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Horrors lurked in the primeval forest, not nymphs and naiads. Terror lived there, with its close attendant, Magic, and its most common defense, Human Sacrifice. Mankind’s chief hope of escaping the wrath of whatever divinities were then abroad lay in some magical rite, senseless but powerful, or in some offering made at the cost of pain and grief.
Source: Edith Hamilton - Mythology
I can not understand the blue part. I wish I were a native English speaker so that I could understand it.
This is my paraphrase of the blue line:
Mankind's main hope of escaping from the anger of the gods were held in religious ceremonies.
It was absurd but strong [.......I couldn't paraphrase the rest]
Would you please revise my bad paraphrase?
Thanks so much
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum