Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
This is kind of a weird question, but the good thing about forums like these is that they usually have people with weird knowledge.

Anyway, I have an idea involving a city that regularly executes/sacrifices people for important and magical reasons. What I'm wondering is how big of a city it has to be for the sacrifices (I'm thinking maybe a few every month or so) not to have too much of an impact on the population. Basically I'm wondering what the smallest sustainable population would be for this to work long term.

The tech level is approximately early medieval, with some magic (but mainly for the upper class so it probably won't affect the population numbers very much) and the city is very isolated so the effect of immigration/migration on the population numbers should be pretty negligible.
When you say that the population is isolated, does that mean that wars with neighboring cities are infrequent? Because having a steady supply of captives to sacrifice drastically reduces the strain on your own population.

A few sacrifices every month is pretty small potatoes. I've heard estimates that the Aztec empire, with a population well into the millions, was able to sustain tens of thousands of human sacrifices each year, but again, that includes a lot of enslaved persons from wars. My guess is that sacrifice rates like you're describing would be demographically invisible in any population exceeding a couple thousand. (Note that demographically invisible is not the same thing as insignificant; people tend to care about being ritually murdered, and if they feel like the religious legitimacy of the sacrifices is questionable, they will raise a fuss.)