Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire


Taurobolium, a sacrifice of expiation, very common in the third and fourth centuries. The throat of a bull was cut on a great stone slightly hollowed and perforated in various places. Underneath this stone was a trench, in which the person whose offence called for expiation received upon his body and his face the blood of the immolated animal. Julian the Philosopher condescended to submit to this expiation, to reconcile himself to the priests of the Gentiles.

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