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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(i.e., a dirge or lamentation, equivalent to the Greek θρῆνος ) is the term used to describe the Roman funeral songs, uttered either by the relatives of the deceased or by hired persons. At Rome Naenia was personified and worshipped as a goddess, and even had a chapel, which, however, as in the case of all other gods in connection with the dead, was outside the walls of the city, near the porta Viminalis. As Naeniae are compared with lullabies, and as they seem to have been sung with a soft voice, as if a person was to be lulled to sleep, the object of this worship was probably to procure rest and peace for the departed in the lower world. See Augustine, De Civ. Dei, 6:9; Arnobius, Adv. Gent. 4:7; 7:32; Horace, Carm. 3:28, 16; Festus, pages 161, 163, ed. Mailer.

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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Naenia'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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