Greek Mythology : Proper Burial Of A Person

869 WordsNov 23, 20144 Pages
In Greek Mythology the proper burial of a person, regardless of who they were, was always emphasized. It was believed that if someone did not have a proper burial they would wander, lost for the rest of eternity. If the proper burial was given the person was said to then cross over into the underworld where Hades ruled and alongside him was his queen, Persephone. From there the person would be placed in one of the four sections of the underworld: The Asphodel Fields, The Fields of Mourning, Elysium and the Isles of the Blest, or Tartarus. The proper way to prepare the dead involved three parts: the prothesis (laying out of the body), the ekphora (funeral procession), and the interment of the body or cremated remains of the deceased. After being washed and anointed with oil, the body was dressed and placed on a high bed within the house. The women, relatives of the deceased, would primarily take care of doing the burial rituals. During the prothesis, relatives and friends came to mourn and pay their respects. The Greeks believed that at the moment of death the psyche, or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The necessity for proper burial rites is emphasized in various literary sources. As an example, in The Iliad (Book 22), when Hector was about to die he asks Achilles to, “send [his] body back home to be burned In honor by the Trojans and their wives.” Even at his last moment in life he pleads with Achilles to let him have proper burial

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