Secondary Burial and the Afterlife in the Middle East, Europe and Anatolia

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About the Book

Cremation and inhumation are the two most common forms of burial. But in the ancient world there was a another: secondary burial, involving the de-fleshing of the body, followed by another funeral. Common in prehistory from the Middle East and Mycenaean Greece to Britain, the practice ceased between the first and fourth centuries with the advent of Christianity—except in the cases of saints, whose relics were first reburied in the Eastern Roman Empire.
Christianity began in Roman Judea, and the first great Christians were the Desert Fathers of Egypt and the Middle East, who had a unique perspective on the afterlife. Christianity quickly spread to Anatolia (the Byzantine Empire), where different ideas emerged. Heretical sects like the Bogomils of Bulgaria gave rise to vampire myths. In Western Europe, where Christianity was dominated by Rome rather than Constantinople, other visions of the Afterlife developed, such as the Army of the Dead, and the Wild Hunt in France, Germany and England.

About the Author(s)

Robin Melrose is a retired senior lecturer in English and linguistics at England’s University of Portsmouth. He lives on the Isle of Wight in southern England.

Bibliographic Details

Robin Melrose
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7992-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3799-0
Imprint: McFarland