While surfing for more literary references to human sacrifice at Carthage, I happened across a Punic inscription which may be relevant.
Now treat this with caution. I have done no literature search. The author, Bennie H. Reynolds, and the standing of this article, are both unknown to me. But the publication is from Brill, which gives it a certain standing.
On p.141 we get this (an abbreviated version without vocalisation appears first, and then this):
wayyaliku harabima adonba`al bena garaskin haraba wahamlakot bena hanna haraba `olaša watamaku hemata agraginta wašutu [he]
The generals offered Adonba`al, son of Garaskin the general and Hamlakot the son of Hanna’ the general [as] a sacrifice, then they seized Agrigentum, and the Agrigentines surrendered (made peace)
But the text could also be translated, I gather (p.140), as:
Generals Idnibal son of Gisco the Great and Himilco son of Hanno the Great proceeded at dawn; they seized Agrigentum, and they [the Agrigentines] made peace.
Readers of my last article will, of course, recognise the similarity to the campaign of Hannibal and Himilco against Agrigentum described by Diodorus.
Only specialists in Punic and related semitic tongues could comment usefully on which version is correct. But it is nevertheless interesting to read of this.
Update: A reader writes to tell me that the inscription in question may be found in the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, where it has the reference number CIS, vol. 1, 5510.
- Bennie H. Reynolds, “Molek: Dead or Alive? The meaning and derivation of mlk and ###”, in Human sacrifice in Jewish and Christian tradition, ed. K. Finsterbusch &c, Leiden: Brill, 2007, p.133-150.↩
- Charles Krahmalkov, Phoenician-Punic Dictionary, OLA 90, Leuven:Peeters, 2000, p.373-4.↩
- J. C. Quinn, The cultures of the tophet: identification and identity in the Phoenician diaspora, in E. S. Gruin, (ed.) Cultural Identity and the Peoples of the Ancient Mediterranean, 2011, p.388-413.↩
- J. H. Schwartz &c, Skeletal Remains from Punic Carthage Do Not Support Systematic Sacrifice of Infants, PLoS ONE 5(2), 2010.↩