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Fun on Friday: A Sacrifice to the Gods


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Monday is tax day. That means I have to send a big check to my overlords – a sacrifice to the gods of government if you will.

Of course, sacrifice to the gods is nothing new.

In fact, wealthy Norse elites buried gold pendants as a sacrifice to the gods. Seven such artifacts were recently discovered in a field in southern Norway. Known as bracteates, the gold pendants feature images of Norse gods and stylized animal figures.

Archeologists have found about 900 bracteates to date, about 160 of them in Norway.

According to the Smithsonian, they represent a Scandinavian take on Roman and Byzantine portrait medallions. Emperors presented them as gifts to important people. Fifth- and sixth-century Scandinavians wore the pendants to convey high status and kept them as a store of wealth. You see, gold was a sign of wealth and status more than a thousand years ago.

“People in Scandinavia took ownership of a status item from the Roman culture, gave it a Norse look and made it their own,” archaeologists from the Museum of Cultural History in a statement. “There is little doubt that these were items connected to aristocratic communities within a Germanic elite in Scandinavia.”

By sacrificing and burying the gold, individuals hoped to appease the gods.

“The gods needed pleasing,” the archaeologists said. “In a time of bad years and insecurities, people may have felt a heightened need to try and avoid dangers and seek protection.”

Now, maybe I’m stretching a bit here, but that’s kind of how a lot of people treat government today, right? They send a bunch of money to appease the wrath of the gods. Failing to do so could land you in hot water. And maybe, just maybe, if we pay up our taxes and behave ourselves, or benevolent overlords will send us a nice stimmy check, or provide us with “free healthcare.” Then our sacrifice will not be in vain.

I don’t know how our Norse ancestors felt about burying the valuable gold as a sacrifice to the gods. But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess most of them weren’t a whole lot more thrilled about it than I am writing that check to the IRS. Most of us prefer to hold on to our wealth. I can imagine them digging holes for the sacrifice with a bit of grumbling and reluctance. I wonder how many of them dropped in a piece of bone or something and pocketed the gold when nobody was looking.

And let’s be honest, burying gold didn’t help anybody. And I’m pretty convinced sending money to Uncle Sam isn’t really helping anybody either. Heck, they spend most of it making bombs.

So, if it’s all the same to you, I would prefer to dispense with this sacrificial ritual and just hold on to my money.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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