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On this page: Burial (continued)

104

BURIAL.

not usual, until the last century of the Re­public. After the speech, the procession moved on in the same order to the place of burial, which, according to the law of the Twelve Tables, must be situated outside the city. No one could be buried within the city but men of illustrious merit, as, for instance, generals who had won a triumph, and Vestal Virgins. By a special resolu­tion of the popular assembly, these persons were allowed the honour of burial in the Forum. The tombs were in some cases situated on family estates, but the greater number formed a line extending from the gates of the city to some distance along the great roads, and especially the Via Appia. (Comp. fig. 4.)

Burial was, among the Romans, the oldest

mals. The followers threw in a, variety of gifts as a last remembrance. The pyre was then kindled by the nearest kinsman and friends, who performed the office with averted faces. The ashes were extinguished with water or wine, and the procession, after saying a last farewell, returned home, while the nearest of kin collected the ashes in a cloth and buried the severed limb. After some days, the dry ashes were put by the nearest relations into an urn, which was deposited in deep silence in the sepulchral chamber, which they entered ungirt and bare-footed. After the burial or burning there was a funeral feast at the tomb. A sacrifice to the Lares purified the family and the house from the taint entailed by death. The mourning was ended on the

(4) * THE STREET OF TOMBS AT POMPEII. (Gell and Gandy, Pompeiana, pi. 3.)

form of disposing of the corpse. In certain families (e.g. the gens Cornelia), it long con­tinued the exclusive custom. Infant chil­dren, and poor people in general, were always buried. Even when the body was burnt, an old custom prescribed that a limb should be cut off and buried, otherwise the family was not regarded as having discharged its obligations. The body was laid in its tomb in full dress, and placed in a special sarco­phagus. When the body was to be burnt, a pyre was erected on a specified place near the grave. The pyre was sometimes made in the form of an altar, and adorned in the costliest manner. The couch and the body were laid upon it, and with them anything which the deceased person had used or been fond of, sometimes one of his favourite ani-

ninth day after the burial by a sacrifice offered to the Manes of the dead, and a meal of eggs, lentils and salt, at which the mourning attire was laid aside. It was on this day that the games held in honour of the dead generally took place. (See manes.) Everything necessary for the funeral was provided by contract by the HbHlnarii or officials of the temple of Llbltlna, at which a notification was made of all cases of death (see libitina). There were public burial-places, but only for slaves and those who were too poor to buy burial-places for themselves. The bodies were thrown pro­miscuously into large common graves, called jauticfiK, orwells, on account of their depth. There was a burial place of this sort on the Esquiline, where the bodies of criminals

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