Thursday, 1 October 2015

"The Burial Customs of the Ancient Greeks"

"The Burial Customs of the Ancient Greeks"
Frank Pierrepont Graves
1891
Project Gutenburg
"So stringent was the law concerning the duty of burial among the ancient Greeks. Yet there were extreme cases where burial was forbidden. It was the severest aggravation of the penalty of execution for a crime that the body of the criminal was denied interment. Such corpses, both at Athens and Sparta, were cast with the halter and their garments into a pit in an allotted quarter of the city, where the flesh might decay or be eaten by carrion birds. At Athens this barathrum, as it was usually called, was situated in the quarter called Melita, very near the house of Themistocles, and the temple which he had erected to Artemis Aristobule. Sparta also had a pit or underground cavern, called Caeadas, to which were consigned the corpses of malefactors. After the Lacedemonians had kept Pausanias confined till he was starved to death, they first meditated throwing his remains into this disgraceful place, but afterwards, changing their minds, they buried him in the ground somewhere thereabouts."

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