|Publication Date||May 21, 2012|
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1906 Excerpt: ...the older Greek myths and legends we find traces of human sacrifice, such as prevails at Dahom£, of infanticide, of the exposure of children, of the capture and sale of wives, which must be regarded as survivals from an earlier stage of barbarism. We find traces of the same practices among other Aryan nations. Human sacrifice prevailed among the Celts in Caesar's time, and among all the Teutonic tribes,1 and did not cease in Iceland before the conversion of the Scandinavians to Christianity at the close of the tenth century. When a war galley was launched by the Vikings, men were bound to the rollers, so that the keel was sprinkled with their blood.2 The practice of breaking a bottle of wine over a ship's stem at the launch may be regarded as a survival of this savage Scandinavian practice of "reddening the rollers," as it was called, just as the custom of leading an officer's charger before the coffin at his funeral is a survival of the old practice of sacrificing a chieftain's wives and horses at his pyre. There is reason to believe that infanticide, human sacrifice, and even cannibalism were practised in Britain, if not by the Celts, certainly by the Iberians; and Mr. Bateman affirms, as the result of his explorations among prehistoric graves, that there is accumulated evidence to prove that wives were burnt 1 Maclear, History of Christian Missions, p. 28. a Vigfusson and Powell, CorfusPoeticum Boreale, vol. i. p. 410. on the funeral pyres of their deceased husbands.1 There can be no doubt that it was an early Aryan custom to kill the widow at her husband's funeral. Children were exposed, and infant daughters especially were put to death at the father's will. Among the Indians, the Iranians, the Scandinavians, and the Massagetae, the aged ...