By F. S. Naiden
Recent work on sacrifice has turned away from sociological and anthropological analyses to cultural ones—to esthetic and psychological aspects of sacrifice and aspects dictated by the genre or medium of sources for the practice. In this paper I propose to take cultural analysis a step farther, and raise the topic of cross-cultural reports on sacrifice. Greek writers from Herodotus onwards noticed sacrifices performed by neighboring peoples, and scholars have incorporated this subject into the study of early Greek ethnography.
By Sarah Hitch
Why is animal sacrifice a desirable offering for gods? Greek gods are “ageless and immortal” while food, and the difficulties with procurement, production and storage, are often described as the defining condition of humanity.
By Charles Stocking
This paper seeks to provide a new approach to Hesiod’s aetiology of sacrifice in light of recent scholarship on the more practical side of Greek Religion. Vernant’s seminal work, “At Man’s Table” presented the Promethean division of the ox at Mecone as a symbolic division between gods and men, where meat “constitutes the diet of thoroughly mortal beings” (Vernant 1989, 36).
By Stella Georgoudi
Many specialists of Greek religion have considered Greek sacrifice as a homogeneous entity, and have tried to find, more or less, only one key to the explanation of all kinds of sacrifice. Nor did we avoid the dangers of generalization with the collaborative project, The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks (1979), which interpreted Greek sacrifice on the basis of the Prometheus myth of Hesiod (Theog. 533-564; cf. Op. 42-58). More recently, however, efforts have been made to counter this trend (Georgoudi et al. 2005, Faraone and Naiden 2012, Naiden 2013).