Sacrifice in general

SacriWce belongs to the sphere of religious practices, and as such it initially concerned those scholars who Wrst dealt with religion, namely anthropologists. The Wrst anthropologists were nineteenth-century Europeans who were dealing with non-European cultures colonial expansion was a great stimulus for the erudite who were interested in exploring the particularities of the foreign societies they came across. In theory, anthropologists were not supposed to be exclusively engaged in the study...

P Stengel and M Nilsson on Greek sacrifice The importance ofNilssons work for the purposes of this book

In the bibliography on religions, there are also some predominantly historical approaches, but these do not have sacrifice as their main subject, nor do they provide a theoretical interpretation of it. In some of these approaches, however, one can find references to, or sections on, animal sacrifice in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, which is the time-span of the present book. P. Stengel and M. Nilsson were the main representatives of the shift towards ritual in German scholarship on...

Preface

As a Greek born in Athens, during my childhood I often came across the spectacle of tourists, who were swarming around the temples of Attica in order to admire the artistic miracles of ancient Greece. At the same time, being born a Christian in a big modern city, I had the experience of a cult that had nothing to do with animal sacrifice. My knowledge of animal sacrifice at that time was limited to stories from the Old Testament, which, as I was taught, referred to an old cultic reality finally...