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The Gauls, and the Germans were so devoted to this shocking custom, that no business of any moment was transacted among them, without being prefaced with the blood of men. They were offered up to various gods; but particularly to Hesus, Taranis, and Thautates. These deities are mentioned by Lucan, where he enumerates the various nations, who followed the fortunes of Cæsar.
* Et quibus immitis placatur sanguine diro
Thautates ; horrensque feris altaribus Hesus;
The altars of these gods were far removed from the common resort of men: being generally situated in the depth of woods; that the gloom might add to the horror of the operation, and give a reverence to the place and proceeding. The persons devoted were led thither by the Druids, who presided at the solemnity, and performed the cruel offices of the a sacrifice. Tacitus takes notice of the cruelty of
lished; but could not entirely effect it. Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 4. cap. 15. and Pallas quoted by Porphyry. lib. 2. pag. 225.
20 Lucan. Pharsalia. lib. 1. v. 444.
21 Qui sunt affecti gravioribus morbis, quique in præliis periculisque versantur, aut pro victimis homines immolant, aut se immolaturos vovent ; administrisque ad ea sacrificia Druidibus utuntur. -Alii immani magnitudine simulacra habent, quorum contexta viminibus membra vivis hominibus complent, quibus succensis, circumventi flamma exanimantur homines. Cæsar de Bello Gallico, lib. 6.
the Hermunduri, in a war with the Catti, wherein they had greatly the advantage : at the close of which they made one general sacrifice of all, that was taken in battle. 2* Victor diversam aciem Marti ac Mercurio sacraverat : quo voto, equi, viri, cuncta victa occidioni dantur. The poor remains of the legions under Varus suffered in some degree the
23 Lucis propinquis barbara ara, apud. quas Tribunos, ac primorum ordinum centuriones mactaverant. There were many places destined for this purpose all over Gaul and Germany; but especially in the mighty woods of Arduenna, and the great Hercinian forest; a wild, that extended above thirty days journey in length. 24 The places set apart for this solemnity were held in the utmost reverence; and only approached at particular sea
Lucan mentions a grove of this sort near Massilia, which even the Roman soldiers were afraid to violate, though commanded by Cæsar. It was one of those set apart for the sacrifices of
25 Lucus erat longo nunquam violatus ab avo,
Obscurum cingens connexis aëra ramis.
22 Tacitus. Annal. lib. 13. cap. 57. 23 Ibid. lib. 1. cap. 61. 24 Erici Olai Historia Suecorum Gothorumque. Holmiæ 1654.
25 Lucan. lib. 3. v. 399.
Hunc non ruricolæ Panes, nemorumque potentes Sylvani, Nymphæque tenent : sed barbara ritu Turba Deúm : structæ sacris feralibus are, Omnis et humanis lustrata cruoribus arbos.
Claudian compliments Stilico, that, among other advantages accruing to the Roman armies through his conduct, they could now venture into the awful forest of Hercinia ; and follow the chase in those so much dreaded woods, and otherwise make use of them.
26 Ut procul Herciniæ per vasta silentia sylva
Venari tutò liceat ; lucosque vetusta
These practices prevailed among all the people of the north, of whatever 27 denomination. The Mas
26 Claudian. in Laudes Stiliconis. lib. 1. v. 228. 27 Jornandes de Rebus Geticis.-of the Goths.
Procopius de Bello Goth. lib. 2.-of the Franks and other nations.
Trithemius of the Sicambri.
Helmoldi Annal. Sclavorum. lib. 1. cap. 53.—of the Rugians, &c.
Dithmar Episc. Mersburg. lib. 1. pag. 12.--of the Danes and Norwegians.
Tacit. Annal. lib. 14. cap. 30.--of the Britons in the island of Mona. Excisi luci sævis superstitionibus sacri. Nam cruore captivo adolere aras, et hominum fibris consulere Deos, fas habebant.
sagetæ, the Scythians, the Getes, the Sarmatians, all the various nations upon the Baltic, particularly the Suevi and Scandinavians, held it as a fixed principle, that their happiness and security could not be obtained, but at the expence of the lives of 28 others. Their chief gods were 19 Thor, and 30 Woden ; whom they thought, they could never sufficiently glut with blood. They had many very celebrated places of worship; especially in the island " Rugen, near the mouth of the Oder; and in 32 Zeeland : some too very famous among the 33 Semnones, and · Naharvalli. But the most reverenced of all, and the most frequented, was at 35 Upsal; where there was every year a grand cele
28 Quin vulgata inter omnes opinio, ut Crantzius in Vandalicis, lib. 3. cap. 22. notat, delectari sanguine Deos. P. Hachenberg. Germania Media. pag. 286.
29 Stephanus Stephanius, quoting Dudo of St. Quintin, says; Cæterùm sacrificant venerantes Thur dominum suum ; cui non aliquid pecudum, vel pecorúm, sed sanguinem mactabant hominum, holocaustum omnium putantes pretiosissimum. In Librum tertium Saxonis Gram. pag. 93.
30 Othinum, qui bellis præsidebat, cruore et morte captivorum placabant ; opinantes bellorum præsidem aptiùs humano cruore placari. Olaus Magnus. lib. 3. cap. 7.
31 Crantzius. lib. 5. cap. 12, 13.
See Tacitus de Mor. German. cap. 40. Est in insulá Oceani vastum nemus, dicatumque in eo vehiculum.
32 Dithmar Episc. Mersburg. lib. 1. pag. 12. 33 Adam Bremensis de situ Daniæ. cap. 233. 34 Tacitus de Mor. German. cap. 43. -35 Scheifferi Upsal. cap. 16.
brity, which continued for nine days. During this term they sacrificed animals of all sorts : but the most acceptable victims, and the most numerous were men. 30 Ipsas victimas apud plerosque commendabat humanus sanguis, effusus ante Deorum aras, et diro carmine devotus : introductå immani illå, ac barbarå Scytharum consuetudine, qui Deos immortales hominum scelere et sanguine placari posse arbitrabantur. Of these sacrifices none were esteemed so auspicious, and salutary, as a sacrifice of the prince of the country. When the lot fell for the king to die, it was received with universal acclamations, and every expression of joy; as it 37 once happened in the time of a famine, when they cast lots, and it fell to king Domalder to be the people's victim: and he was accordingly put
Olai IVormii Monumenta Danica. lib. 1. cap. 5.
Olai Magni Hist. de Gent. Septentrion. Epitome. lib. 3. cap. 5. Antverp. 1558.
Steirnhook de jure Sucorum et Goth. vetusto cap. ult. p. 399.
36 Pauli Hachenbergi P. P. Germania Media. Dissert. 8. p. 286. cap. 30. p. 287. concerning king Domalder.
37 Snorro Sturleson. Ynglinga Saga. pag. 18: from whom Loccenius seems to bave borrowed the account, which he gives. Sub eo Rege [Domalder] tant à fame Suecia aflicta est, ut ei vir gravior unquam incubuerit. Cives inter se dissidentes, cùm pænam delictorum divinam agnoscerent, primo anno boves, altero homines, tertio regem ipsum, velut iræ cælestis piaculum, ut sibi persuasum habebant, Odino iminolabant. Loccenii Antiq. Sueo-Gothicæ, lib. 1. pag. 5.