Herodotos on bestiality

January 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’m browsing texts about Dionysos worship, and came across a piece where historian Herodotos writes about Egyptian sacrificial animals.

First:
“Moreover in my lifetime there happened in that district this marvel, that is to say a he-goat had intercourse with a woman publicly, and this was so done that all men might have evidence of it.”

Then, a couple of sentences later:
“Now to the other gods the Egyptians do not think it right to sacrifice swine; but to the Moon and to Dionysos alone at the same time and on the same full-moon they sacrifice swine, and then eat their flesh: and as to the reason why, when they abominate swine at all their other feasts, they sacrifice them at this, there is a story told by the Egyptians; and this story I know, but it is not a seemly one for me to tell.”

Public bestiality is okay, but the reason for sacrificing pigs is too horrible? What the hell?

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1 Comment

  1. Erlend said,

    hmmm.
    are you planning to bring a pig to Knutpunkt?
    alive? as meat? as bacon?

    if you got money, maybe order this article : http://www.jstor.org/pss/25221369

    from this site: http://sacred-texts.com/pag/idr/idr25.htm
    comes this quote:

    “The PIG must be placed among the sacred animals of Ireland, as it was of various nations of antiquity. Was not the place known of old as Mucinis, or Hog Island? Did not Giraldus Cambrensis say in the twelfth century that he had never seen so many swine as in Ireland? And who would dispute the honour given still to “the gentleman who pays the rent”?

    The Boar was sacred to Diana, who sent forth the destroying Calydonian boar to ravage the country, but which was slain by Theseus. The Hindoo divine mother Varahi was the Earth Sow. The third Avatar of Vishnu, Varaha, had a boar’s head. A Cyprus gem bears the image of a flying boar, believed to represent Adonis,

    p. 228

    who was killed by a boar. Sacrifices of black pigs were made to Mars Sylvanus. The sow was sacred to Isis, and sacrificed to Osiris. It was sacred to Demeter or Ceres, as representing the corn spirit. In Egypt, during later periods, the boar personated Typhon. In the picture of the Last Judgment, to be seen on the famous sarcophagus at the Sloane Museum of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the condemned soul is observed transformed into a pig. One of the Phœnician gods is beheld holding one by the tail.

    The Jews were not to keep, eat, or even touch the creature, which was held sacred, as devoted to evil. Certain passages, as Isa. lxv. 3 and 4, and lxvi. 3 and 17, are curious in relation to it. “Although swine and their herdsmen,” says Gladstone, “were deemed unclean, there was a very particular and solemn injunction for the sacrifice of two swine to Osiris, and to the moon, by every Egyptian. The poor, who could not supply the animals, offered the figures of swine made of dough.” The Phœnician priests, like those of Druidism, were called swine. A sow figure has been found in the ruins of the Mashonaland Zimbabwe, both on pottery and carved in soapstone. Mahomet was satisfied that so unclean an animal did not exist before the Ark days. The pig was once slain for divination purposes.

    The Prophet of old condemned those who sacrificed in gardens, .and who ate swine’s flesh. Was it because the neighbouring Syrians were accustomed, in fear, to do homage to the destroyer of Adonis? Or, did the Jews abstain from eating it, from the fear of offending an adverse power? The Norsemen offered the pig to their sun-god, killed at the winter solstice. The animal appears on Gaulish coins, under or over a horse and the fleur-de-lis. It was the national symbol of Gaul, as seen in their standards.”

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