no edit summary
According to the classical sources, the Carthaginians sacrificed their children to Cronus, which was the Greek equivalent of Baal. The first century BC Greek historian, Diodorus, wrote that the Carthaginians sacrificed hundreds of their own children to Cronus/Baal after suffering a major military defeat to Agathocles and the Greeks of Syracuse in 310 BC.
“They also alleged that Cronus had turned against them inasmuch as in former times they had been accustomed to sacrifice to this god the noblest of their sons, but more recently, secretly buying and nurturing children, they had sent these to the sacrifice; and when an investigation was made, some of those who had been sacrificed were discovered to have been substitutions. When they had given thought to these things and saw their enemy encamped before their walls, they were filled with superstitious dread, for they believed that they had neglected the honors of the gods that had been established by their fathers.
In their zeal to make amends for their omission, they selected two hundred of the noblest children and sacrificed them publicly; and others who were under suspicion sacrificed themselves voluntarily, in number not less than three hundred. There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus, extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire. <ref> Diodorus Siculus. <i> The Library of History.</i> Translated by C.H. Oldfather. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004), Book XX, 14, 4-6</ref>