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ON ANCIENT CUSTOMS, WITH REFERENCE TO
“ Hominem mortuum in urbe ne sepelito, neve urito.”–
Leg. xii. Tab.
It would not be difficult to account for the religious respect, which, in all ages, and by almost all nations, excepting, indeed, the most barbarous, has been paid to the memory of the dead ; seeing that some of the most powerful motives and impulses incident to our common nature contribute to promote it. Vanity, ambition, the love of kindred, and, perhaps, not less than either of these, the consciousness of entering upon another state of existence, immediately after death, have tended to institute and keep alive various rites and solemnities in the disposal of the dead.
The earliest records of Sacred History abound with interesting accounts of the sepulchral customs of the patriarchal tribes.