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By Emily Vermeule

The traditional Greeks committed a good portion in their poetic and creative power to exploring topics of loss of life. Vermeule examines the evidence and fictions of Greek loss of life, together with burial and mourning, visions of the underworld, souls and ghosts, the worth of heroic demise in conflict, the hunt for immortality, the associated powers of dying, sleep, and love, and extra.

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The house was hung with wreaths and sprays of leaves, and these were also offered to the dead man. There was special use of marjoram and celery, myrtle and laurel leaves. A bowl of water from a source outside the house might be offered to anyone who touched the corpse-, although the Greeks did not in general believe that death was contagious. nd pillows, part of the old association between sleep and death which is still natural for us. Flo. 7 Men and women mourn a dead man on his couch: Attic black·figured plaque, sixth century.

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The ker of black thanatos can knock a man down and master him; no one can duck or avoid hei", she is ten th ousand. She is more active and vivid than the usual personifications of battle~ field panic and noise, for she is sometimes dressed and her clothes are sprin_kled Copyrighted material CREATURES OF THE DAY with blood; she has hands and drags corpses by the heels; she has jaws and will later have cla\'\o'S. She is the poetic and private equivalent of the corpse ravagers 8 of war, the birds and dogs, or the sphinxes, Sirens and Harpies; she has been understood as a ghost, a bacillus, lust, disease, Jack of morals; a sister of sleep, death, and the furies, she may be an inherited Mycenaean figure elaborated into variously shaped patterns later.

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