Greek Animal Sacrifice in the Period 100 bc–ad 200
This chapter is framed by two aims: to refute Nilsson's view about the decline of animal sacrifice in the period under study; and to demonstrate the sometimes obligatory character of animal sacrifice in Greek communities in the same period. The first section smoothes the chronological gaps in the evidence, and argues that the practice of animal sacrifice was continuously present in Greek communities, even if its presence in the sources is intermittent. The next section discusses the vigorous character of animal sacrificial practice, treating the evidence from Pausanias as a proof of continuity in sacrificial worship and not as fantasies of an archaist (as Pausanias is usually considered by scholars). The third section presents more analytically the interaction of sacrificial honours between city and individual. Finally, examples are given wherein a sacrificial offering might have constituted a psychological or customary obligation emphasize the importance of objection to sacrifice.
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