The ritual of Sacred Prostitution is still a taboo subject for many today.
Historians and archaeologists still struggle to grasp the historical authenticity and the dynamics of these rituals.
These practices seem to originate from the Ancient Near East, and were viewed by many ancient authors as depraved “Oriental” customers that needed to be shunned.
We hear of the Carthaginians using these rituals, especially on the island of Sicily, where they’re noble virgin women used to offer themselves to their gods, and sleep with the first individual that came to the temple.
This is all of course very romantic and all, but is it true?
Difficult to know, although we have different sources attesting this, it may be an attempt by the Omans to demonize their greatest enemy, attaching the Carthaginians (who are Phoenicians from Tyre in Syria) to those “Oriental barbaric customs” that early Romans and conservatives hated.