"The Soul, in which the Mind was lodg'd, was suppos'd exactly to resemble the Body in Shape, Magnitude, and Features; for this being in the Body as the Statue in its Mold, so soon as it goes forth is properly the Image of that Body in which it was enclos'd."
— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)
It was the common Opinion of the Ancients, that the Souls of the Departed were not admitted into the Number of the Happy till their Bodies had receiv'd the funeral Rites; they suppos'd those that wanted them wander'd an hundred Years before they were wafted over the infernal River: Virgil perhaps had this Passage of Homer in his view in the sixth Æneis , at least he coincides with his Sentiments concerning the State of the departed Souls.
Hæc omnis, quam cernis inops inhumataq; Turba est :
Nec ripas datur horrendas, nec rauca fluenta
Transportare priùs, quàm sedibus ossa quierunt ;
Centum errant annos volitantq; hæc littora circum
Tum demum admissi stagna exoptata revisunt.
It was during this Interval, between their Death and the Rites of Funeral, that they suppos'd the only Time allow'd for separate Spirits to appear to Men; therefore Patroclus here tells his Friend,
------ To the farther Shore
When once we pass, the Soul returns no more.
For the fuller understanding of Homer, it is necessary to be acquainted with his Notion of the State of the Soul after Death: He follow'd the Philosophy of the Ægyptians, who suppos'd Man to be compounded of three Parts, an intelligent Mind , a Vehicle for that Mind , and a Body; the Mind they call'd [GREEK], or [GREEK], the Vehicle [GREEK], Image or Soul , and the gross Body [GREEK]. The Soul, in which the Mind was lodg'd, was suppos'd exactly to resemble the Body in Shape, Magnitude, and Features; for this being in the Body as the Statue in its Mold, so soon as it goes forth is properly the Image of that Body in which it was enclos'd: This it was that appear'd to Achilles, with the full Resemblance of his Friend Patroclus .
Vid. Dacier on the Life of Pythagoras , p. 71.
See The Iliad of Homer, Translated by Mr. Pope, 6 vols. (London: Printed by W. Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott, 1715-1720). <Link to ESTC><Link to Vol. I in ECCO-TCP><Vol. II><Vol. III><Vol. IV><Vol. V><Vol. VI>