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HECATOMB (Gr. e/caro^Sr; from tKariv, a hundred, and /Sow, an ox), originally the sacrifice of a hundred oxen in the religious ceremonies of the Greeks and Romans; later a large number of any kind of animals devoted for sacrifice. Figuratively, "hecatomb" is used to describe the sacrifice or destruction by fire, tempest, disease or the sword of any large number of persons or animals; and also of the wholesale destruction of inanimate objects, and even of mental and moral attributes.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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