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Pall-bearers

The custom of appointing men of mark for pall-bearers, has come to us from the Romans. Julius Caesar had magistrates for his pall-bearers, Augustus Caesar had senators; Germanicus had tribunes and centurions; AEmilis L. Paulus had the chief men of Macedonia who happened to be at Rome at the time; but the poor were carried on a plain bier on men's shoulders.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Pall-bearers from Infoplease:

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