The Ancient Library

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wall, or in a grave hollowed out in a rock. If burning was resorted to, the corpse was laid on a pyre, which, in the case of rich i'amilies, was sometimes very large, splendid and costly. It was kindled by the nearest relative ; the mourners threw into the flame locks of hair, and objects of all kinds in which the dead person had taken pleasure during his life. When the fire was extin­guished, the relations collected the ashes and put them in an urn, which was set up in a building constructed on a scale large enough for whole families or clans. So, too, in case of burial, the coffins which belonged to one family or clan were laid together in a common tomb. Near the urns and coffins were placed a variety of vessels and other objects which had been the property of the dead. (Comp. fig. 1.)

The funeral was succeeded by a meal par­taken of by the mourners in the house of mourning. The virtues of the dead were

(1) *a child's coffin, attica. (Stackelberg, Briber der Hellenm, Taf. vii.)

spoken of, and his faults passed over, to speak evil of the dead being regarded as an impiety. Then came the purification of the house. On the third, ninth, and thirtieth day after the funeral, libations of honey, wine, oil, and milk or water, with other offerings, were brought to the tomb. On the ninth day, in particular, peculiar prep­arations of food were added. The outward signs of mourning were laid aside at Athens on the thirtieth, at Sparta as early as the twelfth, day after the funeral. The kinsfolk visited the graves at certain seasons of the year, adorned them with garlands and fillets, and brought offerings to them. This was done more especially on the anniver­saries of births and deaths, and at the general festival of the dead (NlkysiaJ in September. (Comp. fig. 2.)

After the time of Solon, a public burial was sometimes given at Athens to men of great mark. In time of war, too, the bones of all the citizens who had fallen in the

campaigns of the year were sometimes buried together at the public expense in the outer Ceramlcus, the most beautiful suburb of the city. On these occasions a funeral

(2) * DECORATED QRAVE COLUMN. From an Athenian vase (Stackelberg, I.e., Tat 3dv.)

oration was delivered by a speaker of mark, chosen by the government. In later times a memorial festival was observed, even in time of peace, in honour of the dead thus publicly buried. A special service was held annually at Marathon in memory of the heroes who had fallen there, and been buried on the spot in recognition of their valour. (Comp. fig. 3.)

The ashes of persons who had died in a foreign country were, if possible, brought home and laid in a tomb. There were cases in which this was impossible, or in which the body could not be removed—if, for instance, the deceased had been lost at sea. Then a kSnoWphlon, or empty tomb, would be erected to his memory. It was only to very heinous offenders that a tomb in their own country was refused. If a man's guilt was proved after his death, his remains were disinterred and sent across the fron­tier.


(Dodwell's Travels in Greece, ii 160.)

As a rule—though there were exceptions, as at Sparta—burial places were situated outside the city, and in the neighbourhood of the great roads. This was also the favourite place for private tombs standing

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