By Bezalel Bar-Kochva
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Extra info for The Image of the Jews in Greek Literature: The Hellenistic Period (Hellenistic Culture and Society)
Lykaion in Arcadia, see Hughes (1991) 96–107, 115–16. The usual interpretation of Theophrastus’s statement concerning the customs of the Arcadians is questioned by Dennis (1988) 213–17. See also Dennis’s conclusion concerning the Greeks’ attitude in the classical period toward human sacrifice (364–67). I should add (contra Burkert  61–62) that other fire cults known from the Greek world do not seem to have included animal sacrifice without the animal being killed first. The sources, only some of which are adduced by Burkert, say nothing about throwing live animals into the fire.
This reading, however, poses an insoluble difficulty. What is so repellent about sacrificing a holocaust? In what way is a holocaust more cruel than a sacrifice in which only certain parts are burnt, while and the other parts are eaten by the participants? After the long and ostensibly objective-”scientific” argumentation against animal sacrifice, this outburst against the practice of sacrificing holocausts is disproportionate and indeed out of place. Moreover, if by the statement “we would be repelled by the act” Theophrastus is referring to those already convinced, namely, he and his supporters, why does he refer to the Jewish sacrifice with much greater severity than he does to the animal sacrifices of other nations?
E. doxographer, reflects the opinion of Theophrastus: Εὐσέβειαν μὲν οὖν εἶναι ἕξιν θεῶν καὶ δαιμόνων θεραπευτικήν, μεταξὺ οὖσαν ἀθεότητος καὶ δεισιδαιμονίας (“Eusebeia is a habitual state of administering to the gods and daimones, intermediate between atheism and superstition,” Flor. 2. 147). The terminology and presentation are certainly Peripatetic, and the definition may possibly originate with Theophrastus. 18 from alexander to antiochus epiphanes expressed in the performance of cultic duties) for which Theophrastus was put on trial in Athens (Diog.