The word for today is VICTIM from the Latin – VICTIMA – meaning AN ANIMAL CHOSEN FOR SACRIFICE.
The Romans, by tradition, made animal sacrifices to appease the gods. On occasion, a pure white lamb was selected, bulls or oxen at other celebrations. The Romans, like many other ancient people, believed that sacrifices had to be made to the gods either to appease them, or to seek favors, to obtain bountiful harvests, to pray for rain, to calm the waves.
The Carthaginians, on the other hand, who were the enemy of Rome, practiced human sacrifice. Diodorus, a Sicilian Greek, tells us that in great crises, living children were sacrificed, as many as three hundred in a day, to the god BAAL-HAMAN. They were placed upon the inclined and outstretched arms of the idol and rolled off into the fire beneath; their cries were drowned in the noise of trumpets and cymbals; their mothers were required to look upon the scene without moan or tear, lest they be accused of impiety and lose the credit due them from the god. In time, the rich refused to sacrifice their own children and bought substitutes among the poor. Carthage, present day Tunis in Tunisia, was destroyed by the Romans, c. 200 B.C.