ashes fired out of a cannon

The False Tsar who had his ashes shot out of a cannon!

  This is a great little story from northern europe from the early 17th century, during the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618) The incident is set in the conflict or series of conflicts that involved  the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth taking an opportunistic swipe at the Russians when the Russian Tsardom was torn into a series of civil wars. As with many civil […]

cremation ancient greece

What do these Greeks have in common…

People who commit suicide, untoothed children and persons struck by lightning? The answer: they were not allowed to be cremated. It would appear that in pre christian times cremation was the standard form of funeral and that as christianity took hold, a distinction between the old and the new must be established and  previous practises were considered […]

origins of cremation

Orgins of Cremation Rites and Ashes Part III: The Illiad

  Origins of cremation ashes and rites: The Trojan war is coming to it’s final stages Achilles’ friend Patroclus is killed by by the hero Hector. Achilles is devastated he puts on new armor and re-enters the fight eventually killing Hector. For Achilles revenge is not enough, his grief is so extreme he can not […]

viking urn ashes

Scattering ashes tradition – Is it Norse?

  Many cultures that use cremation instead of burial will scatter the ashes, but cremation is a ‘fairly’ new phenomena in the modern western society and scattering ashes, particularly in the UK, is even more recent. I was wondering where the western origins of the tradition might lie. So far I have come across one […]