Sacrifice of Persian Youths by Themistocles

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Sacrifice of Persian Youths by Themistocles. This horrible act was committed during the anxious hours preceding the battle of Salamis. Three noble Persian youths being brought to Themistocles while he was offering sacrifices on the deck of his galley, the soothsayer attending on the sacrifice directed that they should be slaughtered in honour of Dionysus. Although this was not usually permitted among the Athenians, Themistocles was practically compelled by the surrounding soldiers to act in obedience to the soothsayer's instructions. Illustration for Hutchinson's History of the Nations (Hutchinson, c 1920).  Note: Image has been digitally enhanced to facilitate repro.

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