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Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)

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Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)
Post by Erls   » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:48 pm

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So, this was brought to my mind early today while reading about an upcoming US SCOTUS case involving a memorial cross on public lands honoring those who died in WWI. Basically, how do Safeholdian's treat their dead? Has the concept of a cemetery where the body is buried remained? And, if so, will we be seeing Charis (because who else would) seek to create memorials for their own dead at locations where large scale battles were fought?

This would mainly be in Siddarmark, but they could also request to build small memorials at the nearest land-point to some of the naval battles that took place.

Heck, once the COG is fully overthrown they could build an all up memorial/museum to old Terra at the site of the Battle of Armageddon's Reef. Coupled with Charis claiming those lands (I'm sure parts are still highly useful) and using them, that would be the final sign that Langhorne failed - Ever where the Rakurai struck is now being built upon by humanity again.
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Re: Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)
Post by thanatos   » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:05 am

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Erls wrote:So, this was brought to my mind early today while reading about an upcoming US SCOTUS case involving a memorial cross on public lands honoring those who died in WWI. Basically, how do Safeholdian's treat their dead? Has the concept of a cemetery where the body is buried remained? And, if so, will we be seeing Charis (because who else would) seek to create memorials for their own dead at locations where large scale battles were fought?

This would mainly be in Siddarmark, but they could also request to build small memorials at the nearest land-point to some of the naval battles that took place.

Heck, once the COG is fully overthrown they could build an all up memorial/museum to old Terra at the site of the Battle of Armageddon's Reef. Coupled with Charis claiming those lands (I'm sure parts are still highly useful) and using them, that would be the final sign that Langhorne failed - Ever where the Rakurai struck is now being built upon by humanity again.


One of the key reasons for burial rights, going all the way back to ancient times, was that nothing was more hazardous to public health than a dead human body (or animal carcass). The CoGA has a great many commandments concerning public sanitation and I would assume that the Book of Pasquile has a great many ordinances concerning burial and funeral rights. Throughout the series, mention is made of proven traitors being denied burial on consecrated ground while heretics and apostate have been burned (after the Punishment was inflicted upon them).

Yet I do have to wonder about the idea of a body laying in state for a wake. Jewish burial customs decree that a body must be buried ASAP, the only thing that might delay it's burial being the Sabbath or certain other holidays. Indeed, even those condemned to die must be buried by sundown. Muslim burial customs are quite similar in that respect, with the exception that the deceased's face is exposed and is later positioned in the grave to face Mecca (buried on his side). Yet Christian traditions allows for a wake and displaying of a body for several days before burial as part of the mourning rights. It also has the tradition of the vigil of the dead. The reason for the difference goes back to the climate in the Middle East where Judaism and Islam evolved versus the climate in Europe where Christianity evolved. The hotter climate of the Middle East would cause a body to decompose faster whereas the cooler European climate would slow it down. Given the universal nature of the CoGA, I do have to wonder whether burial customs would vary from one region of Safehold to another.
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Re: Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)
Post by Direwolf18   » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:07 am

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They use cemeteries to some degree. I believe the issue came up with the death of Kahlvyn Ahrmahk was not allowed to be buried in sanctified ground. Now if this is purely the Royal Family of Charis maintaining their own dedicated crypt and the less well to do cremate the dead I am unsure.

Considering the mass graves that we see in Siddimark, I can only assume burying the dead in the ground uncremated is the default choice.
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Re: Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)
Post by Julia Minor   » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:23 am

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thanatos wrote:Yet I do have to wonder about the idea of a body laying in state for a wake. Jewish burial customs decree that a body must be buried ASAP, the only thing that might delay it's burial being the Sabbath or certain other holidays. Indeed, even those condemned to die must be buried by sundown. Muslim burial customs are quite similar in that respect, with the exception that the deceased's face is exposed and is later positioned in the grave to face Mecca (buried on his side). Yet Christian traditions allows for a wake and displaying of a body for several days before burial as part of the mourning rights. It also has the tradition of the vigil of the dead. The reason for the difference goes back to the climate in the Middle East where Judaism and Islam evolved versus the climate in Europe where Christianity evolved. The hotter climate of the Middle East would cause a body to decompose faster whereas the cooler European climate would slow it down. Given the universal nature of the CoGA, I do have to wonder whether burial customs would vary from one region of Safehold to another.


Haarahld lies in state before his funeral at the end of OAR, and Charis is definitely hot enough for decay to happen fast. On the other hand, embalming has a very long history on Earth, and there's no reason Pasquale couldn't have put the appropriate rules in his book.
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Re: Safehold Cemeteries (and the Jihad)
Post by Kael Posavatz   » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:35 pm

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Just reading through old post I missed over the holidays and stumbled on this.

Since burial Jewish and Islamic burial practices were previously mentioned, I'll add that Christians were traditionally buried facing east, except for clergy who were buried fasting west.

I think an interesting point was raised regarding cremation.

Cremation was prevalant during the greek/roman period, more so than inhumation. This gradually faded away as Christianity rose, to the point of being outlawed during the middle ages. The theological foundation for this was the belief in the resurrection of the literal body, thus cremation would prevented resurrection later on (and burning at the stake wasn't just a here-and-now punishment).

But I seem to recall a reference that CoGA has no equivalent resurrection theology. The stake would retain all of the religious repugnance given what it is prescribed for. But I'm not sure where this would leave cremation.


As for the Inquisition resorting to mass graves in Siddermark, I think that is, at least partially, a matter of economization. There is enough pressure on the canal system without bringing in the materials to build/fuel crematories. Wood is an inefficient fuel source and while the prisoners could at least gather it, it would make escapes easier and generally take more effort to keep secure. Other fuels come down to shipping in coal (which is scarce and needed for manufacturing) or oils (which are mostly the same). It's pretty telling that there are bodies to bury. In fact, the only time I can recall a stake specifically being mentioned being used in one of the Siddermark camps, it's for the one Inquisitor who decided to be a decent human being.
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