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Carthaginian infanticide

Carthaginian infanticide not just Roman propaganda

Recent research revealed that the Carthaginians really did kill their own infant children, a practice once dismissed as just ancient Greek and Roman propaganda.

Ancient Carthage was a Semitic civilisation centred on the Phoenician city-state of Carthage, located in North Africa on the Gulf of Tunis.  Founded in 814 BC, Carthage established control over other Phoenician settlements throughout the Mediterranean, North Africa and what is now Spain, which lasted until the end of the 3rd century BC.  For much of its history, Carthage was in a constant state of struggle with the Greeks on Sicily and the Roman Republic, which led to a series of armed conflicts known as the Punic Wars.  So when ancient Greeks and Romans made reports of ritual sacrifice of children, their claims were not taken seriously. But this has become one of the most bitterly debated questions in classical archaeology.

“This is something dismissed as black propaganda because in modern times people just didn’t want to believe it,” said Josephine Quinn, a lecturer in ancient history at Oxford. ““But when you pull together all the evidence – archaeological, epigraphic and literary – it is overwhelming and, we believe, conclusive: they did kill their children, and on the evidence of the inscriptions, not just as an offering for future favours but fulfilling a promise that had already been made.”

The argument about whether Carthaginians did or did not commit infanticide was brought into focus after the discovery of cemeteries known as tophets in the early 20th century on the outskirts of Carthage in modern Tunisia, and at other Carthaginian sites in Sicily and Sardinia. The graves held tiny cremated bones packed into urns and buried under tombstones giving thanks to the gods.

Carthaginian tophet urns from the 3rd or 4th century BC containing burned bones. 

 While some have claimed that these are simply the remains of children who died before or soon after birth, Quinn and her colleagues, a group of Punic archaeologists and historians from Italy and the Netherlands, reject this theory due to the sheer number of child remains that were found.

"The inscriptions are unequivocal: time and again we find the explanation that the gods 'heard my voice and blessed me'. It cannot be that so many children conveniently happened to die at just the right time to become an offering – and in any case a poorly or dead child would make a pretty feeble offering if you're already worried about the gods rejecting it," said Quinn.

Another convincing piece of evidence was the finding of animal remains buried in the same way, sometimes in the same urns as the bones of the children.  Quinn also draws attention to the fact that ancient writers, such as the Roman historian Diodorus, gave graphic accounts of Carthaginian child sacrifice.

However, Quinn admits that many of her academic colleagues were appalled by her conclusions and that this is because it is a conclusion that no one wants to believe is true, like some taboo is being broken. "We like to think that we're quite close to the ancient world, that they were really just like us – the truth is, I'm afraid, that they really weren't."

By April Holloway

Comments

Also the Bible make the same claims about the Canaanites which the Phoenicians are descendants of. In the bible it mentioned many times in the context of prophets decrying Israelites who follow these Canaanites practices. So there is nothing far fetched about this assumption.

t was a Canaanite civilization, not Semitic. The child sacrifice (infanticide) were indeed true (here's a similarity with a Semitic culture: Abraham was also requested to sacrifice his child - I guess God didn't stop the Carthaginian Phoenicians on time like He did with Abraham). It's silly to sacrifice children when you are a civilization in "constant" war and struggle with Greece and Rome... you'll need all the men you can have - especially that the "Punic Wars" lasted more than 100 years. Given that Hamalcar Barca and Hannibal Barca (the kings of Carthage) are still considered military geniuses, whose tactics and achievements are taught in every military school in the world, It wouldn't make sense that child sacrifice practices were being held during the war... If it ever did, It must have been stopped by the warrior kings, and that's where the debate can arise from.

This is part of black magic. These practices involve taking the vital life force of an infant as an energy source. This is also part of Tantra where the vital female energy is taken by men. In the Secret of the Golden Flower there is reference to a Master who practiced tantra with his maids and lived to be 800 years old.
In reading on Aleister Crowley with the worship of Baphomet, he wrote that a male child was the best sacrifice to Baphomet, but if that could not be done, than sexual molestation was the next best thing.....now I have to wonder if that is not why Catholic priests have this perversion????
We do not want to consider that there are still practitioners of black magic in our world today, but in truth it still exists. In this picture it is a bull instead of a goat, but the fire on the head is on both this bull and Baphomet as well as Serapis....through the ages this evil spirit has been worshiped through black magic practices. The Thule society that Hitler was involved in....the Skull and Crossbones....I will not go on, but I think we should try to be aware that there are dark and Light forces in this world and we need to recognize what we are dealing with.

This is part of black magic. These practices involve taking the vital life force of an infant as an energy source. This is also part of Tantra where the vital female energy is taken by men. In the Secret of the Golden Flower there is reference to a Master who practiced tantra with his maids and lived to be 800 years old.
In reading on Aleister Crowley with the worship of Baphomet, he wrote that a male child was the best sacrifice to Baphomet, but if that could not be done, than sexual molestation was the next best thing.....now I have to wonder if that is not why Catholic priests have this perversion????
We do not want to consider that there are still practitioners of black magic in our world today, but in truth it still exists. In this picture it is a bull instead of a goat, but the fire on the head is on both this bull and Baphomet as well as Serapis....through the ages this evil spirit has been worshiped through black magic practices. The Thule society that Hitler was involved in....the Skull and Crossbones....I will not go on, but I think we should try to be aware that there are dark and Light forces in this world and we need to recognize what we are dealing with.

We murder thousands of unborn every day. Why is this so hard to believe that they sacrificed their children? I doubt they were so stupid to kill off everyone. Obviously there would not have been a Carthage.

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