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Funeral

means a torchlight procession (from the Latin, funis, a torch), because funerals among the Romans took place at night by torchlight, that magistrates and priests might not be violated by seeing a corpse, and so be prevented from performing their sacred duties.

“Funus [a funeral], from fune or funalia [torches] ... originally made of ropes.” —Adams: Roman Antiquities (Funerals).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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