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    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    United States

    Default Re: Smallest population able to maintain regular sacrifices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Yes, wars would probably be very rare so using captives is probably out. The idea is that they primarily use convicted criminals from their own population (but if they don't have enough criminals, they might have to find some... "volounteers").
    Or just... volunteers, no quote marks needed. It may seem implausible to a modern, but if it is genuinely believed (and, given that you've mentioned magic, possibly true) that these sacrifices bring divine favor and prosperity to the city, then I don't think it would be too difficult to find volunteers, especially in a time of crisis. If these sacrifices are important to the wellbeing of the community, than that community's value system will encourage volunteering. Lavish living leading up to the event, a special stipend (or even social mobility) for your family, a fancy parade, a deluxe tomb at the public expense; I can see all of these motivating a person to step forward.

    I see the use of condemned criminals as sacrificial victims pop up a lot in fiction, and it seldom reads right to me. It seems kind of like tossing the gods your leftovers, and I would think that any god important enough to receive state cult would be offended. You wouldn't dare offer the god a sickly and starving bull, why offer a morally degenerate person? If the god's not picky, why would you honor criminals by making them into divine offerings? I suppose the idea could be that it's not an offering, but a punishment for the criminal's offense against the divine, in order to exculpate the community; but in that case I don't think would be proper to call that a sacrifice.
    Last edited by Catullus64; 2021-08-28 at 12:03 PM.
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