Ancient greece and mummies: The primacy of the soul over the body

Francesco Maria Galassi, Elena Varotto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Ancient Greece did not contemplate embalming practices meant to preserve bodies for eternity. Reports of a mummy found by Schliemann are not to be trusted, while there is some literary evidence of temporary forms of honeymediated embalming practices adopted for Spartan kings. Greeks rejected the importance of preserving bodies for eternity because, as it can be found in Plato's work Phaedo, the soul was considered more important than the body and the only truly immortal element.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Mummy Studies
Subtitle of host publicationNew Frontiers in Scientific and Cultural Perspectives
EditorsDong Hoon Shin, Raffaella Bianucci
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789811533549
ISBN (Print)9789811533532
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Ancient greece
  • Archaeology
  • Classics
  • Mummies
  • Plato
  • Schliemann


Dive into the research topics of 'Ancient greece and mummies: The primacy of the soul over the body'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this