Sacrifice and Gods Essay

Submitted By hayolo
Words: 675
Pages: 3

To what extent was sacrifice important in ancient Athenian society?

In my opinion, sacrifice was of huge importance in Athenian society. It was a part of Greek religion. There are lots of reasons of why the Athenians do sacrifices but the main reason is to please the gods. If the gods are pleased then the Athenians believed that a good reward would come out of the sacrifice and most likely they would have good fate in the future. Due to the significance and importance of the sacrifice the Athenians would take the whole day off. Also to show how important this day was, it would be like our Christmas or Easter.
The Athenians commemorated sacrifices to the Gods to show their respect to them and how much they need them. This explains to us that the gods are not put to one side and instead they are remembered and loved. This is a very religious and very thoughtful act on behalf of the Athenians because the Athenians are very superstitious and they believe that if they don’t involve the gods in their worship, the gods would have felt left out, angry and humiliated, and in turn they would punish the Athenians who didn’t do the sacrificial ritual.
In addition to the respect that the Athenians had and how they believed it was an extremely important day, the ancient Athenians took great care of the sacrifice as well, because it was one of the greatest acts of worship. For example if the start of the ceremony had gone wrong they would start all over again from the lighting of the altar to the very end. This would also apply if the animal was ill or had an infectious disease. If the animal did have an infection or disease then the animal would be disposed of and another animal would be brought in. I think that the Athenians do this because they offer some bits of the animal to the gods and it would be disrespectful to the gods that some ill animal is being offered to them. Also, they would feast on the animal after it had been offered to the Gods, and logically it would be wiser and more hygienic to eat healthy animals instead of an ill animal. The great care being taken shows us how importantly and how seriously the Athenians took sacrifices.

There would usually be hundreds of people that take part in the sacrifice, showing that all of the people believed in the importance of sacrifice equally. There were also several other acts of worship ivolved just before the sacrifice. The people taking part would…