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Human beings were sacrificed in Rome

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman fresco showing an attempt to sacrifice Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon
Roman fresco showing an attempt to sacrifice Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon

In ancient Rome, contrary to popular belief, human sacrifices were made. We are talking here, especially about the period of the wars with Carthage in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, when numerous failures were explained by the disapproval of the gods.

The only option was to make extraordinary atonement sacrifices. It is known that after the Cannae defeat in 216 BCE at Forum Boarium two couples were buried alive – in an underground stone chamber: a Gallic and a Greek. It is mentioned by Tytus Liwius1.

According to the message of Pliny the Elder, human sacrifice was finally abolished by a senatorial decree in 97 BCE. (during the consulate of Publius Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus), although at that time bloody practices were already very rare2.

  1. Titus Livy, Ab urbe condita, 22.55-57
  2. Pliny the Elder Natural history, 30.3.12

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