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Quote of the day: It had been the ancient policy of the fo
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Germania by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 27: Funerals
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In performing their funerals, they show no state or vainglory. This only is carefully observed, that with the corpses of their signal men certain woods be burned. Upon the funeral pile they accumulate neither apparel nor perfumes. Into the fire, are always thrown the arms of the dead, and sometimes his horse. With sods of earth only the sepulchre is raised. The pomp of tedious and elaborate monuments they contemn, as things grievous to the deceased. Tears and wailings they soon dismiss: their affliction and woe they long retain. In women, it is reckoned becoming to bewail their loss; in men, to remember it. This is what in general we have learned, in the original and customs of the whole people of Germany. I shall now deduce the institutions and usages of the several people, as far as they vary one from another; as also an account of what nations from thence removed, to settle themselves in Gaul. Funerum nulla ambitio: id solum observatur, ut corpora clarorum virorum certis lignis crementur. Struem rogi nec vestibus nec odoribus cumulant: sua cuique arma, quorundam igni et equus adicitur. Sepulcrum caespes erigit: monumentorum arduum et operosum honorem ut gravem defunctis aspernantur. Lamenta ac lacrimas cito, dolorem et tristitiam tarde ponunt. Feminis lugere honestum est, viris meminisse. Haec in commune de omnium Germanorum origine ac moribus accepimus: nunc singularum gentium instituta ritusque, quatenus differant, quae nationes e Germania in Gallias commigraverint, expediam.