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Cremation and Burial in the Roman Empire

  • Arthur Darby Nock (a1)

Under the Roman empire cremation went out of fashion and burial gained in popularity as the usual means of disposing of the dead. The cause of this change has been much discussed, and the explanation has often been given that it was due to religious influences and to a shift in ideas of the hereafter. The rising influence of Christianity has sometimes been suggested as a cause, but chronology and the distribution of the phenomena are fatal to that supposition. More recently an alternative has been sought in the growth of the mystery religions. If this could be established, it would form a new and important criterion for the division of the religious history of the empire into periods. Clearly the question deserves full consideration. For that and for many other reasons a full collection and sifting of the evidence for funerary customs throughout the Roman world in the first three centuries of our era is greatly to be desired. This paper does not pretend to fill such a need, and the archaeological data on which it is based are in the main drawn from Rome; the conclusions which can be drawn from these data are limited, but they seem to possess some degree of certainty and they have their bearing on the general nature of the mystery religions.

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1 So, for example, Rodenwaldt, G., Der Sarkophag Caffarelli (Winckelmannsprogramm, Berlin, 88, 1925), p. 8.

2 Lehner, H., Bonner Jahrbücher, 129, 1924, p. 64. A. Dieterich, Mutter Erde, p. 66, had very tentatively related the change “auf den Einfluss der antik-mystischen Religionen (die ja zum Teil, wie Iamblichos zeigt, das altpythagoräische Symbolon bewährt hatten) und des Christentums.”

3 So Lucretius iii. 888 ff.; Dessau 6087, 73 (lex coloniae Genetiuae Iuliae seu Vrsonensis).

4 Cicero, De legibus, ii. 56; Pliny, Nat. Hist. vii. 187; Granius Licinianus (Bonn ed.), p. 43. It is possible that the Roman custom of burying the os resectum, one member from a cremated man, is a survival from inhumation (H. J. Rose, The Roman Questions of Plutarch, p. 202).

5 F. von Duhn, Italische Gräberkunde, 1, pp. 2, 438; there was no doubt sporadic burial in country districts, for example at Ganaceto in Cispadana under Claudius (Not., 1889, p. 4). At Naples there are grave chambers with burials of the time of Augustus (Levi, A., Monumenti Antichi, XXXI, 19261987, pp. 377 ff.), but Naples was a Greek town.

6 Often treated exceptionally. In a group of hellenistic tombs south of Reggio di Calabria only children were found cremated (Not., 1913, pp. 154 ff.). It was a question in Judaism whether infants would have a part in the resurrection (Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, IV, pp. 1194 ff.).

7 Lucan viii. 736; Martial vii. 75. 9; Porphyrio in Hor. Epod. 5, 100.

8 Platner-Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, p. 435; on the change see Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften, III, p. 211.

9 111. 2.

10 Annals xvi. 6. The foreign kings are probably the Ptolemies.

11 Natural History xxxvi. 131.

12 Siluae v. 1. 226 ff.; v. 3. 31; so also his protégé, 5. 13 ff., and the father of Claudius Etruscus, iii. 3. 131 ff.

13 Not., 1916, p. 302 (under Claudius).

14 Cf. Rodenwaldt's work cited in note 1 above, and C. Weickert, Gnomon, III, p. 215; J. Toynbee, Journal of Roman Studies, XVII, p. 27; XVIII, pp. 215 ff.

15 Cagnat-Chapot, Manuel d'archéologie romaine, I, p. 326; G. Lugli, Not., 1919, p. 289. In the cemetery of S. Paolo cremation went on to the end of the second century after Christ. G. Mancini, Not., 1983, p. 34, notes the gradual nature of the transition under S. Sebastiano and the respect for previous occupants. For burial trenches dug later in the floor of a columbarium at Rome, cf. Not., 1917, pp. 298 f.; burials ‘a forma’ in floor, 1920, p. 32; other subsequent inhumations, 1922, p. 410; 1911, pp. 76, 133 ff.; 1912, p. 17; 1913, p. 70; 1907, p. 9. — In the lex cultorum Dianae et Antinoi set up in a.d. 136 (Dessau, 7212, 25) we read ‘ad rogus diuidentur.’

16 Between San Sebastiano and the tomb of Caecilia Metella (G. Mancini, Not., 1919, pp. 49 ff). Cf. the hypogaeum on the Via Praenestina, described Ibid. 1883, pp. 82 ff., and that at Portus Romanus discussed by Calza, G., Capitolium, VI, 1930, p. 362.

17 Not., 1928, p. 147. Cf. 1919, p. 73 (Ostia) sar]cophagis et aedicul[.

18 Dessau, 7926. For mixture in Naples, perhaps of the first century after Christ, cf. G. de Petra, Monumenti Antichi, VIII, 1898, pp. 217 ff.

19 Saturnalia vii. 7. 5. Codex Theodosianus ix. 17. 6, dated 30 July 381, uses the phrase ‘omnia quae supra terram urnis clausa uel sarcophagis corpora detinentur, extra urbem delata ponantur.’ This has been thought to show that both customs still existed; but (a) it was a legal tradition to mention them side by side, (b) many urn-monuments survived from earlier times.

20 R. Weynand, Bonner Jahrbücher, CVIII-CIX, p. 219. I have not collected material for Sardinia, but cf. Not., 1886, p. 28, a burial of the time of Vespasian; 1895, p. 53, a cremation of the time of Alexander Sever us; 1909, pp. 332 ff., burials from Augustus to Julia Domna. On older native customs of burial, cf. Ibid. 1904, p. 346. It should be noted that there was a considerable export of sarcophagi from Rome to Gaul, Spain, Mauretania, and the Western province of North Africa (Rodenwaldt, G., Jahrbuch des deutschen archäologischen Institute, XLV, 1930, p. 184).

21 Grimm, J., Abhandlungen, Berlin Academy, 1849, pp. 211 ff.; J. Wylie, Archaeologia, XXXVII, pp. 455 ff.; F. Blanchard, Bulletin archéologique du comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, 1908, p. 199 (in this cemetery burial predominates heavily). A sarcophagus hardly to be dated later than the third century after Christ in F. Cumont, Catalogue des sculptures et des inscriptions du Cinquantenaire, 2nd ed., pp. 110 ff.

22 H. Lehner, Bonner Jahrbücher, CXXIX, p. 64; cf. J. Klinkenberg, CVIII-CIX, p. 150 (who dates the incoming of the sarcophagus in the second century after Christ). In Pomerania cremation occurs here and there at the end of the third century or the beginning of the fourth, while at the same time there is a burial of the first century of our era, and the customs are found together in the same first-century grave (E. Jungklaus, Römische Funde in Pommern, pp. 97 ff.).

23 Urlichs, L., Jahrbücher des Vereins von Altertumsfreunden im Rheinlande, III, 1843, pp. 134 ff.

24 Goessler, , Germania, XV, 1931, pp. 6 ff.

25 R. G. Collingwood, The Archaeology of Roman Britain, p. 147.

26 Schober, A., Jahreshefte, XVII, 1914, pp. 215 ff. Burial begins in the third century, but is not predominant till the time of Constantine.

27 S. Gsell, Les monuments antiques de l'Algérie, II, p. 39. Dessau, 8181, from Mactari, ‘qui me commusserit habebit deos iratos et uiuus ardebit,’ might be thought to imply a horror of cremation, but commusserit is probably an error for commouerit.

28 Not absolute, as the Württemberg example shows; and cf. Not., 1890, pp. 339 ff., for arcae of the Batavian detachment at Concordia Sagittaria.

29 Cf. K. Kerényi, Die griechisch-orientalische Romanliteratur, pp. 39, 82, for the reanimation in the Greek novel of supposedly dead persons.

30 For cremation, cf. Florida 19. Elsewhere in the novel Apuleius speaks of burial.

31 See Pârvan, Dacia, pp. 49, 142.

32 R. Leonhard, Paphlagonien, p. 333.

33 Harmon has drawn attention to the general parallel presented by Teles.

34 Pottier-Reinach, La nécropole de Myrina, I, p. 73.

35 M. Rostovzew, Skythien und der Bosporus, I, pp. 148 ff., 167, 195, 201.

36 See J. T. Woods, Discoveries at Ephesus, p. 98, for the local manufacture of ash-urns under the empire, and Stemler, H., Die griechischen Grabinschriften Kleinasiens (Diss. Strassburg, 1908, published at Halle, 1909), p. 16, for instances of cremation in Asia Minor, but note that none are reported in Benndorf-Petersen-von Lusschan, Reisen im südwestlichen Kleinasien, and none at Sardis.

37 One from Saida in Phoenicia in Cumont, Cinquantenaire, pp. 114 f. (marble).

38 R. Pagenstecher, Expedition Sieglin, II, 3, p. 52; Ev. Breccia, La nécropole de Sciatbik (Cat. Gén. ant. Égypte, 63).

39 Breccia, I, p. xxiv (children very rarely cremated).

40 Breccia, , Bulletin de la société royale d'archéologie d'Alexandrie, 25 (N. S. VII, 2), 1930, pp. 99 ff. In this cemetery there is no trace of Egyptian rite or belief and no mummification.

41 Th. Schreiber, Expedition Sieglin, I, p. 51. 108, p. 200. 285; von Bissing, Ibid. 149; Breccia, Bulletin, XV, pp. 53 ff.

42 But Plutarch, Pompey 80, tells of a pyre being built specially for him.

43 Grenfell-Hunt-Hogarth, Fayum Towns and their Papyri, p. 55. My friend Mr. J. Johnson, who has dug hundreds of burials of Ptolemaic and Roman times, kindly informs me that he has found no evidence of cremation. For the mode of mummification cf. Th. Schreiber, Bulletin, XV, p. 22.

44 Wilcken-Mitteis, Grundzüge und Chrestomathie der Papyruskunde, I, 2, pp. 576 f., no. 498 (end of third century after Christ).

45 Reinach, A., Revue archéologique, 1915, I, p. 20; E. Pfuhl, Malerei und Zeichuung der Griechen, II, pp. 339 ff.

46 Settlers from Egypt, for example C. Ptolemaeus (Not., 1916, p. 97), Claudia Meroe (1916, p. 391), M. Aurelius Arpocras (1913, p. 173), Iulia Arsinoensis 1. Potamia (1914, p. 380, no. 27), Caesonia Meroe (Ibid. p. 51, no. 59), Caesia M. 1. Peloris (p. 50, no. 51), Mutia Isias (1887, p. 377, no. 766), Baia L. 1. Cleopatra (1886, p. 372, no. 98), Hilario Isidori (CIL, VI, 4136). Most, if not all, of these names point to Egyptian provenance; some may be theophoric; in either case they show an absence of repugnance for cremation. In Not., 1919, p. 292, Arphocras joins with another man in having a fellow slave cremated.

We may probably reckon as Lepidius, Syrians P.P. 1. Malchio (1887, p. 239, no. 640), L. Cornelius Iazemus (1904, p. 437), Soaemnus (1907, p. 11, no. 23); for the ash-urn of a Syrian merchant at Concordia, cf. 1886, p. 110; in CIL, VI, 4699, we have Glapyra Syra Messalae. So again CIL, VI, 6510, Prima Erotis Cappadoca, and many slaves and freedmen from Asia Minor.

Apparently it is so with Parthians also; cf. Not., 1919, p. 306, no. 29 for an ashcippus of the first century after Christ, erected by T. Julius Arsaces; and Ibid. 1922, p. 421, … anes prahatis in a Roman hypogaeum, probably for a cremation. Ἁρπάλου τοῦρσάμου on an ash-urn at Alexandria (Fr. Preisigke, Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Ägypten, no. 2126) suggests Persian descent.

Special interest attaches to CIL, VI, 4779, L. Iunio Amphioni Iunia Sabbatis patrono suo et sibi posterisque eorum omnibus. Her name suggests that she had, or had had, Jewish connections or interests.

47 H. Thiersch, Jahrbuch des archäologischen Instituts, XXV, pp. 55 ff.

48 W. Altmann, Die römische Grabaltäre, pp. 34, 235; Not., 1933, p. 60; 1906, p. 323. Cf. Not., 1899, p. 388 (ash-urn of a centurion of legio II Par(thica) Se(ueriana) at Castel Gandolfo); ash-urns with coins down to Gordian at Asolo, Not., 1880, p. 45; cremations at Galliate, some of which may be third century, but which depend for their dating on uncertain coin evidence, Ibid. 1918, pp. 84 f., like the ashes found at Lozzo in disputable juxtaposition with coins from Hadrian to Valentinian I, Ibid. 1883, p. 59 (1881, p. 156, only to Faustina Junior). G. Mancini, Not., 1914, p. 398, gives the beginning of the third century as the latest possible date for the use of certain Roman columbaria described on pp. 375 ff.

49 Page 333, note 61.

50 Not., 1898, pp. 129 ff.

51 Not., 1915, pp. 294 ff. It would appear that at Manerba in Venetia there was cremation as late as Herennius Decius (Not., 1893, p. 229), at Turin to Geta (1895, p. 219).

52 lxxiv. 5, 3 (III, p. 328. 24, ed. Boissevain); lxxvi. 15, 2 (p. 370); lxxviii. 9, 1 (p. 412); Bickermann, E., Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, XXVII. 1929, pp. 1 ff.

53 F. Cumont, Études Syriennes, p. 101, fig. 43.

54 Commodus was buried as a hasty measure to secure his remains from the angry mob (Vita 20; cf. 17). The custom of a solemn pyre did not necessarily extend to empresses; Julia Domna was perhaps buried (cf. Cassius Dio lxxviii. 24); but she died out of power and by her own hand.

55 Ammianus Marcellinus xxv. 5, 1 corpore enim curato pro copia rerum et temporis ut ubi ipse olim statuerat conderetur; cf. 9,12 cum Iuliani supremis Procopius mittitur, ea ut superstes ille mandarat humaturus in suburbano Tarsensi. Ibid. 10, 5, cuius suprema et cineres, might be purely conventional, but curato could refer to some measure of temporary preservation to keep the body for a solemn cremation.

56 For instance, componere membra fauilla on a sarcophagus at Rome (Not., 1891, p. 288); Carmina latina epigraphica 902. 1 (Christian) credite uicturas anima remeante fauillas. It should be noted that cineres can be used of the dust to which a body is reduced by long corruption; so Augustine in Ps. 62, 6. It may further be remarked that a sarcophagus probably of the second century of our era reproduces the old type of a woman weeping before a funerary urn (Mendel, G., Catalogue des Sculptures, Constantinople, 1912, I, p. 76).

57 As in ancient Italy; cf. Rose, H. J., Classical Quarterly, XXIV, 1930, p. 131. Cf. W. Crooke, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, IV, p. 483, on varieties of practice in India.

58 At Termessus we find a man providing a σωματοθήκη for himself, his wife, and his children, an ὀστοθήκη for his slave and that slave's descendants (Lanckoronski-Niemann-Petersen, Les villes de la Pamphylie et de la Pisidie, II, p. 236, no. 186). In ancient Italy sometimes the husband was burned, the wife buried (F. von Duhn in Ebert, Reallexikon der Vorgeschichte, V, p. 280). P. Orsi, Not., 1897, p. 498, supposes that a group of four cremations belonged to some conspicuous family; Gabrici, E., Monumenti Antichi, XXII, 1913, p. 575, that when cremation came in at Cuma it was the custom of the richer citizens.

59 See Nilsson, M. P., Revue d'histoire et de philosophic religieuses, X, 1930, pp. 113 ff.

60 We learn this from his will (Usener, Epicurea, p. 166; and yet he affirmed that the wise man would not care about his burial, fr. 578). Cf. A. D. Nock, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, XLI, pp. 47 ff., on the way in which forms of honor and forms of worship run into one another; and Plutarch, Pericles 8, τοὺς ἐν Σάμῳ τεθνηκότας ἐγκω- μιάζων ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος ἀθανάτους ἔλεγε γεγονέναι καθάπερ τοὺς. οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκείνους αὐτοὺς ὁρῶμεν, ἀλλὰ ταῖς τιμαῖς ἂς ἔχουσι καὶ τοῖς άγαθοῖς ἂ παρέχουσιν ἀθανάτους εἶναι τεκμαιρόμεθα. ταὖτ᾽ οὖν ὑπάρχειν καὶ τοῖς ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος άποθανοῦσιν.. Note also the observation of Schwarzlose, W., De titulis sepulcralibus latinis quaestionum capita quattuor (Diss. Halle, 1913), pp. 1 ff., on the fact that the dative came to be much more popular than the nominative or the genitive for the name of the dead man, and p. 54 on the formula ‘in honorem.’

61 P. 327. C. Robert, Die antiken Sarkophagenrelief, II, p. 35, no. 25, reports the discovery of an ash-container in a sarcophagus at Rome; p. 81, no. 69, of two in another. A sarcophagus 1 m. 06 cm. long containing ashes found at Rome (Not., 1911, p. 67); remains of a cremated body in a container of the sarcophagus type at Falerone with a coin of the time of Gallienus (1921, p. 191); a sarcophagus at Sissano inscribed c.oct. silonis ossa et cinis and only 1 m. 26 cm. long (1920, p. 109). So again we find cremated children in monolith sarcophagi at Megara Hyblaea, 1892, p. 181, no. 27 (together with skeleton, p. 212; children were here also buried), etc. At Nuragus in Sardinia the cover of the sarcophagus of a woman aged 36, dated a.d. 247, is 74 cm. long (1903, pp. 535 f.), which, like one at Varese 1 m. 14 cm. long (1908, pp. 308 f.), suggests cremation. Ash-urns were placed in sarcophagi in the archaic cemetery at Assarlik described by W. R. Paton, Journal of Hellenic Studies, VIII, pp. 64 ff.

Nero was burned, but he had a solium of porphyry in the mausoleum of the Domitii with an altar of Luna marble above it (Suet., Nero 50). For ‘solium’ cf. Paulus, Sententiae i. 21, 9 in eo sarcophago uel solio ubi corpus iam depositum est.

62 There is evidence for the use of preservatives (W. Helbig, Das homerische Epos, pp. 53 ff.; Mau, Pauly-Wissowa, V, pp. 2113 f.; Tertullian, De carnis resurrectione 27 corpora medicata condimentis; Not., 1923, p. 14, a semi-mummified body in a sarcophagus of the late fourth or early fifth century), but with an exception noted n. 100 below and that of a body found in a sarcophagus on the Via Appia in 1485 (Ch. Hülsen, Mitteilungen des Instituts für oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung, IV, pp. 433 ff.), no indication of the use of the efficient Egyptian methods outside Egypt.

63 Octavius 11, 4 f.; 34, 10. The idea about Christians was no doubt widespread, and is illustrated by the throwing into the Rhine of the remains of the martyrs of Lyons.

64 Cf. the argument in Athanasius, Vita Antonii 90 (Migne, XXVI, pp. 968 f.), against the habit of keeping the bodies of holy men in houses. He quotes in opposition the examples of the patriarchs and of Christ himself.

65 Ep. 136, pp. 194 ff., ed. Bidez-Cumont.

66 P. 342.

67 Pliny, N. H. xxxv. 160. Cf. Boehm, De symbolis Pythagoreis, pp. 30 f.; Méautis, Recherches sur le Pythagorisme, pp. 33 f. Nigidius Figulus had a sumptuous tomb (Cicero, De legibus ii. 62). In Dessau 8380 (a.d. 155) we find burial of a wife and son ‘fictili sarcofago’ as a thing done under stress; permission was later asked to transfer the remains to a marble sarcophagus in which the bereaved man wished to be placed in due course.

68 F. von Duhn, Italische Gräberkunde, I, p. 599. Plutarch, Lycurgus 27, records a Spartan custom of burying ἐν ϕοινικίδι καὶ ϕύλλοις ἐλαίας θέντες τὸ σῶμα. Myrtle was a plant with chthonic associations; cf. Rohde, Psyche, 2nd ed., I, p. 151, note 5, and Demeter's wreath of myrtle on the Torre Nova sarcophagus (Not., 1905, p. 411). It may be worth mentioning that in early sarcophagi at Tarentum the dead man was laid “sopra una tavola di legno, rafforzata al di sotto con quattro tegoli a traversa” (Q. Quagliati, Not., 1903, p. 212).

69 Vita Pythagorae 155.

70 Herodotus ii. 81, discussed by me in Aegyptiaca, Essays in honor of F. Ll. Griffith, 1932; F. Weege, Etruskische Malerei, p. 26, connects with this ash-urns wrapped in linen found at Capua.

71 Cf. the oracle given by Apollonius of Tyana in Philostratus viii. 31; he had no known tomb; also Aristides Quintilianus, De musica iii. 16, p. 83. 27, ed. Jahn μάλιστα μὲν αὔτη χωρίζει πάσης κακίας τῆς εἰς τὸ σῶμα προσπαθείας τὴν ψυχὴν ἀπολύουσα (said of courage).

72 Cumont, F., Revue de l'histoire des religions, 1922.

73 H. Dütschke, Antike Bildwerke in Oberitalien, I, pp. 60 f., no. 68; Not., 1917, p. 271 (Como); Altmann, Römische Grabaltäre, p. 148, no. 172.

74 Altmann, pp. 236 ff. Cf. Not., 1898, p. 187 (cippus at Rome of priestess of Isis with lustral vase, probably sistrum, and infulae; cista mystica on sides); Ibid. 1882, p. 111 (cippus of Antonia Isias). Ev. Breccia, Bulletin, 25 (VII. 2), 1930, p. 112, publishes a funerary hydria from Hadra with what may be a representation of Sarapis; cf. Preisigke, Sammelbuch, 412, for one of Sarapiodora; Pagenstecher, R., American Journal of Archaeology, 1909, p. 406, for three such disposals δῖ Σαραπίωνος Buecheler, Carmina latina epigraphica 1206, gives an epitaph from near Salonae accompanied with a representation of Attis and the words, sat fletus uestros prima fauilla bibit; corpus habet cineres, animam sacer abstulit aer. The phrase may be conventional, but was not felt to be incongruous.

75 Not., 1904, p. 289.

77 Roussel, P., Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, LIV, 1980, pp. 51 ff. There was no antipathy between Kora and cremation; compare an ash-urn (fifth century b.c.) at Camarina showing her epiphany, Not., 1904, p. 369.

78 P. 338. It should however be remarked that excavations have not given as much information on this point as could be desired.

79 Cumont, F., Revue Archéologique, 1916, IV, pp. 6 ff.

80 Inscriptiones graecae XIV,, 1366 (dead woman represented as pastophorus).

81 Mendel, Catalogue, I, pp. 135 ff., no. 40.

82 Francke, G., Annali, 1879, p. 58. For the view taken of the fiery death, cf. Aristides, Heracles (I, p. 58 ed. Dindorf) ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἀπῆλθεν ἐξ ἀνθρώπωνρακλῆς καθαρθεὶς ὂν λέγεται τρόπον.

83 Note that on some sarcophagi showing the creation of man by Prometheus the soul is represented as entering the body unwillingly (Robert, Sarkophagrelief, III, 3, p. 431), and that on the short side of one of these appear busts of Plato and another thinker, perhaps Pythagoras or Protagoras.

84 Paschetti, L., Ostia Romana (Dissertazioni della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, 1912), p. 456.

85 Paribeni, R., Not., 1919, pp. 106 ff.

86 Not., 1927, p. 331.

87 Gabrici, E., Monumenti Antichi, XXII, 1913, p. 573.

88 O. Kern, Die Inschriften von Magnesia am Maeander, p. 106, no. 117; from p. 140, no. 215, we learn that the three supposed foundresses of thiasoi were buried in different places.

89 Not., 1880, pp. 152 ff., Ibid. pp. 189 f. Comparetti suggests that the names inscribed on two lead tablets published Ibid. p. 34 form a list of Pythagoreans put with the body of a dead brother.

90 F. Cumont, Mystères de Mithra, 3rd ed., p. 181. There are burials outside a mithraic cave at Angera (Not., 1918, p. 7).

91 Drexel, Fr., Kastell Stockstadt (Das obergermanisch-raetische Limes, 33, 1910); G. Wolff, Kastell Gross Krotzenburg (Ibid. 20, no. 23, 1903, pp. 12 f.). It is moreover clear that some Mithraists at least buried privately (e.g. Textes, II, p. 164, no. 502; p. 101, no. 41) and that there are no characteristic symbols on the tombs of the devotees of this god (I, p. 50, n. 1).

93 Waltzing, Les corporations Romaines, IV, pp. 484 ff. Mommsen, Gesammelte Schriften, III, p. 201, remarks that official priestly bodies at Rome never had burial places of their own.

94 Cf. K. Preisendanz, Papyri graecae magicae V, 268 (vol. I, p. 190) ὐποκαύσω ὀστᾶσιηοῦς.

95 A. Erman, Festchrift Sachau, p. 107.

96 F. Ll. Griffith, Demotic Papyri in the John Rylands Library, III, pp. 16, 55; W. Otto, Priester und Tempel im hellenistischen Ägypten, I, pp. 98 ff.

97 Papiri greci e latini, IX, nos. 1014–1024; Wilcken, U., Archiv für Papyrusforschung, IX, 1928, pp. 76 ff.

98 H. Kees, Totenglauben und Jenseitsvorstellungen der alten Ägypter, pp. 348 ff.

99 Sitzungsberichte, Berlin Academy, 1931, p. 522.

100 There is a mummy with a gold mask found at Halabiyeh (Zenobia) and published by Hoffmann, , Archaeologische Zeitung, XXXVI, 1878, pp. 25 f.; another from Palmyra in D. Simonsen, Sculptures et inscriptions de Palmyre, p. 63. For other gold masks found in Mesopotamia, cf. Cumont, Fouilles de Doura-Europos, p. 277, note 1.

101 L. H. Gray, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, IV, p. 505.

102 See an epigram by Dioscorides of Alexandria (Anthologia Palatina, VII, 1672), in which the dead man is made to ask that he may not be burned or have lustral water poured over him, for he is a pure-born Persian and would not wish to defile fire or water; ἀλλὰ περιστείλας με δίδου χθονί; Morgan, J. de, Délégation en Perse, VIII, 1905, pp. 29 ff., for the burial of a woman in a bronze sarcophagus, shaped like a bath, within the citadel of Susa in the Achaemenid period; and A. Dieulafoy, L'acropole de Suse, pp. 426 ff., for the placing in urns of skeletons already more or less desiccated.

103 Cumont, Textes et Monuments, 1, p. 7, note 1. On the custom of exposing the dead and Central Asiatic analogies see K. A. Inostrantsvev, Journal of the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, III, pp. 1 ff.

104 xli. 3.

105 For these see Loftus, W. K., Travels and Researches in Chaldaea and Susiana, 1857, pp. 202 ff.; J. P. Peters, Nippur, II, pp. 214 f. (one has on it a figure with Sassanian headdress); Reuther, O., Antiquity, III, 1929, pp. 448 f. (specimen found at Ctesiphon); Fr. Sarre, Die Kunst des alten Persien, pl. 64 (one now at Berlin). A comprehensive study of these objects is to be desired.

106 Pavry, Jal Dastur Cursetji, The Zoroastrian Doctrine of a Future Life: from death to the individual judgment (Columbia University: Indo-Iranian Series XI), 1926, pp. 25 f.

107 Br. Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, I, pp. 424 ff. Woolley, C. Leonard, Antiquaries’ Journal, X, 1930, p. 325, notes partial cremation in a limited number of graves just before and just after the first dynasty of Ur.

108 M.-J. Lagrange, Études sur les religions sémitiques, 2nd ed., p. 328. Fully developed Judaism emancipated itself from the idea that a dead man lost anything by lacking the rites.

109 Rock graves and tower graves are both found at Doura (Cumont, Fouilles, pp. 273 ff.). For Palmyra, see Lagrange, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, IX, p. 595.

110 Again, at Motya under the Carthaginians cremation was the rule in early times, perhaps because burial seemed unsanitary on the small, thickly populated island; later the dead were carried over to the mainland (F. von Duhn, in Ebert, Reallexikon der Vorgeschichte, VII, p. 280).

111 F. Cumont, Les religions orientales dans le paganisme romain, 4th ed., pp. 247 f.

112 For this I may refer to my forthcoming work on Conversion.

113 See Cumont, , Musée Beige, XXXII, 1928, pp. 73 ff., and Afterlife in Roman Paganism, pp. 9 ff. (the indispensable account of these ideas as a whole).

114 Vss. 480 ff.

115 Servius on Georg. i. 166; Iamblichus, De mysteriis iii. 10; Cumont, Religions orientales, pp. 200 ff.

116 See Buecheler, Carmina, 1233; Cumont, Cinquantenaire, p. 193, no. 164 (from Madaura); and the catacomb of Vincentius.

117 Such as that claimed by Dionysus when in the character of one of the leaders of his votaries (Euripides, Bacchae 466 Διόνυσος ὴμᾶς εἰσέβησ᾽, ὸ τοῦ Διός). These men corresponded on a lower social plane to manteis or prophetae other than those belonging to old prophetic families; many of them were employed by cities. So were also in the archaic period men who claimed to have the power of purifying a city from some guilt or pollution, as for instance Epimenides.

118 Metamorphoses xi. 6, 15.

119 See Nock, A. D., Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, XV, 1929, pp. 230 ff.; also the rites mentioned by Arnobius ii. 13, 62 as thought able to make safe the soul's path past the powers on its way back to heaven.

120 Plutarch, Non posse suaviter vivi secundum Epicurum 27, p. 1105 A καὶ ταῦτα μέν, ὤσπερ ἔϕην, οὐ πάνυ πολλοὶ δεδίασι, μητέρων ὄντα καὶ τιτθῶν δόγματα καὶ λόγους μυθώ δεις. οἱ δὲ καὶ δεδιότες τελετάς τινας αὖ πάλιν καὶ καθαρμοὺς οἴονται βοηθεῖν, οἶς ἀγνισάμενοι διατελεῖν ἐν ᾄδου παίζοντες καὶ χορεύοντες ἐν τοῖς αὐγὴν καὶ πνεῦμα καθαρὸν καὶ ϕθόγγον ἔχουσιν.

Cumont, Afterlife, p. 138, suggests well that the initiation of very young children in Roman times was due to a strong desire to save them from the unhappy fate often thought to be the portion of those who died prematurely.

121 See Cumont, , Syria, X, 1929, pp. 282 ff. for intellectual enthusiasm as a key to heaven.

122 But see pp. 356 f.

123 Cumont, Comptes rendus, 1917, pp. 281 ff.

124 Compare R. Reitzenstein, Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, VII, pp. 400 ff.; and the discussion of the ritual in Kees, Totenglauben. It is not necessary to relate the identification with the Sungod to Persian ideas. See Cumont, Religions orientales, pl. V, 3, for a statue from Cyrene showing, he suggests, a woman initiate with the crown of Isis, her lower limbs swathed in mummy fashion; Wilcken, Urkunden der Ptolemäerzeit, I, p. 93, for a statue fragment in mummy shape found at Memphis; Villefosse, A. Héron de, Monuments Piot, XII, 1905, pp. 79 f., pl. VIII, for the representation on a sarcophagus at Carthage of a priestess with divine vulture-wings.

125 Sethe, , Sitzungsberichte, Berlin Academy, 1931, p. 537.

126 P. 342.

127 The subordinate position of Osiris is well illustrated by Ovid, Amores ii. 13, 12 sic tua sacra pius semper Osiris amet, and by the phrase of Finnicus Maternus about the story, haec est Isiaci sacri summaa (De errore profanarum religionum 2, §3). To Firmicus, Sarapis is simply a giver of oracles (13). On the cold water see Cumont, Religions orientates, pp. 246 ff. On his connection with the dead, see Bayet, J., Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, XLVI, 1929, p. 16, on reliefs showing a funerary banquet in which the reclining figure has the modius of Sarapis.

128 See Cumont, Comptes rendus, 1920, pp. 272 ff.; solemque suum, sua sidera norunt, in Aeneid vi, made the idea familiar to the widest circles.

129 Eunapius, fr. 26 (in Müller, Fragmenta historicorum graecorum, IV, p. 25).

130 P. 234 C.

131 Cumont, Religions orientales, pp. 264 ff.; 301, note 28, and Comptes rendus, 1930, pp. 99 ff., on the Neopythagorean transference of the Islands of the Blest to the sky; also Nock, A. D., Classical Review, 1927, pp. 169 ff.; 1929, pp. 60 f.; also the disk published by Kerényi, K., Archaeologiai Ertesito, 1930, pp. 74 ff., known to me from Rose, H. J., Year's Work in Classical Studies, 1931, p. 70.

132 Söderblom, N., Revue de l'histoire des religions, XXXIX, 1899, p. 228.

133 K. F. Geldner, Die Zoroastrianische Religion (Bertholet, Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch, 2nd ed., fasc. 1), p. 47.

134 Cumont, , Revue de l'histoire des religions, CIII, 1931, pp. 29 ff.; Nock, A. D., Gnomon, VI, 1930, pp. 30 ff.

135 Dittenberger, Orientis graeci inscriptiones selectae, 383. 39 ff.

136 Cumont, Textes, I, pp. 40 f.

137 A. V. Williams Jackson, Researches in Manichaeism, pp. 14, 110.

138 The passage is Julian, Oratio 5, p. 178 C. Julian is speaking of the abstinence from certain forms of food practised during thefe stival of Cybele, τὸ δὲ ὄτι μάλιστα μὲν πάσας τὰς νόσους, εἰ δὲ μή, δτι τὰς πλείστας καὶ μεγίστας ἐκ τῆς τοῦ πνεύματος εἷναι τροπῆς καὶ παραϕορᾶς συμβέβηκεν, οὐδεὶς ὄστις οἶμαι τῶνσκληπιαδῶν οὐ ϕήσειεν. οἱ μὲν γὰρ καὶ πάσας ϕασίν, οἱ δὲ τὰς πλείστας καὶ μεγίστας καὶ ἰαθῆναι χαλεπωτάτας. μαρτυρεῖ δὲ τούτοις καὶ τὰ τῶν θεῶν θεῶν λόγια, ϕημὶ δέ, ὄτι διὰ τῆς ἁγιστείας οὐχ ἡ ψυχὴ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ σώματα βοηθείας πολλῆς καὶ σωτηρίας ἀξιοῦται σὠζεσθαι γάρ σϕισι καὶ τὸ πικρᾶς ὔλης περίβλημα βρότειον᾽᾽ οί θεοὶ τοῖς ὑπεράγνοις παρακελευόμενοι τῶν θεουργῶν κατ επαγγέλλονται.

W. Kroll, De Oraculis Chaldaicis, 61, compares with this a fragment ἐκτείνας πύρινον νοῦν ἔργον ἐπ᾽ εὐσεβίας ῥευστὸν καὶ σῶμα σαώσεις, and concludes that in both we have a doctrine of the resurrection. We cannot be sure of our ground in dealing with these fragments, but the context in Julian suggests rather that the reference is to a beneficial effect of religious exercises on bodily health, possibly to something like the promise of Isis that she could lengthen the life of Lucius beyond its fated limits. The term ῥευστόν is consistent with resurrection, for Clement uses it of the body (Stromata ii. 20, vol. II, p. 177. 8, ed. Stählin); but σαώσεις is hardly the appropriate word, for it is applicable to a restoring of bodily health, while a resurrection would require rather ἀνακομιεῖς or something of the sort. In any case an exceptional privilege is indicated.

I take it that when Tertullian, De praescriptione haereticorum 40, says of Mithras ‘imaginem resurrectionis inducit,’ he refers to the ritual pretence of death and rebirth in the mystery.

139 For instance, Varro ap. Augustine, De ciuitate dei xxii. 28.

140 For this idea in popular circles see Comptes rendus, 1917, p. 280, ‘Gaionas animula’ at the end of the epitaph of a devotee of the Syrian deities; Anderson-Cumont-Grégoire, Studia Pontica, III, p. 102, no. 86 (inscription from Neoclaudiopolis) ἀνδρὸς δ῾ ἀμελήσας ἀστράσιν οὐρανίοις σῶμα καθηραμένη, with Cumont's note; Philostratus, Heroicus 3 ψυχαῖς γὰρ θείαις οὔτω καὶ μακαρίαις ἀρχὴ βίου τὸ καθαρεῦσαι τοῦ σώματος; an oracle in Porphyry, De philosophia ex oraculis haurienda 3, p. 178, ed. Wolff, with parallels Ibid. pp. 179 f. Christians continued to use this language, e.g. Not., 1903, p. 576, caelo desideratus corpore carcere liberaretur.

141 See Bousset, W., Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen, 1914, pp. 724 ff.; Bultmann, R., Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, XXVII, 1928, pp. 149 f.

142 We learn this from the Arian historian printed by J. Bidez at the end of his edition of Philostorgius, p. 214.

143 Εἰς τὸν Σαράπιν (vol. I, p. 93, ed. Dindorf); Ἱερῶν λόγων γ´ (I, pp. 500 f.); Εἰςτε ωνέα (pp. 215 f., ed. Keil); Εἰς Δία §21; cf. J. Amann, Die Zeusrede des Ailios Aristides, p. 88; A. Boulanger, Aelius Aristide, p. 196 (giving the exceptions). The lament on Alexander, his dead teacher, has no reference to survival except in the form, ‘If the words of Pindar and Plato are true. …’ The Tabula of Cebes, popular as it is in tone, has no reference to reward or punishment hereafter: the salvation of which it speaks repeatedly is a thing of this world.

144 Cumont, Religions orientates, pp. 56, 226 f.

145 There is inscribed in a grave chamber at Nicopolis (Ramleh) in Egypt, of the time of the Antonines (Preisigke, Sammelbuch, no. 2184), Ἡρακλείδης ὸ καλὸς κεῖτ᾽ ἐνθάδε llomegaςσειρις ἢ Παϕίης ὸσωνιςνδυμίων ὀ Σελήνης ἢ τῆςλκμήνηςρακλῆς δωδεκάεθλος πάντως.

146 This appears in these inscriptions: Not., 1884, p. 429 (Miseno), hie Epheso in munere missus defunctus est et ibi sarcofago marmoreo situs est; 1923, p. 370 (Rome), haec condita est in sarcophago; 1020, p. 46, no. 1 (Ostia); Dessau 8022 (Rome), sarcophago aeterno. At Alexandria sarcophagi appear to have been used only by men of means and position (A. Schiff, Alexandrinische Dipinti, I, p. 52, n. 1).

147 We have in Journal of Roman Studies, XVIII, pp. 215 ff., the sarcophagus of a man who had been consul in a.d. 87: but the general trend is probably as is suggested above.

148 Not., 1921, pp. 215 ff.; 1903, p. 228.

* I am much indebted to Professors J. Bidez, B. P. Dougherty, W. S. Ferguson, G. L. Hendrickson, M. Rostovtzeff, G. A. S. Snyder, and Drs. O. Paret and W. W. Tarn for their friendly assistance in this paper. The following abbreviations should be noted:

CIL = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.

Not. = Notizie degli Scavi, published by the Academy of the Lincei.

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