A tomb. Sepulchres cut in the rock were in common use among both the Greeks and the Romans,
and in many places, especially in Lycia and in Asia Minor, they are found in vast numbers,
some of them being highly ornate and elaborate. In Lycia they are generally built in imitation
of a wooden building, and reproduce in stone the minutest details of wood-construction. The
interior consists of a low chamber with stone couches, upon which the bodies were placed.
Tombs in form like a sarcophagus (see Sarcophagus
) are also found, some of them with an arch as in the annexed example.
Others are in the shape of a high square column or pedestal with a projecting cornice, as in
the so-called Harpy Monument now in the British Museum. Temple-tombs or heroa (ἡρω?α
) also occur in Asia Minor, these having a central chamber on a
high base (podium
), surrounded by a colonnade. The highest development of
this sepulchral type is seen in the famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Caria, a restoration
of which is shown in the illustration on p. 1018. For elaborate rock-cut tombs, see the
illustration in the article Myra
, p. 1069. An early
form of tomb apparently much favored in Greece was the domed or “bee-hive”
tomb, in which a large chamber is built in a circular form of courses of stone which gradually
overlap so as to form a dome-shaped building, though not a true dome. The space for this
chamber is excavated in the side of a hill and is approached by a stone-lined passage
) cut into the slope of the hill. The best example of
such a tomb is the so-called Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae, shown on p. 452.
Lycian Tomb. (Fellows.)
The tombs of the Etruscans were nearly always subterranean, consisting of chambers hewn out
of the rock either below the surface of the earth or projecting horizontally into a cliff. The
earliest Etruscan tombs date from the sixth century B.C. Temple-tombs also occur of which the
following illustration gives an example.
The Etruscan tombs generally imitated the
Etruscan Temple-tomb at Norchia.
abode of the living; they are frequently adorned with paintings, and the bodies
recline upon stone couches accompanied by vases and other objects, as shown in the
illustration on the following page.
The Roman tombs were usually placed by the side of the roads leading out of the city, many
of which are still preserved, among them the pyramidal tomb of C. Cestius, near the Porta
Ostiensis (see illustration, p. 1346)
, the tomb of Caecilia Metella (see
illustration, p. 1037)
on the Appian Way, and the tomb of the Scipios, also on the
Appian Way. The most splendid of the Roman sepulchral edifices that still remain is the
Mausoleum of Hadrian, shown in the illustration on p. 1018.
Another style of Roman tomb built to contain a large number of bodies was the columbarium
, consisting of a building containing a large number of niches, flat at the
bottom and arched at the top, each niche as a rule being intended to hold two urns (ollae
). The columbarium
used for the burial of the
servants and freedmen of the emperor Augustus, and especially of the empress Livia, on the
Appian Way, contained room for upwards of 3000 ollae.
, pp. 129, 130; and the article Columbarium
Bodies were also interred in graves. The normal form of the Greek grave was that familiar to
us— a hole or trench dug in the ground. In Attica in early times the dead were
buried in their own houses (
D), but the later rule was for the interment to take place
outside of the city walls, frequently by the side of the roads as at Rome. The Roman laws of
the Twelve Tables forbade burial within the city, though exceptions were made in the case of
distinguished persons— e. g. C. Fabricius (De Leg.
ii. 23, 58). The
Vestal Virgins and the emperors were also buried within the city. The Romans used besides
trenches deep pits like wells (hence the name puticuli
, from puteus
, a well). Etruscan graves were frequently lined with stone.
Gravestones were of various sorts both in Greece and Italy: (a
Interior of Etruscan Tomb at Veii.
round columns with a moulding at the top, beneath which was the inscription; (b
, rectangular slabs lying upon the
); (d) aediculae
shrine-shaped stones, the top being supported by pilasters; (e) mensae
large rectangular blocks of stone; (f) hydriae
or vases of marble; (g
, round or square stone
receptacles which held the ashes; (h) sarcophagi
Roman Mortuary Inscription. (British Museum.)
The following illustration shows the plan of the street at Pompeii usually called the Street
of Tombs. See Pompeii
Street of Tombs. (Pompeii.)
The bodies, if burned, were placed in urns or in earthenware coffins, such as are shown in
the following illustration. Within the tombs were always placed objects of all kinds, often of
considerable value, and these are an extremely important source of knowledge regarding ancient
arts, such as pottery, vase-painting, jewelry, gem-engraving, terracotta work, etc. The
contents of tombs have also included strigils, swords, perfume-bottles, lamps, needles, pins,
mirrors, rings, brooches, wreaths, diadems, and vessels for food, in some of which bits of
food are still actually preserved.
Earthenware Coffins. (Stackelberg.)
Urn for Ashes of the Dead. (Pompeii.)
s. v. “Gräber”; Dennis, Cities and
Cemeteries of Etruria (1878)
; Stackelberg, Die Gräber der
, iii. 114-167;
pp. 373-387; Marquardt,
, pp. 340-385; Becker-Göll, Gallus
481- 547; Overback-Mau, Pompeii
, pp. 396-422; and the articles Catacumbae