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Arpagus, in ancient inscriptions, signifies a child who died in the cradle. The Romans made no funerals for their Arpagi. They neither burnt their bodies, nor made tombs, monuments or epitaphs for them. This occasioned Juvenal in his Satires to say,
- Terra clauditur infans
- Vel minor igne rogi.
In later times, it became the custom to burn such as had lived to the age of forty days, and were teething. These they called rapti.
The word arpagus signifies the same thing in Greek. Eustathius assures us that it was the custom among the Greeks never to bury their children either by night or full day, but at the first appearance of the morning, which they called, Ἡμέρας ἀρπαγίω.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
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