Posts Tagged With: Boat

A time to die in Ancient Rome…..


The Romans had two types of burials, cremation or inhumation, depending on the fashion at the time. Romans practiced cremation (burning) of their dead. The ashes would be placed in a small clay jar know as an urn and placed in a tomb. Cremation was the usual custom until about A.D. 100. The influence of the Christian religion moved the handling of the dead to burial, especially for those of the Christian faith. Many tombs in later Rome were along side the roads leading out of the city. Only the very rich could afford a tomb within the city. Poor people often could not afford a tomb and would be buried in a public pit on Esquiline Hill.The first thing they did was to close the deceased’s eye while calling out his name. This helped to make sure that the person was actually dead. Sometimes a deep coma could mimic death and if the family were going through the ritual and expense of a funeral, they certainly didn’t want the deceased sitting up in the middle of his funeral procession.
Then his relatives would wash the body and dress him in his finest clothes and wearing a crown if he had earned one in life. He would be laid out on a couch and a coin was placed in his mouth under his tongue so he could pay the ferryman Charon to row him to the land of the dead. The Romans believed that the soul of the dead would go underground to the river Styx. The soul had to cross the river. A coin was placed in the mouth of the deceased to pay Charon, the boatman of the underworld, for the passage across. If the body was not properly buried and did not have a coin, the soul was forced to stay for one hundred years before being allowed to cross the river Styx. He was laid out for eight days then taken out for burial.
The outside of the house where the wake was held was adorned with cypress branches as a sign of mourning and at times the male relatives and slaves would clip the front part of their hair as a token of grief.
In an expensive procession there was the “funeral director” called the designator, who had lictors. He was followed by musicians and mourning women. Other performers might follow, such as mimes, imitating or even satirizing the events of the person’s life. Next came the newly freed slaves (most Romans freed a number of slaves at their deaths). In front of the corpse, men representing the ancestors of the departed, wearing wax masks in the image of the ancestors, walked. If the deceased had been a famous person, a funeral oration would be given in the forum. This was called a laudatio and could be given for either a man or woman.
If the body were to be burned it was put on a funeral pyre and then when the flames rose, perfumes were thrown at the fire. When the pile burned down, wine was used to douse the embers and the ashes wee gathered and placed in an urn.
Because of the expense of a funeral, the poor Romans, including slaves joined burial societies which guaranteed proper burial in large community tombs called columbaria instead of simply being dumped in a pit to rot.

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Scottish Sailor Claims To Have Best Picture Yet Of Loch Ness Monster



Legend has it that the Loch Ness Monster was first sighted in the sixth century years ago by an Irish monk while preaching by the lake. Now, a Scottish sailor who has spent the last 26 years of his life searching for the elusive creature, says he has the best picture yet of “Nessie.”

George Edwards takes his boat, “Nessie Hunter,” out onto Loch Ness nearly every day, often with tourists who hope to see the creature for themselves. Early one morning in November of last year, Edwards was turning his ship back to shore after spending the morning searching for an old steam engine on the lake floor, when he saw something else.

“I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and immediately grabbed my camera,” Edwards told ABC News. “I happened to get a good picture of one of them.”

The typical “media Nessie,” as Edwards calls it in his thick Scottish accent, depicts the creature with three humps sticking out of the water and a long neck with a head like a horse, but Edwards says that’s probably not what Nessie looks like.

The picture Edwards took shows what he says is the back of one of the Loch Ness monsters.

“In my opinion, it probably looks kind of like a manatee, but not a mammal,” Edwards told ABC. “When people see three humps, they’re probably just seeing three separate monsters.”

While many people think of the Loch Ness monster as a single creature, Edwards maintains that can’t be true.

“It was first seen in 565 AD,” Edwards said. “Nothing can live that long. It’s more likely that there are a number of monsters, offspring of the original.”

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