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Scapegoat

Scapegoat

The concept of a scapegoat, a person who is blamed for the sins of others, goes back to ancient times. The term comes from a Hebrew ritual that is described in the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament of the Bible. Each year a priest symbolically transferred to a goat the sins of the people of Israel. The goat was thrown over a cliff outside the city of Jerusalem, and its sacrifice was believed to remove the nation's sins. The ritual was originally performed to pacify Azazel, a fallen angel who became a demon of the wilderness.

The Hebrews were not the only group to practice scapegoat rituals. In ancient Athens, two ugly men were chosen as scapegoats during the festival of Thargelia. After dining at a feast, the pair were led through the streets and beaten with branches. Then they were escorted out of town or driven out with stones. The ritual was intended to protect Athens from harm.

The Maya of Central America also held an annual ceremony involving a scapegoat. At the end of each year, Mayan villagers made a clay model of the demon Uuayayah. They placed the model before an image of the deity responsible for governing the coming year. Then they carried the model of Uuayayah outside the village to ward off evil.

ritual ceremony that follows a set pattern

deity god or goddess

In Indonesia and the Philippines, scapegoats in the form of boats were used during epidemics to try to rid communities of a disease. The islanders built small boats and loaded them with food and water. They set the boats adrift in the open sea, hoping that the evil spirits that brought the disease would sail away in them.

See also Greek Mythology; Mayan Mythology; Sacrifice; Semitic Mythology.

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"Scapegoat." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Scapegoat." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/scapegoat

"Scapegoat." Myths and Legends of the World. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/scapegoat

scapegoat

scapegoat in the Bible, a goat sent into the wilderness after the Jewish chief priest had symbolically laid the sins of the people upon it, as in Leviticus 16:22. In the Mosaic ritual of the Day of Atonement, this was the one of two goats that was chosen to be sent alive into the wilderness, while the other was sacrificed.

The English term scapegoat appears to have been coined by Tyndale from archaic scape ‘escape’ + goat; that is, the goat which was not to be sacrificed.

In the early 19th century, the word acquired the more general meaning of a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.

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"scapegoat." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"scapegoat." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

"scapegoat." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

scapegoat

scapegoat One blamed, punished, or stigmatized for the misdeeds of others, after the classic atonement tale in Leviticus 16, in which one of two goats was sent into the wilderness after having the sins of the people symbolically placed upon it. Scapegoating theory has been developed in social science to examine the basis of prejudice (as in the work of Gordon Allport), and is implicit in much deviance theory, especially labelling theory and the work of Émile Durkheim on the functions of deviance. Thomas S. Szasz uses it in The Manufacture of Madness (1970) to explain the hostility towards the mentally ill.

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"scapegoat." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"scapegoat." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

"scapegoat." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

scapegoat

scape·goat / ˈskāpˌgōt/ • n. a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, esp. for reasons of expediency. DERIVATIVES: scape·goat·er n. scape·goat·ing n. scape·goat·ism / -ˌizəm/ n.

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"scapegoat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"scapegoat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat-1

"scapegoat." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat-1

Scapegoat

Scapegoat. Jewish sin-offering let loose on the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement Temple ritual included casting lots between two goats. One was sacrificed to God, while the other was dedicated to Azazel. It was released into the wilderness and cast over a cliff: see Leviticus 16.

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"Scapegoat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Scapegoat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

"Scapegoat." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat

scapegoat

scapegoatafloat, bloat, boat, capote, coat, connote, cote, dote, emote, float, gloat, goat, groat, misquote, moat, mote, note, oat, outvote, promote, quote, rote, shoat, smote, stoat, Succoth, table d'hôte, Terre Haute, throat, tote, vote, wrote •flatboat •mailboat, sailboat, whaleboat •speedboat • keelboat •dreamboat, steamboat •lifeboat • iceboat • longboat •sauceboat • houseboat •rowboat, showboat •U-boat • tugboat • gunboat •powerboat • motorboat • riverboat •workboat • Haggadoth • anecdote •scapegoat • redingote • nanny goat •zygote • redcoat • tailcoat • raincoat •waistcoat • greatcoat • petticoat •topcoat • housecoat • undercoat •entrecôte • surcoat • turncoat •matelote • banknote • headnote •endnote • keynote • woodnote •footnote • compote • whitethroat •shofroth • bluethroat • cut-throat •creosote • mitzvoth • mezuzoth

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"scapegoat." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"scapegoat." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scapegoat-0