Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sacrifical Foundations

Ecclesiastical  Curiosities
Edited William Andrews (1899) Project Gutenburg
© Godric Godricson

In early ages a sacrifice of some sort or other was offered on the foundation of nearly every building. In heathen times a sacrifice was offered to the god under whose protection the building was placed; in Christian times, while many old pagan customs lingered on, the sacrifice was continued, but was given another meaning. The foundation of a castle, a church, or a house was frequently laid in blood; indeed it was said, and commonly believed, that no edifice would stand firmly for long unless the foundation was laid in blood. It was a practice frequently to place some animal under the corner stone—a dog, a wolf, a goat, sometimes even the body of a malefactor who had been executed.

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