Therefore, the Flower Wars became a way to obtain human sacrifices in a very structured and ceremonial manner which were then used as offerings. When death occurred from battling in a Flower War, it was considered much more noble than dying in a regular military battle. These individuals were previously chosen to be sacrificed, as was the case for people embodying the gods themselves, or were members of an enemy party which had been captured and prepared to be sacrificed.
Ancient Greek religion and Ancient Roman religion The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia, a mythological depiction of a sacrificial procession on a mosaic from Roman Spain References to human sacrifice can be found in Greek historical accounts as well as mythology.
The human sacrifice in mythology, the deus ex machina salvation in some versions of Iphigeneia who was about to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon and her replacement with a deer by the goddess Artemismay be a vestigial memory of the abandonment and discrediting of the practice of human sacrifice among the Greeks in favour of animal sacrifice.
Roman authors often contrast their own behavior with that of people who would commit the heinous act of human sacrifice.
These authors make it clear that such practices were from a much more uncivilized time in the past, far removed. Dionysius of Halicarnassus  says that the ritual of the Argeiin which straw figures were tossed into the Tiber rivermay have been a substitute for an original offering of elderly men.
Cicero claims that puppets thrown from the Pons Suplicius by the Vestal Virgins in a processional ceremony were substitutes for the past sacrifice of old men. When the Romans conquered the Celts in Gaul, they tortured the people by cutting off their hands and feet and leaving them to die.
The Romans justified their actions by also accusing the Celts of practicing human sacrifice. Such practices included burying unchaste Vestal Virgins alive and drowning hermaphroditic children. These were seen as reactions to extraordinary circumstances as opposed to being part of Roman tradition.
Vestal Virgins who were accused of being unchaste were put to death, and a special chamber was built to bury them alive. This aim was to please the gods and restore balance to Rome. However, the burial of unchaste Vestal Virgins was also practiced in times of peace.
Their chasteness was thought to be a safeguard of the city, and even in punishment the state of their bodies was preserved in order to maintain the peace. It tells the myth of the Sabines suffocating her under the weight of their gifts, and sets the example of punishment for Vestal Virgins who broke their vow of chastity.
Captured enemy leaders were only occasionally executed at the conclusion of a Roman triumphand the Romans themselves did not consider these deaths a sacrificial offering. Human sacrifice also became a marker and defining characteristic of magic and bad religion.
Wicker man and decapitation According to Roman sources, Celtic Druids engaged extensively in human sacrifice. Victims meant for Esus were hangedTollund Man being an example, those meant for Taranis immolated and those for Teutates drowned.
Some, like the Lindow Manmay have gone to their deaths willingly. For example, Tacitus reports Germanic human sacrifice to what he interprets as Mercuryand to Isis specifically among the Suebians. Jordanes reports how the Goths sacrificed prisoners of war to Marssuspending the severed arms of the victims from the branches of trees.
By the 10th century, Germanic paganism had become restricted to Scandinavia. One account by Ahmad ibn Fadlan as part of his account of an embassy to the Volga Bulgars in claims that Norse warriors were sometimes buried with enslaved women with the belief that these women would become their wives in Valhalla.
In his description of the funeral of a Scandinavian chieftaina slave volunteers to die with a Norseman. This practice is evidenced archaeologically, with many male warrior burials such as the ship burial at Balladoole on the Isle of Man, or that at Oseberg in Norway  also containing female remains with signs of trauma.
According to the Ynglinga sagaking Domalde was sacrificed there in the hope of bringing greater future harvests and the total domination of all future wars. Heidrek in the Hervarar saga agrees to the sacrifice of his son in exchange for the command over a fourth of the men of Reidgotaland.
With these, he seizes the entire kingdom and prevents the sacrifice of his son, dedicating those fallen in his rebellion to Odin instead. This was especially prevalent during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties.
During the Warring States period, Ximen Bao of Wei outlawed human sacrificial practices to the river god.Human sacrifice also served another purpose in the expanding Aztec empire of the 15th and 16th century: intimidation.
The Aztecs are a fascinating civilization for many reasons, a taste for human sacrifice being unquestionably among them. Understanding them as a “death-obsessed” culture, as Mr.
Stanely does. Aztec texts frequently refer to human sacrifice as neteotoquiliztli, "the desire to be regarded as a god". These members of the society became an ixiptla —that is, a god's representative, image or idol.
The Aztecs were not the first civilization in Mesoamerica to practise human sacrifice as probably it was the Olmec civilization ( BCE) which first began such rituals atop their sacred pyramids.
Aztec sacrifice. In spite of all the great accomplishments of the empire, it's the Aztec sacrifice that the people are often remembered for. Why were sacrifices offered?
The Aztecs were not the first civilization in Mesoamerica to practise human sacrifice as probably it was the Olmec civilization ( BCE) which first began such rituals atop their sacred pyramids. Other civilizations such as the Maya and Toltecs continued the practice. “[The Aztecs were] a culture obsessed with death: they believed that human sacrifice was the highest form of karmic healing. Aztec texts frequently refer to human sacrifice as neteotoquiliztli, "the desire to be regarded as a god". These members of the society became an ixiptla —that is, a god's representative, image or idol.
What were they like? Read on Types of sacrifices. Though the human sacrifice is the most talked about, there were actually many types of sacrifices in the empire.
“[The Aztecs were] a culture obsessed with death: they believed that human sacrifice was the highest form of karmic healing.