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among the ancients, formed the chief part of every religious act. According to the kind of sacrifice offered, they were divided into (a) bloodless offerings and (b) blood offerings. (a) The former consisted in firstfruits, viands, and cakes of various shape and make, which were some of them burned and some of them laid on the altars and sacrificial tables (See figs. 1 and 2) and removed after a time, libations of wine, milk, water with honey or milk, and frankincense, for which in early times native products (wood and the berries of cedars, junipers, and bay trees, etc.) were used. Asiatic spices, such as incense and myrrh, scarcely came into use before the seventh century in Greece or until towards the end of the Republic at Rome. (b) For blood-offerings cattle, goats, sheep, and swine were used by preference. Other animals were only employed in special cults. Thus horses were offered in certain Greek regions to Poseidon and Helios, and at Rome on the occasion of the October feast to Mars; dogs to Hecate and Robigus, asses to Priapus, cocks to Asclepius, and geese to Isis. Sheep and cattle, it appears, could be offered to any gods among the Greeks. As regards swine and goats, the regulations varied according to the different regions. Swine were sacrificed especially to Demeter and Dionysus, goats to the last named divinity and to Apollo and Aromis as well as Aphrodite, while they were excluded from the service of Athene, and it was only at Sparta that they were presented to Hera. At Epidaurus they might not be sacrificed to Asclepius, though elsewhere this was done without scruple. [Part of the spoils of the chase-such as the antlers or fell of the stag, or the head and feet of the boar or the bear--was offered to Artemis Agrotera (See fig. 3).] As regards the sex and colour of the victims, the Romans agreed in general with the Greeks in following the rule of sacrificing male creatures to gods, female to goddesses, and those of dark hue to the infernal powers. At Rome, however, there were special regulations respecting the victims appropriate to the different divinities. Thus the appropriate offering for Jupiter was a young steer of a white colour, or at least with a white spot on its forehead; for Mars, in the case of expiatory sacrifices, two bucks or a steer; the latter also for Neptune and Apollo; for Vulcan, a red calf and a boar; for Liber and Mercury, a he-goat; for Juno, Minerva, and Diana, a heifer; for Juno, as Lucina, an ewe lamb or (as also for Ceres and the Bona Dea) a sow; for Tellus, a pregnant, and for Proserpine a barren, heifer; and so on. The regulations as regards the condition of the victims were not the same everywhere in Greece. Still in general with them, as invariably with the Romans, the rule held good, that only beasts which were without blemish, and had not yet been used for labour, should be employed. Similarly, there were definite rules, which were, however, not the same everywhere, concerning the age of the victims. Thus, by Athenian law, lambs could not be offered at all before their first shearing, and sheep only when they had borne lambs. The Romans distinguished victims by their ages as lactantes, sucklings, and maiores, full grown. The sacrifice of sucklings was subject to certain limitations: young pigs had to be five days old, lambs seven, and calves thirty. Animals were reckoned maiores if they were bidentes; i.e. if their upper and lower rows of teeth were complete. There were exact requirements for all cases as regards their sex and condition, and to transgress these was an offence that demanded expiation. If the victims could not be obtained as the regulations required, the pontifical law allowed their place to be taken by a representation in wax or dough, or by a different animal in substitution for the sort required. In many cults different creatures were combined for sacrifice: e.g. a bull, a sheep, and a pig (Cp. SUOVETAURILIA), or a pig, a buck, and a ram, and the like. In State sacrifices, victims were sometimes sacrificed in great numbers; e.g. at the Athenian festival in commemoration of the victory at Marathon, 500 goats were slain. (Cp. HECATOMBE.) Human sacrifices as a means of expiation were not unknown to the earliest Greek and Roman worship, and continued in certain cases (e.g. at the feast of the Lyman Zeus and of Jupiter Latiaris) until the imperial period; however, where they continued to exist, criminals who were in any case doomed to death were selected, and in many places opportunity was further given them for escape. In general, it was considered that purity in soul and body was an indispensable requirement for a sacrifice that was to be acceptable to a divinity. Accordingly the offerer washed at least his hands and feet, and appeared in clean (for the most part, white) robes. One who had incurred blood-guiltiness could not offer sacrifice at all; he who had polluted himself by touching anything unclean, particularly a corpse, needed special purification by fumigation. Precautions were also taken to insure the withdrawal of all persons who might be otherwise unpleasing to the divinity; from many sacrifices women were excluded, from others men, from many slaves and freedmen. At Rome, in early times, all plebeians were excluded by the patricians. The victims were generally decked out with ribbons and wreaths, and sometimes the cattle had their horns gilded. If the creature voluntarily followed to the altar or even bowed its head, this was considered as a favourable sign; it was an unfavourable sign if it offered resistance or tried to escape. In that case, with the Romans, the object of the sacrifice was deemed to be frustrated. Among the Greeks those who took part in the sacrifice wore wreaths; a firebrand from the altar was dipped in water, and with the water thus consecrated they sprinkled themselves and the altar. They then strewed the head of the victim with baked barley-grains, and cast some hairs cut from its head into the sacrificial fire. After those present had been called upon to observe a devout silence, and avoid everything that might mar the solemnity of the occasion, the gods were invited, amidst the sound of flutes or hymns sung to the lyre and dancing, to accept the sacrifice propitiously. The hands of the worshippers were raised, or extended, or pointed downwards, according as the prayer was made to a god of heaven, of the sea, or of the lower world respectively. The victim was then felled to the ground with a mace or a hatchet, and its throat cut with the sacrificial knife. During this operation the animal's head was held up, if the sacrifice belonged to the upper gods, and bowed down if it belonged to those of the lower world or the dead. The blood caught from it was, in the former case, poured round the altar, in the latter, into a ditch. In the case just mentioned the sacrifice was entirely burned (and this was also the rule with animals which were not edible), and the ashes were poured into the ditch. In sacrifices to the gods of the upper world, only certain portions were burned to the gods, such as thigh-bones or chine-bones out off the victim, some of the entrails, or some pieces of flesh with a layer of fat, rolled round the whole, together with libations of wine and oil, frankincense, and sacrificial cakes. The remainder, after removing the god's portion, as it was called, for the priests engaged in the sacrifice, was either roasted at once for the sacrificial banquet and so consumed, or taken home. Festal sacrifices at the public expense were often combined with a public meal. Sacrifice was made to the gods of the upper air in the morning; to those of the lower world in the evening. Among the Romans, as among the Greeks, reverent silence prevailed during the sacrificial operations; in case a careless word should become an evil omen, and to prevent any disturbance by external surroundings, a flute-player played and the offerer of the sacrifice himself veiled his head during the rite. The prayer, formulated by the pontifices, and unintelligible to the priests themselves from its archaic language, was repeated by the votary after the priest, who read it from a written form, as any deviation from the exact words made the whole sacrifice of no avail. As a rule, the worshipper turned his face to the east, or, if the ceremony took place before the temple, to the image of the divinity, grasping the altar with his hands; and, when the prayer was ended, laid his hands on his lips, and turned himself from left to right (in many cults from right to left), or, again, walked round the altar and then seated himself. Then the victim, selected as being without blemish, was consecrated, the priest sprinkling salted grains of dried and pounded spelt (mola salsa) and pouring wine from a cup upon its head, and also in certain sacrifices cutting some of the hairs off its head, and finally making a stroke with his knife along the back of the creature, from its head to its tail. Cattle were killed with the mace, calves with the hammer, small animals with the knife, by the priest's attendants appointed for the purpose, to whom also the dissection of the victims was assigned. If the inspectors of sacrifice (see HARUSPEX) declared that the entrails (exta), cut out with the knife, were not normal, this was a sign that the offering was not pleasing to the divinity; and if it was a male animal which had been previously slaughtered, a female was now killed. If the entrails again proved unfavourable, the sacrifice was regarded as of no avail. On the other hand, in the case of prodigies, sacrifices were offered until favourable signs appeared. In other sin-offerings there was no inspection of entrails. Sin-offerings were either entirely burned or given to the priests. Otherwise the flesh was eaten by the offerers, and only the entrails, which were roasted on spits, or boiled, were offered up, together with particular portions of the meat, in the proper way, and placed in a dish upon the altar, after being sprinkled with mola salsa and wine. The slaughter of the victim took place in the morning, whilst the extawere offered at evening, the intervening time being taken up by the process of preparation.
The original meaning of the word was a sacrifice of a hundred oxen; but in early times it was applied generally to any great sacrifice, without any idea either of oxen or a definite number. Such great sacrifices were especially common in the worship of Zeus and Hera.
The Greek term for certain officials, who, besides having the care of the sacrifices, had also the superintendence of the economic details of the sanctuary, and the charge of the money and treasures of the temple. In Athens, besides such officials attached to the several temples, there was a board of ten men, yearly appointed by lot, who had to attend to the celebration of the extraordinary and quinquennial sacrifices, the cost of which was defrayed by the public treasury. Another college of three or ten hieropoei, appointed by the Areopagus, superintended the sacrifices offered to the Eumenides by the state.
LYCAEA 44.03%
A festival celebrated in honour of Zeus on the Lycaean Mount (Gr. Lukaion) in Arcadia. In the sacred inclosure on its highest peak, where, according to popular belief, no object cast a shadow, there was an altar of heaped up earth, and before it two columns with gilt eagles on top of them, looking to the east. At the festivals, probably celebrated every ninth year, the priests, who alone were allowed to enter the precincts, offered mysterious sacrifices to the god, including a human sacrifice. These were said to have been instituted by Lycaon (q.v.), and were kept up till the 2nd century A.D. The man who had been chosen by lot to perform the sacrifice was afterwards compelled to flee, and wandered about for nine years; like Lycaon, in the shape of a wolf, so the people believed. In the tenth he was allowed to return and regained his human form, i.e. the taint was removed. Besides the festival there were also athletic contests.
ARGEI 43.94%
The name of certain chapels at Rome, probably twenty-four in number, each of the four tribes of the city having six. To these chapels a procession was made on March 16 and 17, at which the wife of the Flamen Dialis walked with unkempt hair as a sign of mourning. On May 15 the Pontiffs, Vestal Virgins, Praetors, and all citizens who had a right to assist at sacrifices, marched to the wooden bridge over the Tiber (Pons Sublicius), and after sacrificing, threw into the river twenty-four men of straw, likewise named Argei, which had probably been hung up in the chapels at the first procession, and were fetched away at the second. The sacrifice was regarded as expiatory, and the puppets as substitutes for former human victims. The meaning of the name was unknown to the ancients, and so was the deity to whom the sacrifice was offered.
A Roman festival celebrated on Feb. 24th, to commemorate the expulsion of the kings. At this festival the rex sacrorum offered sacrifice on the comitium, and then hastily fled. (See REX SACRORUM.) [Probably in this case, as in many others, the sacrifice was originally regarded as a crime. The fact that the Salii were present is recorded by Festus (s.v. Regifugium). Possibly their presence had the same significance as the ceremony of leaping, etc., performed by them in March, presumably with a view to driving evil demons away from the city (Classical Review, v 51 b).]
The Italian god of fire and of the art of forging and smelting; corresponding to, and identified with, the Greek Hephaestus. As god of the forge, he also bears the name Mulciber, the softener or smelter of metal. As a beneficent god of nature, who ripens the fruit by his warmth, he is the husband of the Italian goddess of spring, Maia or Maiesta, who shared the sacrifices offered by his priest, the flamen Volcanalis, after he had become identified with Hephaestus. Venus, who is identified with Aphrodite, was regarded as his wife. Among his shrines in Rome the most noteworthy is that called Volcanal, a level space raised above the surface of the Comitium, and serving as the hearth of the spot where the citizens' assemblies were held. His chief festival, the Volcanalia, was kept on August 23rd, when certain fish were thrown into the fire on the hearth, and races were held in the Circus Flaminius. Sacrifices were offered to him as god of metal-working on May 23rd, the day appointed for a cleansing of the trumpets used in worship (tubilustrium). As lord of fire he was also the god of conflagrations; hence his temples were built outside the city, while his temple in Rome was situated in the Campus Martius. Juturna (q.v.) and Stata Mater, who causes fires to cease, were worshipped with him as goddesses who protect from fires, and a public sacrifice was offered to them and him at the festival of the Volcanalia. (Cp. HEPHAeSTUS.)
CONSUS 29.89%
An ancient Italian god, probably a god of the earth or of crops. His altar on the Circus Maximus at Rome was covered with earth, apparently as a sign of the deity's activity in the bosom of the earth. Three times in the year only was it uncovered, on the occasion of sacrifices or festivities. The festival of Census, the Consualia, was held twice a year; on the 21st August, after the harvest, and the 15th December, after the sowing was ended. Its establishment was attributed to Romulus, and it was at the first celebration that the rape of the Sabine women was supposed to have taken place. At this festival the sacrifice was superintended by the Flamines of Quirinus with the Vestal Virgins, and was followed by a chariot race in the circus, under the direction of the pontifices. The horses and mules, their heads crowned with flowers, had their share in the holiday. In consequence of these games the god Consus was afterwards identified with Poseidon Hippios, or Neptunus Equester.
MENIPPE 29.77%
Daughter of Orion, who offered to die with her sister Metioche, when a pestilence was raging in Boeotia, and the oracle demanded the sacrifice of two virgins. (See also ORION).
the "king of sacrifice." The name given by the Romans to a priest who, after the abolition of the royal power, had to perform certain religious rites connected with the name of king. He resembles the archon basileus of the Athenian constitution. He was always a patrician, was elected for life by the pontifex maximus with the assistance of the whole pontifical college (of which he became a member), and was inaugurated by the augurs. Although he was externally of high rank and, like the pontifex maximus, had an official residence in the Regia, the royal castle of Numa, and took the chair at the feasts and other festivities of the pontifices, yet in his religious authority he ranked below the pontifex maximus, and was not allowed to hold any public office, or even to address the people in public. His wife (like the wives of the flamens) participated in the priesthood. Our information as to the details of the office is imperfect. Before the knowledge of the calendar became public property, it was the duty of the rex sacrorum to summon the people to the Capitol on the calends and nones of each month, and to announce the festivals for the month. On the calends he and the regina sacrificed, and at the same time invoked Janus. Of the other sacrifices known to us we may mention the regifugium on Feb. 24th, when the rex sacrorum sacrificed at the comitium, and then fled in haste. This has been erroneously explained as a commemoration of the fight of Tarquinius Superbus, the last of the Roman kings; but it is much more probably one of the customs handed down from the time of the kings themselves, and perhaps connected with the purificatory sacrifice from which the month of February derived its name. At the end of the Republic the office, owing to the political disability attaching to the holder, proved unattractive, and was sometimes left unfilled: but under Augustus it appears to have been restored to fresh dignity, and in imperial times it continued to exist, at any rate, as late as the 3rd century.
The Latin term for an unnatural or, at any rate, unusual and inexplicable phenomenon, which was always treated as requiring expiation (procuratio). This was only done on behalf of the State, if the phenomenon had been observed on ground belonging to the State. The Senate, acting on the advice of the pontiffs, ordained either particular sacrifices, to specified deities, or a nine days' sacrifice, or a public intercession, and left the execution of the ordinance to the consuls. If a prodigium caused so much alarm that the usual means of expiation seemed insufficient, the Senate had recourse to the Sibylline books, or the Etruscan haruspices. (See HARUSPEX) For the prodigium of a thunderbolt, See PUTEAL.
TUBA 25.68%
The Latin name for a straight wind-instrument of deep, clangorous sound, which was used at sacrifices, games, and funerals, and in war among the infantry to give the signal for attack and retreat, and was blown by the tubicen (see cut). (Cp. LITUUS, 2.)
CURIA 24.59%
The name of the thirty divisions into which the three tribus of the Roman patricians were divided for political and religious objects. Every curia contained a number of gentes, supposed to be exactly ten, and a president, curio, whose duty it was to look after its secular and religious business. At the head of all the curioe stood the Curio Maximus, who was charged with the notification of the common festivals Fordicidia and Fornacalia (see these words). The separate curiones were chosen by their respective curive, and the Curio Maximus was elected by the people in special comitia out of the number of curiones. For its special sacrifices every curia had its place of meeting, bearing the same name, with a hearth and dining-hall where the members met to feast and sacrifice. The plebeians seem to have been admitted to the sacrifices, which were offered on behalf of the whole people, and were paid for at the expense of the state (see further, COMITIA CURIATA). The term curia was also applied to certain houses intended for holding meetings, as, for instance, the official residence of the Salli on the Palatine, and especially the senate-house, Curia Hostilia, built by king Hostilius on the comitium, and burnt down 52 B.C. In its place Faustus Sulla, the son of the Dictator, erected the Curia Cornelia. Caesar interrupted the progress of this work to set up the Curia Iulia in its place. Then the senate met in the Curia Pompei, in the entrance-hall of Pompey's theatre, where Caesar was murdered. The Curia Iulia was not begun till 44 B.C., shortly before Caesar's death, and was consecrated in 29 by Augustus. (See plan of Roman Fora, under FORUM.)
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.
The principal feast of Apollo in Athens, held on the seventh day of Thargelion (May-June), the birthday of the god. Originally it was connected with the ripening of the field produce. A procession was formed, and the first fruits of the year were offered to Apollo, together with Artemis and the Horae. It was at the same time an expiatory feast, at which a peculiar propitiatory sacrifice was offered, which was to purify the State from all guilt, and avert the wrath of the god, lest he should exercise his avenging and destroying power in burning up the harvest with parching heat, and in visiting the people with pestilence. Two persons, condemned to death, a man and a woman, as representatives of the male and female population, were led about with a garland of figs round their necks to the sound of flutes and singing, and scourged with seaweed and with the branches of a fig tree. They were then sacrificed at a certain spot on the seashore, their bodies burned, and the ashes cast into the sea. In later times they seem to have been contented with throwing the expiatory victims from a height into the sea, catching them as they fell, and banishing them from the country. Besides these sacrifices, festal processions and choral contests between men and boys took place. At the same time the great feast of Apollo was probably held at Delos, to which the Athenians sent a sacred embassy in the ancient ship in which Theseus is said to have sailed to Crete, and which was always kept in repair.
A Roman sacrifice, consisting of a boar (sus), a ram (ovis), and a bullock (taurus), which was offered in nearly all cases of lustration (cp. out under TRIUMPH). For female deities the female animal, and on certain occasions young animals, were selected.
BUTES 23.33%
A Thracian, the son of Boreas. His brother Lycurgus, whose life he had attempted, banished him, and he settled on the island of Strongyle or Naxos. Finding here no wives for himself and his companions, he carried off some women from Thessaly, while they were celebrating a sacrifice to Dionysus. One of these, Coronis, whom he had forced to be his wife, prayed to Dionysus for vengeance. The god drove him mad, and he threw himself into a well.
FERIAE 23.03%
Holidays, dedicated to the worship of some deity. A distinction was drawn between ferioe privatoe, or holidays observed by gentes, families, and individuals, and ferioe publicoe, or public holidays. Public holidays were either fixed or movable, or occasional. The fixed holidays (ferioe stativoe), were forty-five in number, and were celebrated every year on a definite day and registered accordingly in the calendar. The movable holidays (ferioe conceptivoe) were also annual, but were held on changing days, and had therefore to be announced beforehand by the consuls, or in their absence by the praetor. The occasional holidays (imperativoe) were commanded on special occasions by the authorities with the consent of the pontifices. Such were, for instance, the supplicationes, a solemn service to the gods to celebrate a victory or the like. One of the principal movable festivals was the Ferioe Latinoe. This was originally a celebration by the Latin race held on the Alban mountain in honour of Jupiter Latlaris. It was subsequently transformed by Tarquinius Superbus into a festival of the Latin League. Its most notable ceremony consisted in the sacrifice of white bulls, a portion of whose flesh was distributed to each of the cities of the league represented at the sacrifice. If any city did not receive its portion, or if any other point in the ceremonial was omitted, the whole sacrifice had to be repeated. Originally it lasted one day, but afterwards was extended to four. It was then celebrated in part on the Alban hill by the Roman consuls, in presence of all the magistrates: in part on the Roman Capitol, a race being included in the performance. It was announced by the consuls immediately after their assumption of office, nor did they leave Rome for their provinces until they had celebrated it. The date therefore depended on that of the assumption of office by the higher magistrates.
The most ancient and most important of Athenian festivals. It was celebrated in honour of Athene, the patron deity of Athens. Claiming to have been founded as early as by Erichthonius, it is said to have been originally named only Athenaea, and to have first received the name of Panathenaea at the time when Theseus united all the inhabitants of Attica into one body. In memory of the union itself was kept the festival of the Synaecia, or Synaecesia, on the 16th of Hecatombaeon (July-August), which may be regarded as a kind of prepatory solemnity to the Panathenaea. There was a festival of the ordinary or lesser Panathenaea celebrated every year, and from the time of Pisistratus, the great Panathenaea held every fifth year, and in the third year of every Olympiad, from the 24th to the 29th of Hecatombaeon. Pisistratus, in the year 566 B.C., added to the original chariot and horse races athletic contests in each of the traditional forms of competition. He, or his son Hipparchus, instituted the regulation, that the collected Homeric poems should be recited at the feast of Rhapsodi. In 446 Pericles introduced musical contests, which took place on the first day of the festival, in the Odeum, which he had built. Competitions of cyclic choruses and other kinds of dances, torch races and trireme races, added to the splendour of the festival. The care and direction of all these contests were committed to ten stewards (athlothetae), who were elected by the people for four years, from one great Panathenaic festival to the next. In the musical contests, the first prize was a golden crown; in the athletic, the prize was a garland of leaves from the sacred olive trees of Athene, together with large and beautiful vases filled with oil from the same trees. Many specimens of these Panathenaic vases have been found [in Italy, Sicily, Greece, and at Cyrene. They have the figure of Athene on one side, and a design indicating the contest for which they are awarded on the other. Most of them belong to the 4th century B.C., 367-318; the "Burgon Vase," in the British Museum, to the 6th century. Cp. Pindar, Nem. x 35]. The tribe whose ships had been victorious received a sum of money, part of which was destined for a sacrifice to Poseidon. The culminating point of the festival was the 28th day of the month, the birthday of the goddess, when the grand procession carried through the city the costly, embroidered, saffron-coloured garment, the peplus (q.v.). This bad been woven in the preceding nine months by Attic maidens and matrons, and embroidered with representations from the battle of the gods and Giants. It was carried through the city, first of all as a sail for a ship moving on wheels, and was then taken to the Acropolis, where it adorned one of the statues of Athene Polias. The procession is represented in a vivid manner in the well-known frieze of the Parthenon. It included the priests and their attendants, leading a long train of animals festally adorned for sacrifice; matrons and maidens bearing in baskets the various sacrificial implements (see CANEPHORI); the most picturesque old men in festal attire, with olive branches in their hands, whence came their name, thallophorae; warriors, with spear and shield, in splendid array; young men in armour; the cavalry under the command of both the hipparchi; the victors in the immediately preceding contests; the festal embassies of other states, especially of the colonies ; and, lastly, the aliens resident in Athens. Of these last, the men bore behind the citizens trays with sacrificial cakes, the women waterpots, and the maidens sunshades and stools for the citizens' wives; while on the freedmen was laid the duty of adorning with oak-leaves the market-places and streets through which the procession moved. The feast ended with the great festal sacrifice of a becatomb of oxen, and with the general banqueting which accompanied it. At the yearly minor Panathenaea, on the 28th and 29th of Hecatombaeon, contests, sacrifices, and a procession took place, but all in a more simple style. In later times the festival was removed to spring, perhaps in consequence of Roman influence, in order to make it correspond to the Quinquatrus of Minerva. [All the ancient authorities are collected by Michaelis, Der Parthenon, pp. 318-333.]
Daughter of Agramemnon and of Clytaemnestra, or (according to another account) of Theseus and Helen (q.v.), and brought up Clytaemnestra as her child. When the Greek ships were detained at Aulis by the calm caused by the wrath of Artemis against Agamemnon for killing a hind sacred to that goddess, and boasting that he was superior to her in the chase, the seer Calchas announced that the goddess could only be appeased by the sacrifice of Iphigenia. According to another story, Agamemnon had vowed, before the birth of Iphigenia, that he would sacrifice to the goddess whatever the year brought forth that was loveliest, but had neglected to keep his vow. After a long struggle Agamemnon finally gave way to the pressure put upon him by Menelaus, and sent for his daughter to come to Aulis under the pretext of betrothing her to Achilles. During the sacrifice Artemis substituted a hind for her, and carried her off in a cloud to the land of the Tauri [the modern Crimea], where, as priestess of the goddess, it fell to her lot to offer up as victims all strangers who were shipwrecked on the coast. Orestes, who, commanded by the oracle, had gone there to bring to Attica the image of the goddess, was on the point of being sacrificed by her, when she recognised him as her brother and allowed herself to be carried off by him together with the image. At Delphi her sister Electra wanted to put her eyes out, on hearing that the Tauric priestess had slain Orestes; but was prevented from doing so by her brother's arrival. She is said to have brought the image of the Tauric Artemis to the Attic deme of Brauron, and to have died and been buried there as its priestess. She was even introduced into Attic legend as daughter of Theseus and Helen. In other places also, such as Sparta, the image was shown, and she was regarded as a priestess who had brought it to Greece from among the Scythians. In all probability Iphigenia was originally a designation of Artemis herself, and out of this epithet of the goddess the personality of the priestess was in time evolved. Her grave was also shown at Megara. According to another legend, she is said to have been made immortal by Artemis, and to have lived on in the island of Leuce as the wife of Achilles under the name of Orsilochia.
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