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Roman Sacrifice Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on May 25, 2011
  • Category: History
  • Length: 655 words

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Below is an essay on "Roman Sacrifice" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Sacrificing animals to the Gods was an integral part of Roman religion.
Describe in detail the procedures followed by the Romans in carrying out animal sacrifice and explain why each step of the sacrifice was considered important. What outcomes did the Romans hope to achieve by making such sacrifices.

Sacrifice is defined as something that is valuable or important that is given up for somebody or something else considered being of more value or importance. The Romans considered sacrifice as something very important. Sacrifices were chosen very carefully and offered during special times. It was offered at certain places and in a usual manner. Sacrifice was an integral part of Roman religion.

A prayer almost always had a small sacrifice to win the deity’s approval of one’s request. It was recommended that the sacrifice be organic, which was or had been alive. Milk, fruit, cheese and wine were often used as little household offerings to the gods, however the death of an animal was a much stronger sacrifice, and for different Gods different animals were sacrificed. For Janus, one sacrificed a ram, for Jupiter a heifer is sacrificed. Mars demanded a pig, an ox and a sheep. Animal sacrifices varied in size depending on how big or small the feast is. Family offerings were much smaller the state offerings where a number of animals were sacrificed but in all cases the rituals were similar. Any obvious mistake in a ritual meant the whole ceremony would have to be repeated which was costly.

Sacrifices were offered throughout the year in the household and during agricultural feasts that involved the whole state. There were also festivals that recognize all gods and goddesses for everything they do every year. Sacrifices were usually carried out in the temple of the deity who they were calling upon. Or thanking.The Roman people didn’t just choose any animal to sacrifice. Male animals were offered to the gods and female animals were offered to the goddesses. The gods...

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