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custome of burning with many other Nations, might somewhat doubt whether all Urnes found among us, were properly Romane Reliques, or some not belonging unto our Brittish, Saxon, or Danish Forefathers.
In the form of Buriall among the ancient Brittains, the large Discourses of Cæsar, Tacitus, and Strabo are silent: For the discovery, whereof, with other particulars, we much deplore the losse of that Letter which Cicero expected or received from his Brother Quintus, as a resolution of Brittish customes; or the account which might have been made by Scribonius Largus, the Physician, accompanying the Emperour Claudius, who might have also discovered that frugall Bit of the Old Brittains, which in the bignesse of a Bean could satisfie their thirst and hunger.1
But that the Druids and ruling Priests used to burn and bury, is expressed by Pomponius ; That Bellinus, the Brother of Brennus, and King of the Brittains, was burnt, is acknowledged by Polydorus, as also by Amandus Zievexensis in Historia, and Pineda in his Universa historia Spanish That they held that practise in Gallia, Cæsar expressly delivereth. Whether the Brittains (probably descended from them, of like Religion, Language and Manners) did not sometimes make use of burning; or whether at least such as were after civilized unto the Romane life and manners, conformed not unto this practise, we have no historicall assertion or deniall. But since, from the account of Tacitus the Romanes early wrought so much civility upon the British stock, that they brought them to build Temples, to wear the Gowne, and study the Romane Laws and language, that they conformed also unto their religious rites and customes in burials, seems no improbable conjecture.
That burning the dead was used in Sarmatia, is affirmed by Gaguinus, that the Sucons and Gothlanders used to burne their Princes and great persons, is delivered by Saxo and Olaus ; that this was the old Germane practise, is also asserted by Tacitus. And
Dionis excerpta per Xiphilin. in Severo.
though we are bare in historical particulars of such obsequies in this Island, or that the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles burnt their dead, yet came they from parts where 'twas of ancient practise; the Germanes using it, from whom they were descended. And even in Jutland and Sleswick in Anglia Cymbrica, Urnes with bones were found not many years before us.
But the Danish and Northern Nations have raised an Æra or point of compute from their Custome of burning their dead :1 Some deriving it from Unguinus, some from Frotho the great; who ordained by Law, that Princes and Chief Commanders should be committed unto the fire, though the common sort had the common grave interrment. So Starkatterus, that old Heroe, was burnt, and Ringo royally burnt the body of Harald the King slain by him.
What time this custome generally expired in that Nation, we discern no assured period; whether it ceased before Christianity, or upon their Conversion, by Ausgurius the Gaul, in the time of Ludovicus Pius the Sonne of Charles the Great, according to good computes; or whether it might not be used by some persons, while for a hundred and eighty years Paganisme and Christianity were promiscuously embraced among. them, there is no assured conclusion. About which times the Danes were basie in England, and particularly infested this Countrey; Where many Castles and strongholds, were built by them, or against them, and great number of names and Families still derived from them. But since this custome was probably disused before their Invasion or Conquest, and the Romanes confessedly practised the same, since their possession of this Island, the most assured account will fall upon the Romanes, or Brittains Romanized.
However, certain it is, that Urnes conceived of no Romane Originall, are often digged up both in Norway, and Denmark, handsomely described, and graphically represented by the Learned Physician Wormius. And
1 Roisold, Brendetiide. Ild tyde. * Olai Wormii Monumenta et Antiquitat. Dan.
in some parts of Denmark in no ordinary number, as stands delivered by Authours exactly describing those Countreys. And they contained not only bones, but many other substances in them, as Knives, peeces of Iron, Brasse and Wood, and one of Norwaye a brasse gilded Jewes-barp.
Nor were they confused or carelesse in disposing the noblest sort, while they placed large stones in circle about the Urnes, or bodies which they interred: Somewhat answerable unto the monument of Rollrich stones in England, 2 or sepulcrall Monument probably erected by Rollo, who after conquered Normandy, Where 'tis not improbable somewhat might be discovered. Mean while to what Nation or person belonged that large Urne found at Ashburie, containing mighty bones, and a Buckler; What those large Urnes found at Little Massingham ;4 or why the Anglesea Urnes are placed with their mouths downward, remains yet undiscovered.
CHAPTER III PLAYSTERED and whited Sepulchres were anciently affected in cadaverous, and corruptive Burials; and the rigid Jews were wont to garnish the Sepulchres of the righteous ;5 Ulysses in Hecubao cared not how meanly he lived, so he might finde a noble Tomb after death. Great Princes affected great Monuments, And the fair and larger Urnes contained no vulgar ashes, which makes that disparity in those which time discovereth among us. The present Urnes were not of one capacity, the largest containing above a gallon, Some not much above half that measure; nor all of one figure, wherein there is no strict conformity, in the same or different Countreys; Observable from those
1 Adolphus Cyprius in Annal. Sleswic, urnis adeo abundabat collis, E . 2 In Oxfordshire, Camden. 3 In Cheshire, Twinus de rebus Albionicis. * In Norfolk, Hollingshead. • Matt. xxiii. Euripides.
represented by Casalius, Bosio, and others, though all found in Italy; While many have handles, ears, and long necks, but most imitate a circular figure, in a sphericall and round composure, whether from any mystery, best duration or capacity, were but a conjecture. But the common form with necks was a proper figure, making our last bed like our first; nor much unlike the Urnes of our Nativity, while we lay in the nether part of the Earth, and inward vault of our Microcosme, Many Urnes are red, these but of a black colour, somewhat smooth, and dully sounding, which begat some doubt, whether they were burnt, or only baked in Oven or Sunne: According to the ancient way, in many bricks, tiles, pots, and testaceous works; and as the word testa is properly to be taken, when occurring without addition: And chiefly intended by Pliny, when he commendeth bricks and tiles of two years old, and to make them in the spring. Nor only these concealed peeces, but the open magnificence of Antiquity, ran much in the Artifice of Clay. Hereof the house of Mausolus was built, thus old Jupiter stood in the Capitoll and the Statua of Hercules, made in the Reign of Tarquinius Priscus, was extant in Plinies dayes. And such as declined burning or Funeral Urnes, affected Coffins of Clay, according to the mode of Pythagoras, a way preferred by Vario. But the spirit of great ones was above these circumscriptions, affecting copper, silver, gold, and Porphyrie Urnes, wherein Severus lay, after a serious view and sentence on that which should contain him. Some of these Urnes were thought to have been silvered over, from sparklings in several pots, with small Tinsell parcels; uncertain whether from the earth, or the first mixture in them.
Among these Urnes we could obtain no good account of their coverings; only one seemed arched over with some kinde of brickwork. Of those found at Buxton, some were covered with flints, some, in other parts, with tiles, those at Yarmouth Caster were 1 Psal. lxiii. * Xwpnoeis tov dvopwTov, 8v olkovutun oŮk éxúpnoev.-Dion,
closed with Romane bricks, and some have proper earthen covers adapted and fitted to them. But in the Homericall Urne of Patroclus, whatever was the solid Tegument, we finde the immediate covering to be a purple peece of silk : and such as had no covers might have the earth closely pressed into them, after which disposure were probably some of these, wherein we found the bones and ashes half mortered unto the sand and sides of the Urne, and some long roots of Quich, or Dog's-grass, wreathed about the bones.
No Lamps, included Liquors, Lacrymatories, or Tear-bottles, attended these rurall Urnes, either as sacred unto the Manes, or passionate expressions of their surviving friends. While with rich flames, and hired tears they solemnized their Obsequies, and in the most lamented Monuments made one part of their Inscriptions. Some finde sepulchrall Vessels containing liquors, which time hath incrassated into gellies. For besides these Lacrymatories, notable Lamps, with Vessels of Oyles, and aromaticall Liquors attended noble Ossuaries. And some yet retaining a Vinosity, and spirit in them, which if any have tasted they have farre exceeded the Palats of Antiquity. Liquors not to be computed by years of annuall Magistrates, but by great conjunctions and the fatall periods of kingdomes. The draughts of Consulary date, were but crude unto these, and Opimian wine' but in the must unto them.
In sundry Graves and Sepulchres, we meet with Rings, Coynes, and Chalices. Ancient frugality was so severe, that they allowed no gold to attend the corps, but only that which served to fasten their teeth. Whether the Opaline stone in this Urne were burnt upon the finger of the dead, or cast into the fire by some affectionate friend, it will consist with either
? Lazius. 3 About five hundred years. -Plato. 4 Vinum Opiminianum annorum centum.-Petron. 512 Tabul. 1. xi. De Jure Sacro. Neve aurum addito ast quoi aurs dentes vincti erunt im cum illo sepelire & urere, se fraude esto.
i Cwm lacrymis posuere.