L. Cilliers, F.P. Retief


Funerary practices, the hereafter and pollution in ancient Greece
Funerary practices in ancient Greece were influenced by contemporary views on the hereafter and concepts of pollution, but also by an endeavour to limit costs and to prevent the burial procedure from causing inconvenience to the community or creating the opportunity of exploitation for ulterior political motives. Plato (Hippias Maior 291 d and e) said that it was the ideal of any Greek was to be rich, healthy and honoured, to reach a good old age, to bury his parents in a fitting way, and thereafter to be buried himself by his children with the necessary honours. In this study the views current in Greece, and Attica in particular, from the eight to the fourth centuries BC on the handling of the dead are investigated. The sources consulted were Homer’s epic poems, archaeological data and vase paintings, as well as the writings of later historians, philosophers and other prominent persons.

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ISSN 2079-2883 (online); ISSN 0303-1896 (print)

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