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September 11, 2007

SPQR Blues: Blues 3 part LXXVI

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Funeral society
I'll fix up the smudges when it isn't quite so 4 in the morning....

A Roman funeral procession for someone of moderate means would likely be headed by the undertaker, who would call out to people as the group wound its way through town to the road of tombs beyond the city; then would follow torchbearers, even during the day, and musicians, and symbols of the departed's rank or family. Professional mourners would lift up a loud and ostentatious wailing. After the pall bearers would follow friends of the family, then the family itself. Men of great rank of course had huge retinues, dozens or even hundreds of people wearing the masks of ancestors, and the procession would pause for orations in the deceased's honour. Children and the poor were often buried at night, and with little display. People often banded together in funeral societies to help one another afford a more respectable procession and feast.

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Posted by klio at September 11, 2007 03:50 AM
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