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Sacrificial Rituals in the Odyssey

            Acts of sacrifice have been prevalent and reoccurring in practically every culture or religion around the globe, both in history and the current day. On an international level, some of the most ruthless of which have involved offerings of human life. Other cultures hold more limits on their brutality, yet are still considered significantly violent in today's terms, such as bloodletting. Often times, these sacrifices are as common as sparing a favorite food or recreation as Catholics do during the Lent season, this method perhaps more widespread as it provides a humaneness that several of other approaches lack. All of these practices, however, share a collective purpose in worshipping and honoring a higher being, in most cases, a god-like figure. In The Odyssey, Homer elucidates how abiding to the demands of Ancient Greek sacrificial rituals may grant approval by those gods, often engendering their assistance or support in life's excursions. .
             Initially, a god's confirmation for a mortal may be solely based upon the quantity of contributions they have made to the immortal community. As Zeus clarifies his opinion of hero Odysseus to his daughter Athena, who is seeking his help in protecting the suffering him from the ceaseless danger he has encountered, he proclaims, " 'Great Odysseus who excels all men in wisdom, excels in offerings too he gives the immortal gods who rule the vaulting skies?'"(1.78-80). Zeus' assessment of Odysseus emphasizes his respect for the lost King of Ithaca, which, in this case, is influenced primarily by his abundant offerings to the gods and goddesses of Olympus. Because his sacrifices are one of the two reasons Zeus proposes to his daughter regarding why he supports Odysseus, it can therefore be established that a god's perception of a man may have a direct connection to number of oblations afforded by that same individual. .
             Furthermore, gods make it evident of their consent, sometimes rewarding the donor in addition to providing safety for them.

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