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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Sarcophagus


SARCOPH'AGUS, noun [Latin from Gr. flesh and to eat.]

1. A species of stone used among the Greeks in their sculptures, which was so called because it consumed the flesh of bodies deposited in it within a few weeks. It is otherwise called lapis Assius, and said to be found at Assos, a city of Lycia Hence,

2. A stone coffin or grave in which the ancients deposited bodies which they chose not to burn.