Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

did the same. The people of Du- were whipped in the fight of their mah in particular sacrificed every parents with such severity before year a child : and buried it undera the altar of Diana Orthia, that neath an altar, which they made they often expired under the toruse of instead of an idol : For they ture. Phylarchus affirms, as he is did not admit of images. The quoted by Porphyry, that of old Persians buried people alive. A. every Grecian itate made it a rule, mestris, the wife of Xerxes, en, before they marched towards an tombed twelve persons quick un- enemy, to folicit a blessing on der ground for the good of her soul. their undertakings by human vicIt would be endless to enumerate tims. every city, or every province, The Romans were accustomed to where these sad practices obtained. the like sacrifices. They both deThe Cyprians, the Rhodians, the voted themselves to the infernal Phoceans, the Ionians, those of gods, and constrained others to Chios, Lesbos, Tenedos, all had fubmit to the same horrid doom. human facrifies. The natives of Hence we read in Titus Livius, the Tauric Chersonesus offered up that in the consulate of Æmilius to Diana every stranger whom Paulus and Terentius Varro, two chance threw upon their coast. Gauls, a man and a woman, and Hence arose that just expoftulation two in like manner of Greece, were in Euripides, upon the inconfil. buried alive at Rome in the Ox. tency of the proceeding; wherein market; where was a place under much good reasoning is implied, ground, walled round to receive Iphigenia wonders, as the goddess them; which had before been made delighted in the blood of men, that use of for such cruel purposes. He every villain and murderer should says, it was a sacrifice not properly be privileged to escape ; nay, be Roman; that is, not originally of driven from the threshold of the Roman inftitution : Yęt it was temple ; Whereas, if an honest and frequently practised there, and virtuous man chanced to stray that too by public authority. Plu. thither, he only was feized upon, tarch makes mention of a like inand put to death. The Pelasgi in ftance a few years before in the cona time of scarcity vowed the tenth ful-fhip of Flaminius and Furius. of all that should be born to them, There is reason to think, that all for a sacrifice, in order to procure the principal captives, who graced plenty. Ariftomenes the Messenian the triumphs of the Romans, were flew three hundred noble Lacede- at the close of that cruel pageantry monians, among whom was Theo. put to death at the altar of Jupiter pompus the king of Sparta, at the Capitolinus. Caius Marius offered altar of Jupiter at Ithome. With- up his own daughter for a victim out doubt the Lacedemonians did to the Dii Averrunci, to procure not fail to make ample returns: success in a battle against the For they were a severe and re. Cimbri; as we are informed by vengeful people, and offered the Dorotheus, quoted by Clemens. like victims to Mars. Their feiti. It is likewise attested by Plutarch, val of the Diamastigosis is well who says that her name was Cal. known; when the Spartan boys purnia. Marius was a man of a

four

L4

four and bloodø dil:ofition; and was every year facrificed at the had probably heard of such facri. fhrine of Jupiter Latiaris. Heliofices being offered in the enemies' gabalus offered the like vi&ims to camp, among whom they were the Syrian deity, which he intro. very common : or he might have duced among the Romans. The beheld tlemexhibited at a distance: fame is lid of Aurelian. and therefore murdered what was The Gauls and the Germans neareft, and should have been dear- were so devoted to this shocking eft, to him ; to counteract their custom, that no business of any fearful spells, and outdo them in moment was transacted among their wicked machinary. Cicero them, without being prefaced with making mention of this custom the blood of men. They were being common in Gaul, adds, that offered up to various gods; but it prevailed among that people, particularly to Hesus, Taranis, even at the time when he was and Thautates. These deities are fpeaking: from whence we may mentioned by Lucan, where he be led io infer, that it was then enumerates the various nations discontinued among the Romans. who followed the fortunes of Cæ· And we are told by Pliny, that it far. had then, and not very long, been discouraged. For there was a law Et quibus immitisplacatur fanguine enacted, when Lentulus and Craf. diro. sus were consuls, so late as the Thautates; borrensque feros altari657th year of Rome, that there

bus Hejus ; Thould be no more human sacrifices : Et Taranis Scythicæ non milior for till that time those horrid rites ara Diane. had been celebrated in broad day without any mal or control : The altars of these gods were far which, had we not the best evidence removed from the common resort for the fact, would appear scarce of men : being generally fituated credible. And however discon- in the depth of woods; that the tinued they may have been for a gloom might add to the horror time, we find, that they were again of the operation, and give a rerenewed; though they became not verence to the place and proceed. so public, nor lo general. For not ing. The persons devoted were very long after this, it is reported led thither by the Druids, who of Augustus Cæfar, when Perufia presided at the folemnity, and persurrendered in the time of the le. formed the cruel offices of the facond Triumvirate, that besides crifice. Tacitus takes notice of multitudes executed in a military the cruelty of the Hermunduri, in manner, he offered up upon the à war with the Catti, wherein they Ides of March three hundred cho. had greatly the advantage : At the sen persons, both of the Equestrian close of which they made one ge. and Senatorian order, at an altar neral sacrifice of all that was taken dedicated to the manes of his uncle in battle. Vietor deverfam aciem Julius. Even at Rome itself this Marti ac Mercurio facraverat : quo custom was revived: And Porphyry voto, equi, viri, cun&ta vida occidioni affures us, that in this time a man dantar. The poor remains of the

legions

legions under Varus suffered in Religione truces et robora numinis some degree the same fate. Lucis inftar propinquis barbara, aræ, apud quas Barbarici, noftræ feriant impune, Tribunos ac primorum ordinum centeri- fecures, enes mattaverant. There were many places diftined for this purpose all The practices prevailed among over Gaul and Germany: but all the people of the north, of especially in the mighty woods of whatever denomination. The Mal. Arduenna, and the great Hercinian sagetæ, the Scythians, the Getes, foreft ; a wild, tbar extended above the Sarmatians, and the various thirty days journey in length. The nations upon the Baltic, particu. places fet apart for this folemnity larly the Suevi and Scandinavians, were held in the utmost reverence; held it as a fixed principle, that and only approached at particular their happiness and security could seasons. Lucan mentions a grove not be obtained, but at the ex. of this sort near Maffilia, wbich pence of the lives of others. Their even the Roman soldiers were chief gods were Thor, and Woden; afraid to violate, though com- whom, they thought, they could manded by Cæsar. - It was one of never sufficiently glut with blood. those set apart for the sacrifices of They had many very celebrated the country

places of worship; especially in

the island Rugen, near the mouth Lucus erat longo nunquam violatus of the Oder; and in Zeeland :

some too very famous among the Obscurum cingens connexis aëra Semnones, and Naharvalli. But ramis.

the most reverenced of all, and the Hunc non ruricola, Panes, nemo- most frequented, was at Upsal: rumque potentes

where there was every year a Sylvani, Nymphæque tenent : fed grand celebrity, which continued barbara ritu

for nine days.

During this term Turba Deûm : fructe facris fe. they facrificed animals of all sorts : ralibus, are

but the most acceptable victims, Omnis et humanis luftra ta cruori. and the must numerous, were men bus arbos,

Ipfas vi&imas apud plerofque com

mendabut humana, fanguis, fufus Claudiancompliments Stilico, that, ante Deorum aras, et diro carmine deamong other advantages accruing votus : introduétâ immani illâ, ac to the Roman armies through his barbara Scytharum confuetudine, qui conduct, they could now venture Deos immortales hominum fcelere et into the awful forest of Hercinia ; fanguine placari pole arbitrabantur. and follow the chase in those so of these facrifices none much dreaded woods, and other. esteemed so auspicious, and falu. wise make use of them.

tary, as a sacrifice of the prince of the country.

When the lot fell Ut procul Hercinie per vesta filen. for the king to die, it was received ta blue

with universal acclamations, and Venari, tutò liccat; lucosque veo every expression of joy; as it once tufta

happened in the time of a famine,

when with arrows.

ab vo.

were

when they cast lots, and it fell to munera quæ dam Diis gratifima, sufking Domalder to be the people's pendebant. victim : and he was accordinglŷ put The manner in which the vic. to death. Olaus Tretelger, another tims were laughtered, was diverse prince was burnt alive to Woden. in different places. Some of the They did not spare their own child. Gaulish nations chined them with ren. Harald the son of Gunild, the a stroke of an ax, The Celtæ first of that name, flew two of his placed the man, who was to be of. children to obtain a ftorm of wind. fered for a sacrifice, upon a block, “ He did not let,” says Verstegan, or an altar, with his breaft upwards; " to sacrifice two of his sons untó and with a sword Itruck him forci. « his idols, to the end he might bly acrose the fternum : then rum. “ obtain of them such a tempeft at bling him to the ground, from his « sea, as should break and dir. agonies and convulsions, as well as “ perse the shipping of Harald king from the effusion of blood, they " of Denmark.” Saxo Grammati- formed a judgment of future cus mentions a like fact. He calls events. The Cimbri ripped open the king Haquin; and speaks of the bowels; and from them they the ferions put to death, as two pretended to divine. In Norway very hopeful young princes : Duos they beat men's brains out with an præftantiffimæ indolis filios, boftiarum ox-yoke. The same operation was more, aris admotos, potiunda victon performed in Iceland, by dathing riæ caufâ, neferia lilatione mažiavit. them against an altar of stone. In Another king llew nine sons, in many places they tranfixed them order to prolong his own life ; in

After they were hopes, I suppose, that, what they dead, they suspended them upon were abridged of, would in great the trees, and left them to putrify. measure be added to himself. Such One of the writers, above quoted, instances however occur not often: mentions, that in his time, seventy but the common vidims were carcases of this sort were found in without end. Adam Bremenfis, a wood of the Suevi. Dithmar of speaking of the awful grove at Mersburgh, an author of nearly the Úpral, where these horrid rites fame age, speaks of a place called were celebrated, says, that there Ledur in Zeeland, where there was not a single tree, but what was were every year ninety and nine reverenced, as if it were gifted persons facrificed to the god Swanwith some portion of divinity ; towite. During those bloody festi, And all this because they were vals a general joy prevailed; and stained with gore, and foul with banquets were most royally served. human, putrefaction. Lucas iam They fed ; they caroused; and sacre of gentilibus, ut fingula arbores gave a loose to indulgence, which ejus ex morte vel tabo immolatorum at other times was not permitted. divinæ videaniur. The fame is Dum facrificia bæt peragebantur, observed by Scheiffer in his ac. varii adhibiti sunt ritus, ei litationis count of this place. Deorum facre modi : convivia celebrata magnifica : ille lacus erat : in arboribus fingulis pars fanguinis poftibus illita : pars Dii ipfe habitare credebantur : ergo adftantibus propinata. They imaad tarum ramos corpora illa, veluti gined, that there was something

my:

mysterious in the number nine : and says, that he was a witness for which reason these feasts were to the cruelty of this prince, whom in some places celebrated every he saw facrifice multitudes to the ninth year ; in others every ninth deity of his nation. month; and continued for nine The facrifices, of which I have days. When all was ended, they been creating, if we except fome washed the image of the diety in few instances, consisted of persons a pool ; on account I suppose, of doomed by the chance of war, or its being stained with blood ; and assigned by lot to be offered. But then dismissed the assembly. Their among the nations of Canaan, of servants were numerous, who at. whom I first spoke, the vi&tims tended during the term of their were peculiarly chosen. Their feasting, and partook of the ban- own children, and whatever was quet. At the close of all, they nearest and dearest to them, were were fmothered in the fame pool, "deemed the most worthy offering or otherwise made away with. On to their god.. The Carthaginians, which Tacitus remarks, how great who were a colony from Tyre, an awe this circumstance muft ne- carried with them the religion of cessarilyinfuse into those who were their mother country, and institu.. not admitted to these mysteries ; ted the same worship in the parts Arcanus hincterror, facra ignorantia, where they settled. It conlisted qui fit illud, quod tantùm perituri in the adoration of several deities, videbant.

put particularly of Kronus ; to These accounts are handed down whom they offered human facri, from a variety of authors in diffe. fices ; and especially the blood of rent ages ; many of whom were children. If the parents were not natives of the countries, which at hand to make an immediate they describe ; and to which they offer, the magiftrates did not fail seem strongly attached. They to make choise of what was most would not therefore have brought fair and promising ; that the god so foul an imputation on the part might not be defrauded of his of the world, in favour of which dues. Upon a check being re, they were each writing; nor could ceived in Sicily, and some other there be that concurrence of testi- alarming circumstances happening, mony, were not the history in Himilcar without any hesitation general true.

laid hold of a boy, and offered The like custom prevailed to a him on the spot to Kronus; and at great degree at Mexico, and even the same time drowned a number under the mild government of the of priests, to appease the deity of Peruvians; and in most parts of the sea. The Carthaginians anoAmerica. In Africa it is still kept ther time, upon a great defeat of up; where, in the inland parts their army by Agathocles, imputed they sacrifice some of the captives their miscarriages to the anger of taken in war to their Fetiches, in this god, whose services had been order to secure their favour, Snel. neglected. Touched with this, grave was in the king of Dahoome's and seeing the enemy at their camp, after his inroad into the gates, they seized at once two huncountries of Ardra and Windaw ; cred children of the prime nobility,

and

« ForrigeFortsett »