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Old 24-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #19
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Lightbulb Hecatomb Sacrifice

In this hecatomb along the minor rivers of Flanders and Picardy, the British people lost the cream of their working class and the flower of their aristocracy...

Ruthless as they were in the killing of others, the generals were also shockingly profligate and callous when it came to their “own.” In some especially revolting passages, we find Gen. Sir Douglas Haig and his arrogant subordinate Gen. Sir Henry Rawlinson actually complaining when British casualties were too low, and exulting — presumably because enemy losses were deemed comparable — when they moved into the tens of thousands...
In Ancient Greece, a hecatomb was a sacrifice to the gods of 100 cattle (hekaton = one hundred). Hecatombs were offered to Greek gods Apollo, Athena, and Hera, during special religious ceremonies...

After ritual hand washing, prayer and the scattering of barley, the first bull would be stunned and its throat cut. Thigh-bones and fat, the god’s portion, would be burnt on top of the altar to please Zeus with their meaty aroma. With a hundred bulls to sacrifice, that aroma must have become quite strong. Sacrifices were usually more modest. This hecatomb – the sacrifice of a hundred bulls, involved a huge financial outlay as an especially generous offering to Zeus. As was standard practice at religious festivals, the killing was followed by a magnificent public feast, the meat being distributed amongst all present, with particularly good cuts going to the priests, other worthies and victorious athletes.

In addition to barbecued meat, there would have been black-puddings made from the sacrificed animals’ blood, and local produce such as bread and olives, washed down by copious quantities of wine. Sacrifices were almost the only occasion when people ate meat, so the hearty meal and celebrations that followed sacrifices made religious festivals enjoyable and sociable as well as sacred...
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