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16 pages (2007/1658); 144KB downloadWOWIO Books
; ISBN: WOWIO-00337
Sir Thomas Browne was a country physician who was interested in collecting antique coins, many of which he received from his patients. His interest eventually expanded into study of other antiquities and, because of his known affinity for ancient objects, he was made aware of the discovery of between 40 and 50 urns in a field in Norfolk, England. The urns contained human bones and ashes, as well as ornaments of brass and ivory, and other articles, including a gemstone Browne interpreted as an opal.
Browne's imagination and creative spark were ignited by the discovery. He produced a book discussing burial customs, assuming the human remains found in the burial urns were of Roman origin. This famous essay, the final chapter of this book, "Hydriotaphia, Urn-Burial; or a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk" contemplates the nature of death and immortality, "the majestic eloquence of which places Browne in the first rank of writers of English prose."-Charles William Eliot, "Harvard Classics" editor, 1909.