2007/11/02

Hecatombe

Como todos los pueblos de la tierra, los griegos ofrecían sacrificios a sus numerosos dioses. Algunos incruentos, consistentes en libaciones de vino, aceite, miel o cremación de tortas con figura de media luna.

Pero los más usuales por creerse más del agrado de los dioses, fueron los cruentos en los que se sacrificaban animales. Estos debían ser perfectos y sin mancha ni imperfección. A Júpiter se le ofrecían toros y carneros, a Palas Atenea, vacas que no hubieran llevado yugo; a Poseidón, toros y caballos negros; a Mercurio, cervatillos, etc.

La cantidad y calidad de los animales sacrificados guardaba relación con la grandeza o importancia de lo que se pedía. Para obtener victoria en una batalla, el exterminio de una peste, etc., se inmolaban cien víctimas, que por lo general eran bueyes. En griego cien se dice “ekatón" y buey “bous”, es decir “hecatombe”, sacrificio de cien bueyes.

Esta palabra, en sentido figurado, pasó a significar una mortandad de personas ejecutadas en una batalla, a una desgracia o catástrofe de grandes proporciones.

24 Comentarios:

Blogger kEpEx said...

Muy buen blog!. Publica cosas nuevas, algo sobre la palabra paradigma, o no lo se.

:)

http://keflog.com

12:24 a.m.  
Blogger Notosil said...

Tu blog es fascinante. Ojalá no dejes de escribir, te felicito por enriquecer nuestro acervo lingüístico.
Saludos desde Chile

6:03 p.m.  
Blogger Aru said...

Me uno a los comentarios anteriores, ojalá no dejes de escribir :)

Si se acepta hacer pedidos, siempre he querido saber cuándo es correcto decir "de que" :P

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