, 9) Probably preserves record of a sacrifice of a maiden to the seaa common practice among primitives.
129:2 Epod. v, 12, 32-39.
129:3 Sat. vi, 548-552.
129:4 Dio Cassius, xlii, 24.
129:5 Suetonius, Aug. xv
129:6 Suetonius, Claudius, xxv.
129:7 The late resort to human sacrifices by Elagabalus (Lamprid. Heliogab. cc. 7, 8) is spoken of as an innovation, and is not further traced; but its toleration suggests that the Principle had not become obsolete. The story preserved by Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. vii, 10) that Valerian was led by the "chief of the Egyptian magi" to resort to child sacrifice is clearly a pious fiction. The story against Nero (Sueton. 36) is more probable.
129:8 De Abstinentia, ii, 54-57. Cp. cc. 8, 27, 51.
129:9 In laude Constantini, c. 13; Præp. Evang. iv, 16.
129:10 Octavius, ed. var. 1672, p. 297.
129:11 Lactantius, i, 21, says only sanguine humano colitur. Porphyry (56) says they slay a man (σφαζόμενον ἄνθρωπον). The victim was probably a criminal, dying as a gladiator. Cp. Tertullian, Apologeticus, ix, and Ghillany, Die Menschenopfer der alten Hebräer, 1842, Pp. 112-113, note. The shrine was of Etruscan foundation.
129:12 Marcellus, 3.
129:13 De Abstin. ii, 8.
129:14 Apologeticus, ix.
130:1 Adv. Gnosticos, 7.
130:2 Id. xv.