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Quinn_Inuit
10-05-2016, 07:00 AM
Weird question for you all: can anyone think of other literary examples of the "handful of sprinkled dirt" burial ritual used in Antigone? I swear this isn't for a homework assignment.

frimble3
10-06-2016, 03:21 AM
I can't think of other literary examples, although stories of war and disaster might be your best bet. The 'handful of sprinkled dirt' isn't a proper burial, it's only a symbolic token of burial, the minimum necessary to allow the dead into the afterlife. An emergency measure when she hears the guards coming.

The_Ink_Goddess
10-06-2016, 04:08 AM
I can't think of other literary examples, although stories of war and disaster might be your best bet. The 'handful of sprinkled dirt' isn't a proper burial, it's only a symbolic token of burial, the minimum necessary to allow the dead into the afterlife. An emergency measure when she hears the guards coming.

+1. Interesting too - why is the "handful of sprinkled dirt" so important, OP? :)

Also, I don't know for sure, but off the top of my head, here are some other Greek tragedies that might be helpful, dealing as they do with improper burial - you might want to check out Sophocles's Ajax or Euripides's The Trojan Women. I feel like dirt is generally important to Euripides.

Quinn_Inuit
10-06-2016, 05:57 AM
I can't think of other literary examples, although stories of war and disaster might be your best bet. The 'handful of sprinkled dirt' isn't a proper burial, it's only a symbolic token of burial, the minimum necessary to allow the dead into the afterlife. An emergency measure when she hears the guards coming.

Thank you for the suggestion. I'll see what I can find. Some bored English or History professor must have written something on burial rites in medieval literature or history. (I was specifically looking for the symbolic.)

Quinn_Inuit
10-06-2016, 06:03 AM
+1. Interesting too - why is the "handful of sprinkled dirt" so important, OP? :)

Also, I don't know for sure, but off the top of my head, here are some other Greek tragedies that might be helpful, dealing as they do with improper burial - you might want to check out Sophocles's Ajax or Euripides's The Trojan Women. I feel like dirt is generally important to Euripides.

I'm actually looking more for medieval examples, but that's my fault for not specifying. Your knowledge of Greek tragedies is impressive, and much more than I've learned.

I was hoping to have a scene where my main characters have to say their goodbyes to a corpse quickly (in their case, it's not soldiers they hear coming, but zombified lizard bears), so one of them sprinkles dirt on it. I wanted another one to make a literary reference, and it's already been established that they've both read a lot of medieval lit. Antigone was my first thought, but I was worried it would be pushing it to have two people who meet more or less at random both know medieval lit and Greek lit.

frimble3
10-06-2016, 11:55 AM
What about Genesis 3:19 'for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return'?
That's the King James version, which is later than your time, but there must be a similar earlier version available.
And, yes, I would suspect that it would be pushing credibility to have two characters who knew medieval literature, let alone Greek literature, just happen to run into each other.
But, even the illiterate would have heard the major bits of the Bible, I would think.
*Not 'ashes to ashes and dust to dust' which is from the Book of Common Prayer, and, again, came later.

Quinn_Inuit
10-06-2016, 03:14 PM
What about Genesis 3:19 'for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return'?
That's the King James version, which is later than your time, but there must be a similar earlier version available.
And, yes, I would suspect that it would be pushing credibility to have two characters who knew medieval literature, let alone Greek literature, just happen to run into each other.
But, even the illiterate would have heard the major bits of the Bible, I would think.
*Not 'ashes to ashes and dust to dust' which is from the Book of Common Prayer, and, again, came later.

That is the perfect reference, thank you.

frimble3
10-07-2016, 02:25 AM
Glad to be of help. As I said, check that you have a medieval translation (no sense giving the reader the Latin, I think.)

AW Admin
10-07-2016, 02:50 AM
Medieval era (more specific date) and nation?

Quinn_Inuit
10-07-2016, 06:58 AM
Medieval era (more specific date) and nation?

Oh, right, I forgot this is your specialty. The date is actually in the 4,000 A.D. range and they're on a planet around Delta Pavonis. So this isn't actually medieval times, but the suggestion of the Bible still works perfectly in terms of what a reasonably literate person might know.

In terms of the characters, they're familiar with the Matter of Britain in general, the Song of Roland, the Canterbury Tales (ML), and the Roman de la Rose (FL...they haven't read entirely the same stuff), but they start to get fuzzy beyond that. This is acknowledged in-story to be unusual, so I didn't want to push it with a familiarity with Greek lit, too.