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Cremation, or the burning of the bodies of the dead, may be said to be an ancient custom with all countries excepting Egypt, where they were embalmed, Judea, where they were buried in sepulchres, and China, where they were buried in earth. In Greece only suicides, unteethed children and persons struck by lightning were denied the right of burial. At Rome one of the Twelve Tables said hominem mortuum in urbe ne sepelito neve urito, and in fact from the close of the republic until the end of the fourth century burning was the rule, although Macrobius says it was disused in the reign of Theodosius.
The Chinese were influenced by the doctrines of Feng-Shui, which taught that they must be buried in a grave on their own land, hence, the Chinese who die in California are sometimes sent to their homes for burial. Even the Jews used cremation in
CULLEN GI. CREMATION. JAMA. 1898;XXX(24):1401–1402. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440760029002j
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