This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1841 Excerpt: ...&c. 'Man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets,' &c. Its existence amongst persons speaking the Greek tongue is proved from the last book of Homer, where females are introduced mourning over Hector's dead body. It is not alleged that the Greeks introduced the name or the custom, but that the Greeks were in Ireland might perhaps be proved from the Greek church at Trim, in the county of Meath, and also from the life of St. Virgilius, Bishop of Saltzburg, where mention is made of Bishop Dobda, a Grecian, who followed St. Virgilius out of Ireland. Amongst the Romans there were women called I'rajicsr, who uttered conclama/io, and Virgil speaking of Dido's funeral says, Famineo ittulatu tccta fremunt.' "The analogy between the Roman and Irish funeral ceremony before the government of the Decemviri, was amazingly striking. The Keenaghers or Keeners (for so the Praejica mulifres arc called by the Irish) are in the habit of beating their breasts, tearing their hair, and wringing their hands. Now we find the following law relative to Roman funerals, among those of the twelve tables--'Mulier ne facicm carpito'--' Mulirres genas ne radunto.' The antiquity of this custom is thus established beyond doubt, and secures for the Irish peasantry the sanction of ages for a practice which a stranger might otherwise contemplate with horror." The only interruption which this manner of conducting a wake suffers, is from the entrance of some relative of the deceased, who, living remote, or from some other cause, may not have been in at the commencement. In this case, the ban caointhe ceases, all the women rise and begin the cry, which is continued until the new-comer has cried enough. During the pauses of the women's wailing, the men, seate...
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