It was his misfortune to be the scapegoat upon whose head parliament laid the accumulated sins, real and imaginary, of the East India Company.
It is equally impossible to give a general survey of the purposes of sacrifice; not only are they too numerous but it is rare to find any but mixed forms; the scapegoat, for example, is also a messenger to the dead, and its flesh is eaten by the sacrificers.
With regard to the scapegoat, it must be noted that we also meet with a more concrete idea of expulsion of evil (see Demonology, Exorcism), which is present among the most primitive peoples, such as the Australians.
This raises the problem of how far the catharsis dealt with above is in its original form an elimination of impurity, and how far something more definite - a spirit or other principle of evil - is held to be expelled by scapegoat and allied ceremonies.
At Rome the scapegoat did not suffer death; but in the Saturnalia a human victim seems to have been slain till the 4th century A.D.