18 votes

Why would slaves be sacrificed after their master's death?

Although slaves aren't specifically mentioned, Odin's burial laws tell us that "every one will come to Valhalla with the riches he had with him upon the pile": Odin established the same law in ...
  • 16.8k
12 votes

Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?

Wikipedia actually has an interesting interpretation: Attempts to explain the symbolism of the rite also must negotiate the illogical placement of the coin in the mouth. The Latin term viaticum makes ...
  • 7,055
7 votes

How did the Norse ship burial ritual originate from?

Cremation with one's possessions is given as Odin's law in the Ynglinga Saga. The reasoning given is that cremation with one's possessions allow them to bring whatever was burned with them into ...
  • 9,138
4 votes

Why were the lungs left inside the mummy of Herakleides, instead of the heart?

The only explanation that comes to mind for me is that the traditional religion and it's methods were not as present anymore during the later ptolemaic years. It might have been an “accident“ rather ...
  • 141
2 votes

Traditional beliefs regarding guardians of burial grounds

That's the legend of the Church Grim. They're from English and Scandinavian lore, and they protect cemeteries and churchyards. https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/1233957 From the website: The ...
1 vote

Why is the ferry toll for Charon placed in the dead person's mouth?

Death does not occur in an instant. There is an interval between the cessation of all signs of life and the separation of the soul of the deceased from his or her body. Often, if the newly deceased ...

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