By Paul Elliott
Contemporary terrorists aren't new. Terror, homicide, and stealth have regularly flourished in close-knit, blindly obedient cults. in truth, the very be aware "assassin" has its origins in a medieval warrior cult of the center East, whereas the unique Thugs have been a mystery band who terrorized India within the nineteenth century. this is the entire ugly heritage of teams that experience used loyalty to devote homicide and unfold terror. begin with the secret cults of old Greece and the key Roman faith of Mithras with its bloody initiations. stick to the sinister Knights Templar, the japanese Ninja and Triad clans, and the chinese language Boxer cult that led the recognized rebellion opposed to the British. each one of those warrior cults had its personal strict codes and rituals, but its motivations could seem unusual to trendy minds. this present day it truly is extra pressing than ever to attempt to appreciate, as we strive to guard ourselves opposed to brand new types, made way more risky with the ownership of organic, or even nuclear, guns.
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Additional info for Warrior Cults. A history of Magical Mystical and Murderous Organizations
Xenophon, the general and writer, praised the Mysteries and their unifying role in the local Attic community; it was at once a religious and a political element in Athenian life, a shared 'secret' that bound the disparate elements of Greece and Athens together. The cult failed to spread its membership across the entire Greek peninsula, however, and Athens failed to achieve the goal of creating a Greek superstate around the Delian League. This ambition was effectively dashed for ever when Greece was torn apart by the devastating Peloponnesian War that saw the Delian League shattered and Athens's status in for his differently, Greece severely reduced.
The legionaries were frightened by the presence of hostile gods, images of which were primitively carved on logs. Their terror increased as strange magic enveloped the clearing. The earth shook, snakes slid across the ground and the trees seemed to burn with a magical fire. Only Caesar, in typical fashion, stood firm as his troops quaked. He took an axe and hacked shouting out his defiance of the spirits. His loyal soldiers their work, but with understandable trepidation. Just as the ban on writing hid the thoughts and ideas behind Druidism, the nemeton hid its ceremonies.
But there were other aspects and other types of worship of the god. In Greece, Dionysus's worship originally centred on the region called Boeotia, and his female devotees were supposed to sacrifice a boy to him each year. Later, this festival was known as the Agrionia and the sacrificial victim became a foal rather than a human being. From its earliest days the cult had a sordid reputation, presided over as it was by priestesses called Maenads who engaged in boisterous and emotionally charged worship out in the wilderness.