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Bacchus

(1,417 words)

Author(s): Clinton, Kevin (Ithaca N. Y.) | Scheid, John (Paris)
(βάκχος; bákchos). [German version] I. Greece [German version] A. Mystes Βάκχος, βακχεύειν [1] ( Bákchos/bakcheúein) and related words refer to a type of raving (μανία, manía) predominantly expressed in the Dionysus cult ([1] where we also find a discussion about the word's origin; Hdt. 4,79). This essential characteristic of a Bacchus/Baccha was taken as a sign that he or she was possessed by the god (ἔνθεος, éntheos). The Bacchus/Baccha usually wore a thyrsus (or bakchos see below) and the skin of a deer (νεβρίς, nebrís). Although the thyrsus was seen as a particularly obviou…

Human sacrifices

(2,449 words)

Author(s): Cancik-Lindemaier, Hildegard (Tübingen) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Scheid, John (Paris)
I. History of the Concept and its Subsequent Influence [German version] A. Concept Human sacrifice (HS) is a form of killing considered lawful, similar to killing in pursuit of war, capital punishment, or a blood feud. It is, however, limited to the performance of offering rites that (a) are universally accepted in the respective religion and culture and (b) are conducted in a fashion similar to the sacrificial killing of other creatures. Killing in the context of other lawful rituals, such as the cult of the dead ( Gladiator) or the   devotio in battle, does …
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