The Romans feared their dead. In fact, Roman funeral customs derived from a need to propitiate the sensibilities of the departed. The very word funus may be translated as dead body, funeral ceremony, or murder. There was a genuine concern that, if not treated appropriately, the spirits of the dead, or manes, would return to wreak revenge
The faithful clamoured to be buried alongside the martyrs, as close as possible to the venerable remains, a custom which, in anthropological terms, recalls Neolithic beliefs that certain human remains possessed supernatural properties. It was believed that canonized saints did not rot, like lesser mortals, but that their corpses were miraculously preserved and emanated an odour of sanctity, a sweet, floral smell, for years after death. In forensic terms, such preservation is likely to be a result of natural mummification in hot, dry conditions.
In a policy shift which the historian Guy de la Bedoyere has compared with Western Imperialism, the Romans converted militant Britons to their way of life with consumer entincements, introducing them to the urbane pleasures of hot spas and fine dining, encouraging them to wear togas and speak Latin.
.. In other spheres of Victorian Society the appeal of a young woman dressed in black from head to toe was acknowledged. In Victorian popular culture, widows had two manifestations: the battleaxe and the man-eater, preying upon husbands and bachelors alike. Even today, an attractive, dark-haired person dressed in all black has vampiric connotations, as the novelist Alison Lurie has noted, 'so archetypally terrifying and thrilling, that any black-haired, pale-complexioned man or woman who appears clad in all black formal clothes projects a destructive eroticism, sometimes without concious intention.