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Greek. The Greeks regarded the burial of the dead as one of the most sacred duties. Its neglect involved an offence against the dead ; for, according to the popular belief, the soul obtained no rest in the realms of the dead, so long as the body remained unburied. It involved, further, an offence against the gods, both of the upper and the lower world. The unburied corpse was an offence to the eyes of the former, while the latter were deprived of their due. Any one finding an unburied corpse was expected at least to throw a handful of dust over it. If a general neglected to provide for the burial of the slain in war, he was deemed guilty of a capital offence. Burial of the dead was not refused even to the enemy, whether Greek or barbarian. It was a violation of the laws of war to refuse to the conquered the truce necessary for this purpose; and if the conquered were unable to fulfil the duty, the responsibility fell upon the conquerors. There were certain circumstances under which, according to Athenian law, children, during the lifetime of their fathers, were held free from all obligations to them; but the obligation to give them burial after death was never cancelled. The usages of the Athenians, and probably of the other Greeks, were as follows. The eyes of the dead having been closed, an obolos was put in the mouth as passage-money for Charon. The body was then washed and anointed by the women of the family, who proceeded to adorn it with fillets and garlands (commonly of ivy), to clothe it in white garments, and lay it out on a couch in the hall, with its face turned to the door. The kinsfolk and friends stood by, mourning; but the laws of Solon forbade all exaggerated expressions of grief. Hired women were sometimes introduced, singing dirges to the accompaniment of the flute. Near the couch were placed painted earthenware vases containing the libations to be afterwards offered. Before the door was a vessel of water, intended for the purification of all who went out. This water might not be brought from another house in which a dead body lay. The corpse was laid out on the day following the death; and on the next day before sunrise (lest the sun should be polluted by the sight) was carried out to the place of burial, attended by kinsmen and friends, who sometimes acted as bearers. This office, however, was usually performed by freedmen or hired assistants; in the case of men of mark, it would be undertaken by young Athenian citizens. The procession was headed by men singing songs of mourning, or women playing the flute; then came the male mourners in garments of black or grey, and with hair cut short; and these were followed by the bier. Behind the bier followed a train of women, including all who were related to the dead as far as to the fifth degree. No other women might attend but those who were more than sixty years of age. In the heroic age the bodies are always burnt, burial being unknown; but in later times burial and burning are found existing side by side, burial being preferred by the pooron the ground of expense. In case of buria, the body was placed in coffin of wood, clay, or stone, or in a chamber in a 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 families, 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 ease 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 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 (Nekysia) 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 Ceramicus, the most beautiful suburb of the city. On these occasions a funeral 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 honotir 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 kenotaphion, 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. As a rule-though there were exceptions, as at Sparta-burial places were situated outside the city, and in the neighbourbood of the great roads. This was also the favourite place for private tombs standing on their own ground, apart from the common cemeteries. The body was generally buried with the feet turned towards the road. Monuments took the form of mounds, pilasters, columns, and flat grave-stones. We often find buildings in the style of temples, with very costly adornments, sculptures, and inscriptions in verse and prose. These inscriptions often give more than the name of the deceased, and contain notices of his life, sometimes with proverbs, sometimes with curses directed against any one violating the tomb and disturbing the rest of its occupants. The violation of a tomb, which was regarded with reverence as a consecrated spot, was a serious offence. One of the most aggravated forms of it was the intrusion into the family sepulchre of a body which had no right to be there.

Pictures and Media
A CHILD'S COFFIN, ATTICA.(Stackelberg, Graber der Hellenen, Taf. vii.)
DECORATED GRAVE COLUMN.From an Athenian vase (Stackelberg, l.c., Taf xlv.)
THE MOUND AT MARATHON.(Dodwell's Travels in Greece, ii 160.)
THE STREET OF TOMBS AT POMPEII.(Gell and Gandy, Pompeiana, pl. 3.)
Type: Standard
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