Watch the Reenactment of a Traditional Roman Funeral (Video)
The ancient Romans had a unique relationship with death and dying, and their burial practices were no exception. When someone passed away, their loved ones would gather around the dying person's bed to bid their final farewells and witness the passing. Once the individual had passed away, the wife of the deceased would kiss them, believing that the soul would leave the body at that exact moment. This ritual was believed to allow the wife to protect the soul within her. Afterward, the body would be prepared for burial by libertinari, who would wash and dress the deceased in their finest clothes and jewelry.
The family and friends of the deceased would then come to pay their respects and mourn their loss. Professional mourners were often hired to help create a sense of grief and loss, and to weep and wail at the funeral. Once the mourners had left, the body was carried to the sepulcher for either cremation or inhumation. This process was a deeply respected and revered ritual for the ancient Romans and allowed them to honor and respect their loved ones who had passed away.
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Top image: Ancient Roman funeral and mourning. Source: Erica Guilane-Nachez / Adobe Stock.