Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Bodily Disposal

I will summarize some information from The Sandman: Worlds' End by Neil Gaiman, then explain its relevance.

The five appointed methods of bodily disposal are:

earth burial or interment;
disposal through fire;
disposal through water;
air burial.

Each has more variants than I want to list although I should mention that air "burial" (?) includes ingestion by raptors or scavengers.

I thought that Poul Anderson's Ythrians had invented a sixth method but perhaps it counts as a variant of air burial. When "Ferune departed Mistwood..." (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 558) (See here):

"His sons tilted the litter. The body fell, and after it the torches." (p. 559)

Bodily disposal consists of flying the litter to a great height, then dropping the body for what might be regarded as its last flight. Presumably it is shattered by its impact with the ground.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I cannot object, really, at how non-humans prefer to dispose o their dead. I have to expect other races to have their own laws, customs, beliefs, etc. But, as a human being, I cannot approve of treating human remains the way Ythrians do. Most humans would far rather either bury their dead or cremate them. And esp. distinguished humans, like Emperor Georgios and Kossara Vymezal, would have their bodies laid to rest in tombs.