Funeral of the Roman Emperor | Author: Vintage Design Pics
With the advent of the empire, it was customary to release the eagle (symbol of the god Jupiter) after the death of the emperor, which the Romans believed to bear to heaven the soul of the ruler. He mentions such an event, among others Cassius Dio during the funeral of Augustus in 14 CE.
It was then that the eagle was released and flew to the heavens by setting fire to the pyre with the corpse of the emperor.
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