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A festival celebrated in Athens on the 14th Scirophorion (June to July), to Zeus as the protector of the city. It was also called Buphonia, from the sacrifice of an ox connected with it. A labouring ox was led to the altar of Zeus in the Acropolis, which was strewn with wheat and barley. As soon as the ox touched the consecrated grain, he was punished by a blow on the neck from an axe, delivered by a priest of a particular family, who instantly threw away the axe and took to flight. In his absence the axe was brought to judgment in the Prytaneum, and condemned, as a thing polluted by murder, to be thrown into the sea. To kill a labouring ox, the trusty helper of man, was rigidly forbidden by custom. In the exceptional sacrifice of one at this festival, the ancient custom may be regarded as on the one hand excusing the slaughter, and on the other insisting that it was, nevertheless, equivalent to a murder.
Type: Standard
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gutter splint
gutter splint