The act shocked the religious conscience of western Asia; the subsequent murder of Sennacherib was held to be an expiation of it, and his successor Esarhaddon hastened to rebuild the old city, to receive there his crown, and make it his residence during part of the year.
One (Yoma, " the day ") deals exclusively with the rites which were to be observed on the great day of expiation or atonement; the other (Taanith, " fast ") is devoted to the other fasts, and See Judith viii.
Possibly at Delphi and other places there was an old serpentworship ousted by that of Apollo, which may account for expiation for the slaying of Python being considered necessary.
It is probable that Adonis himself was looked upon as incarnate in the swine, so that the sacrifice to him by way of expiation on special occasions of an animal which otherwise was specially sacred, and its consumption by its worshippers, was a sacramental act.
Here, again, the theology was further developed, and an attempt made to annul the old dualism by envisaging both Ormuzd and Ahriman as emanations of an original principle of infinite time (Zervan), a doctrine which long enjoyed official validity under the Sassanids till, in the reign of Chosroes I., the sect of Zervanites was pronounced heretical.i But, above all, the ritual and the doctrine of purity were elaborated and expanded, and there was evolved a complete and detailed system of casuistry, dealing with all things allowed and forbidden, the forms of pollution and the expiation for each, &c., which, in its arid and spiritles1 monotony vividly recalls the similar prescriptions in the Pentateuch.