Roman Customs

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Roman Customs
2010-07-09 20:35:24
Funeral History

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  1. Funeral Customs
    • *Religious & death beliefs
    • *Burial Customs
    • *Preperations of the Body
    • *Indvidual involved in the Funeral Service
    • *Funeral Procession
    • *the committal service
    • *types of receptacles
  2. Religious & death beliefs
    • *early roman centuries they believed that the soul of a man hovered around the place of burial for it's continuing peace & happiness
    • * greek & oriental eastern influnences into believing in a pleasant, wondrous & ecstatic existance in eternity or in the opposite
    • * Epicurean phiosophy changed the belief that body & soul is composed of atoms & disinitergrated at death
    • *Christianity set beliefs about man & is maker this became predominate
  3. offerings of food and drink were for who?
    the descendants gave the soul constant attention
  4. The scheme of life soon became,
    "Let us eat, drink & be merry, for tomorrow we die"
  5. Influence of the Romans in general:
    • * Constantine (314 A.D. to 379 A.D.)
    • * they are credited w/ establishing occupational models forlcensing purposes
    • * the first to establish a set of mortuary laws to protect the health of the living & establishment of Burial Societies
  6. Burial Customs
    • *times varied but both cremation & earth burial were practiced
    • *for sanitaion reasons burial within the walls of the city of Rome was prohibited
  7. Cremation was the normal practice in
    753 B.C. to 100 A.D. (Period of the Republic of Rome)
  8. Earth burial (inhumation) became the standard in
    100 A.D. to 476 A.D. (Roman Empire)
  9. The spread of oriental mystery cults, with their adhorrence of fire & the rise of Christianity with the emphasis upon hallowed nature of the body was the change to what?
    Earth Burial
  10. The great roads leading from the city became
    lined with elaborate & costly tombs erected by the well-to-do
  11. Columbaria
    filled w/ niches for the urns holding the remains of the dead were often erected by speculators who rented urn space to those who were unable to afford appropriate resting places of their own.
  12. The indigent class utilized
    common grave pit or Commune Sepulchrum for the dead
  13. Burial Societies fromed by
    artisan class (craftsmen)
  14. Preparation of the body was determined by the
    status of the individual, determining the preparation procedure of the dead.
  15. Customary Procedure:
    • *body is washed with warm water
    • * evisceration was only preformed for the well-to-do who could afford this treatment
    • * superficial anointing of the body with oils & spices
    • * the body was dressed in burial garment
    • * the body was laid in their home for viewing, with the feet always positioned toward the front door
    • * flowers adorn the couch which the deceased lay & incense was burnedin the home as a sign of mourning
  16. The "White Toga"
    was how the influential class was dressed
  17. The period of lying in state lasted
    from 3 days to a week, for the lower class & a week or longer for those of influential class
  18. Individuals involved in the Funeral Service
    • *Libitanrius-Head Undertaker
    • *Designator
    • *Pollinctors
    • *Praeco or Crier
  19. This individual was named this because he exercised his business at the temple or Grove of Libinial
    Libitinarius- "undertaker"
  20. Libitinari is the name associated with
    the goddess or corpses & funerals
  21. deaths were registered at this temple
    Grove of Libitina who also served as local registrar's office
  22. Master of Ceremonies & director of the funeral procession
  23. slaves or employees of Libitinarius who prepared the body
  24. Praeco or Crier
    function was to walkthe streets of Rome announcing the death of well-to-do & summoning the participants of the funeral
  25. Customary Order & participants of Funeral Procession
    • *Torch Bearers
    • * Singers
    • * Jesters
    • * Actors
    • * Deceased
    • * Immediate Family & Friends
    • * Personal Slaves
    • * Freedmen who were former slaves & whom he liverated at his death
  26. Torch Bearers
    would lead & light the way since most processions were held at night
  27. Singers
    purpose was to sing the praise of the deceased
  28. Jesters
    function to entertain the observers
  29. Actors
    wearing masks of the deceased & his already deceased relatives, would act out scenes from the life of the deceased & summon the dead to the afterlife
  30. Deceased
    would be carried on a bier or couch by his slaves
  31. The customary practices of the committal service
    • *dedication of the burial ground o tomb
    • *purification of the family & friends
    • *casting of earth upon the deceased by the family
    • *sacrifical offerings to the gods
    • *conclamation mortis-the closing of the committal service
  32. conclamation mortis
    this was done by circling the deceased 3 times while crying out the deceased name & pulling their hair, rending (tearing) their garments & scratching their faces.
  33. Types of receptacles
    • *the earliest was creamtion urns for holding cremains
    • *sarcophagus casket, made of limestone, utilized during early burial & entombment