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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…

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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…

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memorial jewellery

Funeral Rings – an old British Tradition

Memorial jewellery is not a new idea, the tradition appears to date back to the medieval times. I found this little piece in my beloved BBC History magazine, the brief article said that ‘Mourning rings’ popular principally in England became more commonplace in the 16th century and lasted into the early 1900s. This is not…

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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…

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