Sacrifice at Ugarit
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The purpose of the present enquiry is to give an account of the sacrificial system revealed in these texts. The institution of sacrifice is only one of the many aspects of Semitic religion on which the texts shed much light. A cursory examination of the texts makes it clear that both in the mythological and ritual texts sacrifice occupies a prominent position. It is obviously a complex and highly developed institution with a large specialised vocabulary. Our purpose is to attempt a description of the institution of sacrifice as it is portrayed in the texts – its rites, its significance, and the relation in which it stands to the other Semitic systems of sacrifice, particularly that of the Israelites. Previously little was known positively about the sacrificial system of the Canaanites. It was deduced that it must have borne a general resemblance to that of the other Semitic peoples. How we have abundant first-hand evidence about the Canaanite sacrificial system. Much of the evidence is still obscure, but a great deal admits of no doubt, and its value for comparative Semitic religion can hardly be over-emphasised.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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