Ancient Roman Funeral

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Ancient Roman Funeral by Mind Map: Ancient Roman Funeral

1. Commemoration

1.1. Once the body was buried or cremated, the deceased still had to be remembered.

1.2. The Roman state set part certain days each year to remember loved ones.

1.3. Parentalia (held from February 13 to 21) to honor the family's ancestor.

1.4. Individual families had personal days for commemorating the deceased, as well.

1.5. It was believed that if the deceased's family gathered around the tomb and made an offering, this would activate and placate the spirit might remember some details about its life, rather than continuing to float around the underworld with no memory of its existence.

2. Feast

2.1. No funeral was complete unless there was a ritual feast at the end of it.

2.2. The funeral was the final marker that told the deceased that he/she could continue on the underworld and the family would be able to move forward.

2.3. Nine days after the disposal of the body by burial, a feast was given.

2.4. During the nine days period, the house was considered to be tainted, funesta, and was hung with yew.

2.5. At the end of the period, the house was swept in an attempt to purge it of the dead person's ghost.

3. Eulogy

3.1. If the deceased was an important member of society, the family would offer a eulogy at the funeral.

3.2. Many different eulogies wee delivered at Roman funerals have survived to the present-day.

3.3. A eulogy and songs of mourning were also part of the ceremonie.

4. procession

4.1. The funeral procession was marked by the movement of bodies, both living and dead, and the loud noise that it generated.

4.2. If someone is not member of deceased's family, he/she had to paid to participate.

4.3. Freedmen or client of the deceased also participated in the procession as a way of showing respect to their patron.

4.4. The corpse was carried in a bier ( a bed-like tray)

4.5. The actor with imagines formed the next part of the procession.

4.6. These actors would dress up as the deceased's ancestors and reproduce their personas.

4.7. Ancestor worship was absolutely central to the Romans' beliefs about death and the afterlife.

5. Cremation/Burial

5.1. The body was taken to the necropolis and put upon a funeral pyre.

5.2. It was then burned, and the ashes and remaining fragments of bones and teeth were interned in a funerary urn.

5.3. There was a sense that psychic impression of the deceased still lingered around friend and family, and the spirit would become angered if anything negative was said abut it.

5.4. It was believed that until the body was interned the spirit had not crossed the River Styx yet.

5.5. Cremation was the more common method fro the formation of Rome to the mid-2nd century AD.

5.6. The body would be placed inside a coffin called sarcophagus ( which was often massive and richly decorated.

5.7. Mediterranean-was hardly ever used in Rome, especially when cremation was the most common method.