It is a common custom among primitive nations to bury a warrior's arms with his dead body; it is needless to refer to more than the excavations at Mykene, where an extraordinary quantity of swords was found in the graves with the dead. So Elpenor prays, Od. 11.74 “ἀλλά με κακκῆαι σὺν τεύχεσιν ἅσσά μοί ἐστιν”: see Od. 12.13. It is noteworthy that armour is not mentioned in any of the three full descriptions of Homeric funerals (23.165-77, 24.785-804, Od. 24.63-84; in the case of Achilles his armour was of course given to be adjudged by the Greek captains, Od. 24.85). But the idea that the departed warrior needed his arms in the next world belongs rather to the time when the body was buried than when, as among Homeric and later Greeks, it was destroyed by burning. Thus the casual mention of arms and burning together, here and in “λ”, seems to indicate an irrational survival among newer customs of an older practice, which in the time of Thucydides (i. 8) had actually come to be considered Karian, i.e. barbarian. The same is the case with the burning of garments as a funeral rite (22.512).
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