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termed Lachrymatories by many antiquaries, are found with the above, and are frequently accompanied by a spoon. It is usually supposed that these vessels were intended to contain lachrymal offerings; and some persons have conjectured that the spoons were used in catching such tears as were designed for preservation. Mr. Douglas, in the work already quoted, considers both these surmises to be of a fanciful character, and contends that no safe authority can be found in any ancient writer for concluding that the vessels were applied to such purposes. Many sepalchral vessels he conceives to have contained milk, which the ancients believed congenial to the nutriment of the manes. The same author adds, that, when the sacrifices to the inferiæ were in a great measure interdicted or restrained, the custom of depositing with the dead, unguents, milk, beans, and lettuce, most probably supplied the place.
It is a fact, unfortunate to the antiquary, that few ancient authors mention the vessels interred by the Romans with the dead; but, in the opinion of the most judicious modern writers, they were applied both to the uses of libation and lustral purification :-Wine, milk, blood, and pulse of various kinds being used in the former rites; and water, guips, and oil, in the latter. *
• The following passage of the Nenia, with an attached remark by Mr. Gough, is worthy of attention in this place : “ Though the antients are not explicit in the actual deposit of the vessels with the body, they particularly express the nature of the liquors, unguents, balsams, and viands, which were used in the sepulchral ordinances; and it should be from these facts, corro. borated with the discovery of the vessels in their sepulchres, that a decided opinion can be formed on any particular species of interments; and also by the forms of the vessels, to what uses they might be applied."-" At this application of these vessels” (adds Mr. Gough) " it seems to me we should stop, and not suppose them intended to contain provisions of any kind for the dead, which is not warranted by any discovery that I recollect, though the naulum Charontis, or piece of money, is." --Sepulchral Mons. Vol. II, Introduction, p. 51.
When the body was buried entire, it appears that the same vessels, with the exception only of the urn to contain ashes, were placed beside it in the tomb..
The walls of the Roman sepulchre were sometimes composed of rubble-stone and hard mortar, as in the instance of a discovery made at Chatham hill, in Kent. The parts then excavated, exhibited a wall, 30 feet in length,“ intersected by three apartments, with their walls.” One of these apartments was complete, and was nine feet three inches by seven feet three inches. The walls on the inside were covered with fine white plaster, " on which were painted stripes of black and red."*
A Roman sepulchre, discovered at York, was about 250 yards from the wall of that city, and was in the form of an oblong room, with a ridged roof, covered with hollow Roman tiles. " Each side consisted of three large tiles, if they may be so called, of a beautiful red.” This tomb was about three feet and a half long, within; and contained several urns, all standing on a tiled pavement.f
The above two examples may convey satisfactory ideas of the usual character of the public and private sepulchres of the Romans, when the practice of cremation was adopted. In regard to such as were designed for the reception of numerous entire bodies, an instance occurs in the “Beauties of England” for Oxfordshire. The burial vault there mentioned, is said to have been, in the part which was explored, 20 feet in length, and 18 feet in width; the height was eight feet froin " the planking stones." The human remains were laid in partitions of a dissimilar width, which crossed the vault from east to west, and were built with Roman red tiles, about eight inches and a half square. The partitions were two feet and a half deep, and were generally about the width of our modern graves. Small basins of black Roman pottery, which had probably contained milk, honey, wine, &c. were found in
• Nenia Britannica, p. 140.
several of the recesses; and the Roman ash-urn, of red earthenware, was, likewise, discovered “among the rabbish.” There were two tiers of sepulchral recesses; and, above, was a range of planking-tiles, covered with mortar and sand, to the thickness of about two inches, in which was set tessellated work, supposed to have formed the flooring of a temple. *
The Romans appear to have used, in Britain, stone coffins for interment; as in several instances such have been found, containing bones accompanied by urns, or funeral vessels, apparently Roman. The earliest of these stone coffins were constructed in a rude manner, and out of numerous slabs of stone; but the improvement of forming the coffin out of one stone, by the labour of the mallet and tool, was speedily introduced, and generally adopted by the affluent. Brick coffins, or sarcophagi, also were used by the Romans at a very early period; and coffins of burnt clay, assigned to the same people, have been found in this is. land.
When cremation ceased, on the introduction of Christianity, the believing Romans, together with the Romanized and converted Britons, would necessarily, as is observed by Mr. Gough, “ betake themselves to the use of Sarcophagi, (or coffins) and, probably, of various kinds, stone, marble, lead, &c.”+ They would, likewise, now first place the body in a position due cast and west; and, thus, bestow an unequivocal mark of distinction between the funeral deposits of the earliest Roman inhabitants of this island, and their Christian successors.
On the secession of the Romans from this fertile island, so
• See a more extended account of this discovery in the Beauties for Oxfordshire, p. 462—4. The particulars, as there presented, were communi. cated to the writer of the present “Introduction,” by the Rev. Mr. Nash, the resident clergyman of Great Tew, in which parish the burial place was situated,
+ Sepulchral Monuments, part I. p. 27.
affluent in natural capacities, and admirably calculated for the reception of an independent population, when those who inhabit it know the great lesson of remaining compact in patriotic principle, and true to themselves; it is well known that the Britons failed to recover secure possession of their native soil, and, at length, lost even their national appellation in the sovereign name of new conquerors.
The Saxons, who now appear on the busy stage of our islandannals, approach in barbarism the most ferocious and disgusting. But, as the scenes of narration proceed, their fierceness mellows into a resemblance of the firm, temperate courage, worthy of the warrior who uses arms chiefly for the defence of his altar, his fellow-citizens, and his home; whilst, from the rude germ of that ardent temper which impelled them to prefer a life of fortuitous, predatory adventure, to the patient cultivation of their natural soil, arises an expansive genius, eminent for legislative wisdom, and a zeal of piety, which, although sometimes fantastic in its operation, is gradually serviceable to morals and manners.
The Sasous, indeed, have, in many points, a stronger claim on our attention than any of the other nations of our varied ancestry. Traces of their sound judgment in political economy are visible in the existing divisions of our island; and the wise dom of their laws still lives, and sustains their memory, in numerous portions of that valuable code of jurisprudence, which is the foundation of an Englishman's most rational pride of country.
It is not necessary to trace, in the present work, the progressive steps by which this people obtained a knowledge of the British coast.— They had long, in conjunction with the Francs, maintained a course of piratical depredations, injurious to several provinces of the Roman empire; and they were augmented, in numbers and power, in the fourth century, by a confederation with many small states, whose nominal distinctions were lost in the Saxon name. But the only allies of the Saxons, connected in an important degree with the history of Britain, were the Jutes and Angles. It is concisely stated by Mr. Turner, the intelli. gent historian of these eventful periods, that, “ as the boundaries of the Saxon states enlarged with their leagues, they embraced the population between the Elbe and the Weser; from the Weser they reached to the Ems; and, still augmenting, they diffused themselves to the Rhine, with varying latitude. The Jutes ina habited Jutland; or, rather, that part of it which was forinerly called South Jutland. At the era of the Saxon invasion, the Angles were resident in the district of Anglen, in the dutchy of Sleswick."
The internal state of Britain, at the first entry of that rude people who were destined to become its conquerors, merely by force of arms, and with a striking inferiority of numbers, is a subject worthy of attentive investigation. But this troubled period, in common with most others of our early history, is des. titute of satisfactory contemporary annalists ; and the deficiency, as usual, is ordinarily supplied by ingenious conjectures, aided by hints contained in extravagant and incredible monkish writers.
I have already ventured to deem it probable that our British ancestors, long accustomed to the profound peace attendant on subjugation, and trained, upon principle, to enjoy the enervating pleasures of tranquillity, viewed with reluctance the final departure of the protecting Romans. The miserable state into which they are confidently presumed to have fallen, when left to the exercise of their own discretion and energies, is, assuredly, an argument in favour of the correctness of such a conclusion.England and Wales, according to the conjectures of the ingenious, founded on suggestions contained in the most acceptable remaining authorities, were divided, when abandoned by the Romans, into about thirty independent civitates; which, on the deposition of their respective officers of Roman appointment, naturally assumed the form of so many republics. Mr. Turner, writing
• Hist, of the Anglo-Saxons, Vol. I. p. 57–58.