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truth of this assumption. That human sacrifices were commonly offered by the ancestors of the civilised races of North Europe (Celts, Teutons, and Slavs) is certain.1 It is not, therefore, surprising that the modern peasant should do in mimicry what his forefathers did in reality. We know as a matter of fact that in other parts of the world mock human sacrifices have been substituted for real ones. Thus in Minahassa, a district of Celebes, human victims used to be regularly sacrificed at certain festivals, but through Dutch influence the custom was abolished and a sham sacrifice substituted for it. The victim was seated in a chair and all the usual preparations were made for sacrificing him, but at the critical moment, when the chief priest had heaved up his flashing swords (for he wielded two of them) to deal the fatal stroke, his assistants sprang forward, their hands wrapt in cloths, to grasp and arrest the descending blades. The precaution was necessary, for the priest was wound up to such a pitch of excitement that if left alone he might have consummated the sacrifice. Afterwards an effigy, made out of the stem of a banana-tree, was substituted for the human victim; and the blood, which might not be wanting, was supplied by fowls.2 Captain Bourke was informed by an old chief that the Indians of Arizona used to offer human sacrifices at the Feast of Fire when the days are shortest. The victim had his throat cut, his breast opened, and his heart taken out by one of the priests. This custom was abolished by the Mexicans, but for a long time afterwards a modified form of it was secretly observed as follows. The victim, generally a young man, had his throat cut, and blood was allowed to flow freely; but the medicine-men sprinkled "medicine" on the gash, which soon healed up, and the man recovered.8 So in the ritual of Artemis at Halae in Attica, a man's throat was cut and the blood allowed to gush out, but he was not killed.4 At the funeral of a chief in Nias slaves
1 Caesar, Bell. Gall. vi. 16; Adam of Bremen, Deseript. Insul. Aquil. c. 27; Olaus Magnus, iii. 6; Grimm, Deutsche Mythologiesi.35soo.; Mone, Geschichte iies nordischen HeiaetUhums, i. 69, 119, 120, 149, 187 so.
* H. J. Tendeloo, "Verklaring van hct roogenaamd Oud-AlfoerschTceken
schrift," Mcdcdeelingen van wege hct Nederlandschc Zendelinggenootschap, xxxvi. (1892), p. 338 so.
5 J. G. Bourke, Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona, p. 196 sq.
4 Euripides, Iphig. in Tour. 1458 sqq.
are sacrificed; a little of their hair is cut off, and then they are beheaded. The victims are generally purchased for the purpose, and their number is proportioned to the wealth and power of the deceased. But if the number required is excessively great or cannot be procured, some of the chiefs own slaves undergo a sham sacrifice. They are told, and believe, that they are about to be decapitated; their heads are placed on a log and their necks struck with the back of a sword. The fright drives some of them crazy.1 When a Hindoo has killed or ill-treated an ape, a bird of prey of a certain kind, or a cobra capella, in the presence of the worshippers of Vishnu, he must expiate his offence by the pretended sacrifice and resurrection of a human being. An incision is made in the victim's arm, the blood flows, he grows faint, falls, and feigns to die. Afterwards he is brought to life by being sprinkled with blood drawn from the thigh of a worshipper of Vishnu. The crowd of spectators is fully convinced of the reality of this simulated death and resurrection.2 In Samoa, where every family had its god incarnate in one or more species of animals, any disrespect shown to the worshipful animal, either by members of the kin or by a stranger in their presence, had to be atoned for by pretending to bake one of the family in a cold oven as a burnt sacrifice to appease the wrath of the offended god. For example, if a stranger staying in a household whose god was incarnate in cuttle-fish were to catch and cook one of these creatures, or if a member of the family had been present where a cuttle-fish was eaten, the family would meet in solemn conclave and choose a man or woman to go and lie down in a cold oven, where he would be covered over with leaves, just as if he were really being baked. While this mock sacrifice was being carried out the family prayed: "O bald-headed Cuttle-fish! forgive what has been done, it was all the work of a stranger." If they had not thus abased themselves before the divine cuttle-fish, he would undoubtedly have come and been the death of somebody by
1 Nieuwenhuisen en Rosenberg, Nlas, p. 282 sq. "Verslag omtrent het eiland Nias,"
Verhandelingen van het Batav. Genoot- * J. A. Dubois, JIArurs, Institutions
schap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, et CMmonies des Peuples de I'hid,-, i.
xxx. 43; E. Modigliani, Unviaggio a 151 si/.
making a cuttle-fish to grow in his inside.1 Sometimes, as in Minahassa, the pretended sacrifice is carried out, not on a living person, but on an effigy. At the City of the Sun in ancient Egypt three men used to be sacrificed every day, after the priests had stripped and examined them, like calves, to see whether they were without blemish and fit for the altar. But King Amasis ordered waxen images to be substituted for the human victims.2 An Indian law-book, the Calico. Puran, prescribes that when the sacrifice of lions, tigers, or human beings is required, an image of a lion, tiger, or man shall be made with butter, paste, or barley meal, and sacrificed instead.8 Some of the Gonds of India formerly offered human sacrifices; they now sacrifice straw-men, which are found to answer the purpose just as well.4 Colonel Dalton was told that in some of their villages the Bhagats " annually make an image of a man in wood, put clothes and ornaments on it, and present it before the altar of a Mahadeo. The person who officiates as priest on the occasion says: 'O Mahadeo, we sacrifice this man to you according to ancient customs. Give us rain in due season, and a plentiful harvest.' Then with one stroke of the axe the head of the image is struck off, and the body is removed and buried."s
§ 3. Carrying out Death
Thus far I have offered an explanation of the rule which required that the priest of Nemi should be slain by his successor. The explanation claims to be no more than probable; our scanty knowledge of the custom and of its history forbids it to be more. But its probability will be augmented in proportion to the extent to which the motives and modes of thought which it assumes can be proved to have operated in primitive society. Hitherto the god with whose death and resurrection we have been chiefly concerned has been the tree-god. Tree-worship may perhaps be regarded (though this is a conjecture) as occupying an intermediate place in the history of religion, between the religion of the hunter and shepherd on the one side, whose gods are mostly animals, and the religion of the husbandman on the other hand, in whose worship the cultivated plants play an important part. If then I can show that the custom of killing the god and the belief in his resurrection originated, or at least existed, in the hunting and pastoral stage of society, when the slain god was an animal, and that it survived into the agricultural stage, when the slain god was the corn or a human being representing the corn, the probability of my explanation will have been considerably increased. This I shall attempt to do in the remainder of this chapter, in the course of which I hope to clear up some obscurities which still remain, and to answer some objections which may have suggested themselves to the reader.
1 G. Turner, Samoa, p. 31 so.; compare pp. 38, 58, 59, 69 sj., 72.
* Porphyry, Dc abstinentia, ii. 55, citing Manetho as his authority.
* "The Kudhiradhyaya, or sanguinary chapter," translated from the
Cali, a Puran by W. C. Maquiere, in
4 Dalton, Ethnology of Bengal, p. 281.
* Dalton, op. eit. p. 258 sq.
We start from the point at which we left off—the spring customs of European peasantry. Besides the ceremonies already described there are two kindred sets of observances in which the simulated death of a divine or supernatural being is a conspicuous feature. In one of them the being whose death is dramatically represented is a personification of the Carnival; in the other it is Death himself. The former ceremony falls naturally at the end of the Carnival, either on the last day of that merry season, namely Shrove Tuesday, or on the first day of Lent, namely Ash Wednesday. The date of the other ceremony—the Carrying or Driving out of Death, as it is commonly called —is not so uniformly fixed. Generally it is the fourth Sunday in Lent, which hence goes by the name of Dead Sunday; but in some places the celebration falls a week earlier, in others, as among the Czechs of Bohemia, a week later, while in certain German villages of Moravia it is held on the first Sunday after Easter. Perhaps, as has been suggested, the date may originally have been variable, depending on the appearance of the first swallow or some other herald of the spring. Some writers regard the ceremony as Slavonic in its origin. Grimm thought it was a festival of the New Year with the old Slavs, who began their year in March.1 We shall first take examples of the mimic death' of the Carnival, which always falls before the other in the calendar.
At Frosinone, in Latium, about half-way between Rome and Naples, the dull monotony of life in a provincial Italian town is agreeably broken on the last day of the Carnival by the ancient festival known as the Radica. About four o'clock in the afternoon the town band, playing lively tunes and followed by a great crowd, proceeds to the Piazza del Plebiscito, where is the Sub-Prefecture as well as the rest of the Government buildings. Here, in the middle of the square, the eyes of the expectant multitude are greeted by the sight of an immense car decked with many-coloured festoons and drawn by four horses. Mounted on the car is a huge chair, on which sits enthroned the majestic figure of the Carnival, a man of stucco about nine feet high with a rubicund and smiling countenance. Enormous boots, a tin helmet like those which grace the heads of officers of the Italian marine, and a coat of many colours embellished with strange devices, adorn the outward man of this stately personage. His left hand rests on the arm of the chair, while with his right he gracefully salutes the crowd, being moved to this act of civility by a string which is pulled by a man who modestly shrinks from publicity under the mercyseat . And now the crowd, surging excitedly round the car, gives vent to its feelings in wild cries of joy, gentle and simple being mixed up together and all dancing furiously the Saltar'ello. A special feature of the festival is that every one must carry in his hand what is called a radica (" root"), by which is meant a huge leaf of the aloe or rather the agave. Any one who ventured into the crowd without
1 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologies ii. Lent is also known as Mid-Lent,
645; K. Haupt, Sagenbuch der Lausitz, because it falls in the middle of Lent,
ii. 58; Reinsberg-Diiringsfeld, Fest- or as Laetare from the first word of the
KaltiuIer an; Bbhmen, p. 86 so.; id., liturgy for that day. In the Roman
Das festliche Jahr, p. 77 so.; Bavaria, calendar it is the Sunday of the Rose
Landes-und Volkskunde des Kbnigreichs (Domenica rosae), because on that day
Bayern, iii. 958 so.; Sepp, Die the Pope consecrates a golden rose,
Religion der alten Deutschen (Munich, which he presents to some royal lady.
1890), p. 67 so.; W. Miiller, Beitriige In one German village of Transylvania
tur Volkskunde der Deutschen in the Carrying out of Death takes place
Afahren (Vienna and Olmutz, 1893), on Ascension Day. See lielow, p. 93
pp. 258, 353. The fourth Sunday in sq.