Which nations were putting coins on dead people's eyes and why?

Which nations were putting coins on dead people’s eyes and why?


The practice of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased is commonly thought to be practice of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, but in reality a coin was actually placed in the mouth rather than over the eyes. Only one known example of coins being placed over the eyes had been found in antiquity from a finding in Judea from around 200 AD, but this is an exception rather than the norm. However, this can only be attested due to archaeological findings and it is possible that coins were placed over the eyes of the deceased in other regions, such as those of Northern Europe. In the early Medieval period, when pagans were converting to Christianity, it was common for traditions to be transferred over to the Christian tradition. The most common of these borrowed traditions is the holiday of Christmas, which was the pagan Saturnalia, and also the holiday of Easter, which had originally been many pagan rituals associated with the idea of spring and rebirth. There are records of a number of communities throughout Medieval Europe and even into the Modern day placing coins over the eyes of the deceased, particularly in regions with a strong Celtic identity such as Britain, Ireland, and Northern France. These are not accepted traditions bu the Catholic Church, however, and it is not a universally accepted tradition. However, the practice of placing the coins over the eyes of the deceased can be found in a number of small communities in Western Europe and within American immigrant communities.