Cemetery (Gr. a sleeping place), a place appointed for the burial of the dead. In rude states of society the dead are often buried in any place that may be found most convenient, by the side of some road, or in some vacant spot in the city; but even in very ancient times grounds were often set apart which were especially appropriated for the reception of the dead. The Hebrews had public burial grounds, and their first care upon arriving in a new country was to select a plot and reserve it as a burial place. Every city had one outside of its walls, that of Jerusalem being in the valley of Kedron. Ruins and mummies have been found in Babylonia and Egypt which show that the burial places in those countries in former times were of immense extent. Although the Greeks in later times adopted from Phry-gia the custom of burning the dead, yet their custom originally was to provide cemeteries. Among the Romans also the more ancient practice was the appropriation of ground for interment; and even after incremation had been introduced, the practice continued, and the Appian way was lined with sepulchres as well as with funeral urns. The early Christians would seem to have introduced a somewhat different practice.
The laws of the twelve tables had prescribed that the dead should not be buried within the walls of the city. The early Christians, however, erected some of their churches upon plots of ground in which were interred the remains of martyrs, and around others reserved an open space which was consecrated for the reception of their dead. In the middle ages also churchyards were used for cemeteries. Even the churches themselves were occupied in part for tombs, and crypts and vaults were excavated beneath their floors. The church, deriving a considerable revenue from the burial of the dead, inculcated the importance of burial in consecrated ground, over which it retained control. To this day the older churches in large cities are surrounded by graves, and in small towns and villages the burial ground is usually near the church. The increase of population and abetter knowledge of the laws of health have in a measure restored the ancient practice, and cemeteries are at the present day generally provided without the limits of all large towns and cities. - There are many cemeteries which are celebrated. Those around the city of Constantinople have become very extensive on account of the practice of invariably opening a new grave for each corpse, it being considered sacrilege to disturb the dead.
The practice is also to plant a cypress by the grave of every Mussulman, so that the cemeteries of Constantinople are embowered in forests. Those of Scutari and Pera are the most noted. The cemetery of Pisa in Italy, called the Campo S,tnto, is a beautiful oblong court, 490 ft. long and 170 ft. wide, surrounded by arcades of white marble GO ft. high, and adorned with ancient Etruscan, Greek, and Roman bass reliefs and other sculptures, and with paintings by the early Italian masters. In its centre is an enor-mous mound of earth said to have been brought from Palestine during the crusades, and formerly used as a burial ground. This cemetery is the Pantheon of the Pisans, and among its most famous monuments is the tomb of Algarot-ti, erected by Frederick the Great in 1704. It has given its name to burial grounds throughout Italy. The campo santo of Bologna is one of the finest of them. It is without the city, and was anciently a Carthusian monastery called Certosa, having been consecrated as a cemetery in 1801, when burials within the city were prohibited. The church of the monastery has been preserved, and is adorned with fine paintings. The cemetery occupies the corridors of two of the cloisters of the convent. Niches have been built in the walls for the reception of the dead.
There is a large hall in which are placed the busts of those who have been eminent for learning. Some of the tombs and monuments are of beautiful design, those of Pope Alexander V., Francesco Abborgato, and Sigismondo Malvezzi being especially remarkable. The campo santo of Genoa is about two miles from the city, upon the slope of a hill in the valley of the Bisagno. It is quadrilateral, and upon the sides are terraces, beneath which are excavated the vaults. In the centre is a circular chapel, with a dome supported by 1G Doric columns on each side, of dark Corsican marble. The cemetery contains works by some of the best sculptors of Genoa. It was commenced in 1838, after designs of Resasco, a Genoese architect. There is a curious cemetery near Naples. It is a parallelogram 300 ft. in length, on three sides of which is a lofty wall, and on the fourth an arcade. It contains 366 deep pits, some of which are under the arcade and others in the open space in the centre. Every morning a pit is opened, and in it are deposited all the dead bodies which are brought during the day. At evening a funeral service is performed over the entire number.
Of other campi santi the most interesting are at Ferrara, Brescia, Parma, and Verona; and among the more recent and extensive is that of Milan. A campo santo after the plan of that of Pisa has been projected in Berlin, to serve as a royal burying place and to adjoin a new cathedral. Cornelius designed for this some of his most celebrated frescoes, but the building remains unfinished. - One of the acts of the constituent assembly of France in 1791 was to prohibit interments within the limits of cities, and to require the establishment of cemeteries outside of those limits. In 1804 four were authorized, one of which, Pere Lachaise (now within the enceinte), has become the best known. It was laid out upon the estate called Mont Louis, which was presented by Louis XIV. to his confessor Pere de Lachaise. It contains the tombs of many illustrious persons, among which are those of Abe-lard and Heloi'se, La Fontaine, Moliere, Beau-marchais, Delille, Talma, Bellini, Weber, Laplace, Cuvier, Casimir Perier, Arago, Benjamin Constant, Borne, Royer-Collard, Marshal Ney, the painter David, Sieyes, Barras, Frederic Soulie, Balzac, and many others. Its highest elevation commands the city on one side and the surrounding country on the other.
Its hills and valleys are covered with every variety of column, obelisk, pyramid, funeral vase, and sculptured flowers and garlands. In England the French example has not been followed, and burials are allowed within the limits of cities, sometimes even within churches. In Russia the cemeteries are at a distance from the cities and villages, and planted with pines. In the United States great attention is paid to the embellishment of cemeteries. Many of them arc spacious, laid out with taste, and planted with trees. The most noted and beautiful are Mount Auburn near Boston, Greenwood in Brooklyn, and Laurel Hill near Philadelphia. The principal cemeteries in this country will be described in connection with the cities near which they are situated.