i. e. a dirge or lamentation, equivalent to the Greek Δρῆνος
, such as was uttered at funerals, either by relatives of the deceased or by hired persons. At Rome Naenia was personified and worshipped as a goddess, who even had a chapel, which, however, as in the case of all other gods in connection with the dead, was outside the walls of the city, near the porta Viminalis.
The object of this worship was probably to procure rest and peace for the departed in the lower world; this may be inferred from the fact of Naeniae being compared with lullabyes, and they seem to have been sung with a soft voice, as if a person was to be lulled to sleep. (August. de Civ. Dei,
6.9 Arnob. ad v. Gent.
4.7, 7.32; Horat. Carin.
3.28. 16; Fest. pp. 161, 163, ed. Miller.)