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While natural causes, undoubtedly, had a great influence in determining the method of disposal, especially in very early times, religious belief in the resurrection of the physical man has usually been the chief factor which has caused the spread of the custom of interment rather than the more sanitary method of disposal by fire. The Egyptians, Jews, Mohammedans, and Christians all believe more or less fully in the physical resurrection of the body; and the question arises, whether cremation does not impair the prospect of a future life. With the spread of Christianity, burial was substituted for cremation, both in the heart of the Roman Empire and among the converted pagans on its outskirts.
Cremation was once common in England, and was but slowly supplanted by inhumation. The same is true of the Gallic and Germanic races. It is said that Charlemagne, in his zeal for Christian burial, punished the act of cremation with the death penalty. Cremation is still practiced in India and among some other Oriental nations. In Japan the Shinto sect practices burial and the Monto sect cremation.
CREMATION IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. In Great Britain the revival of the practice of cremation was discussed as early as 1658, when Sir Thomas Browne published his Hydriotaphia,
or Urn Burial. In 1817 Dr. J. Jameson wrote a sketch on the Origin of Cremation. For many years during the early part of the century, Dr. Lord, Health Officer for Hempstead, continued to agitate the subject, but no practical results were achieved. In 1797 cremation was discussed by the French legislature under the Directory. But it was in Italy that the first practical steps were taken toward reëstablishing the practice of cremation. From 1852 on, the subject was agitated in the various national scientific congresses and through their efforts the incineration of human dead was made legal by the introduction of a provision for that purpose in the National Sanitary Code. The process has since rapidly grown in favor in Italy, and, besides the private crematories, twenty-seven in number, there are now municipally owned crematories in Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice.
In Germany the subject was discussed at scientific meetings almost as early as in Italy, but greater legal difficulties were encountered here than in Italy. In 1874 the body of an Englishwoman was reduced to ashes in a siemens furnace constructed at Dresden, and this was the first cremation scientifically performed; but the Government of Saxony, after two incinerations. forbade the practice. Soon after, legal right to construct a crematory was secured in the neighboring Duchy of Gotha, and for twelve years this was the only place in Germany where incinera tion could be practiced. The practice is still illegal in Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, ani Würtemburg; and in 1905 there were but nine crematories in Germany, though there were 26 cremation societies with a membership of 22,000.
England, Sir Henry Thompson, in 1874, organized the "Cremation Society of London," whose object is to introduce "some rapid process of disposal which cannot offend the living and shall render the remains absolutely innocuous." A crematory was erected at Woking, near London, and here the first incineration took place in March, 1885. Since that date twelve other crematories have been put in operation.
In France, after much agitation, a law was passed in 1887, legalizing the practice. Soon after the city of Paris erected a crematory where cremation is compulsory for certain classes, including all unclaimed hospital dead, the remains from dissecting tables and dead bodies from streets and sewers. In 1905 France had four crematories.
Switzerland has four crematories; Sweden, two; Denmark, one. Other countries which possess crematories are Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Japan.
The first place in the United States where the subject of cremation was systematically agitated was the city of New York, in 1873, but it was not until 1881 that a crematory was built for the use of its population. In the meantime, a few cremations were made in private furnaces at Washington, Pa., and Salt Lake City. During the closing decade of the nineteenth century the movement grew rapidly in popularity, and the United States now ranks first in the number of optional annual incinerations. At the close of this article are appended tables showing the location of crematories and annual number of incinerations for the whole country.
ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST CREMATION. Within the last few years the conviction has rapidly spread that a more rapid and sanitary method of posal must be substituted for burial, especially in the great centres of population. To find enough land for burial purposes is becoming a more and more difficult matter. It has been. estimated that 24 acres are annually required for the burial of the dead of London. If 4000 corpses are crowded into an acre, it has been estimated by the same authority that, at the mortality rate of 20 per 1000, New York, with a population of 4.000,000, requires 20 acres annually to bury its dead. A similar computation of population, death-rate, and space required for burial will show that, unless the custom is changed, much of the available space in the vicinity of all large cities will eventually be required for burial purposes.
The sanitary objections to burial are of still greater importance than the economic difficulties. Through pollution of the air and water the presence of a crowded cemetery may become a menace to the health of the community. The development of the germ theory of disease has added to the realization of this general danger the specific fear that, in the case of those who die from communicable diseases, the germs may be conveyed through the ground from a dead victim to a living host. To what extent this is possible is still a mooted question among bacteriologists. Elaborate experiments, conducted by Pasteur, would seem to show that, in the case of animals at least, disease germs are conveyed from a buried to a living animal. It is a well-known fact that the purifying organisms, for the most part, must. work near the surface of the ground, where there is a plentiful supply of oxygen, and that ordinarily bodies are buried too deep and with too many impedimenta about them to be readily acted upon. In 1900 Sir Henry Thompson. in an address before the Cremation Society of England, advocated that while cremation remained optional for ordinary cases, it should be made obligatory when death is due to such transmissi
the use of coal-gas mixed with atmospheric air, applied to a cylindrical retort of refractory clay, so as to consume the gaseous products of combustion. The process was complete in two hours, and the ashes weighed about 5 per cent. of the weight before cremation. Brunetti used an oblong furnace of refractory brick with side-doors to regulate the draught, and a cast-iron dome above with movable shutters. The body was placed on a metallic plate suspended on wire. The gas generated escaped by the shutters, and in two hours carbonization was complete. The heat was then raised and concentrated, and at the end of four hours the operation was over; 180 pounds of wood, costing about 60 cents, was burned. In the reverberating furnace used by Sir Henry Thompson, a body, weighing 144 pounds, was reduced in 50 minutes to about 4 pounds of lime-dust. The noxious gases which were undoubtedly produced during the first five minutes of combustion passed through a flue into a second furnace, and were entirely consumed. In the ordinary Siemens regenerative furnace (adapted by Recalm in Germany for cremation, and also by Sir Henry Thompson) only the hot blast is used, the body supplying hydrogen and carbon, or a stream of heated hydrocarbon mixed with heated air is sent from a gasometer supplied with coal, charcoal, peat, or wood, the brick or iron-cased chamber being thus heated to a high degree before cremation begins. In one arrangement botl gas and air are at a white heat before they meet and burst into flame in the furnace. The advantage of the Siemens furnace and gas-producer are that the heat of the expended fuel is nearly all retained by the regenerators, and that the gas retort admits of the production being stopped without much loss. Some difficulty has been felt about keeping the ashes free from foreign material. The Greeks used a shroud of asbestos, the Egyptians one of amianth. Mr. Eassie has suggested a zinc coffin-that metal being volatile.
ble diseases as smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis. In cases of epidemics and after battles, when there are large numbers of bodies to be disposed of at once, cremation seems especially advisable. In cities like New Orleans, where the soil is so full of water that burial is impossible, cremation seems a more natural alternative than sealing up bodies in artificial tombs, constructed above the surface of the ground.
An objection to cremation, in the minds of some, is that trace of the dead is obliterated from the sight of the living. But the condition and ultimate fate of graveyards, especially in the heart of great cities, is a proof that in many cases such memorials are but transitory. Continental Europe an average of twenty-five years is allowed for the occupancy of a grave, after which, in most cases, the ownership reverts to the municipality and the grave may be opened again. (See CEMETERY.) In England the law permits the opening of graves after fourteen years. In London some of the abandoned cemeteries have been utilized as public parks. It is stated that about 100 graveyards have been destroyed or partially abandoned in New York since it became a city. During the construction of the Boston subway, King's Chapel burial - ground was excavated and its occupants removed. In considering the comparative merits of inhumation and incineration, it should be borne in mind that the ultimate fate of every human body is resolution into its elements.
The Boston Cemetery Board has recommended the erection of a municipal crematory for the incineration of paupers and criminals, thus doing away with the Potter's Field. It is asserted that bodies can be burned for $1 each, while it costs about $3 to bury them. The public burials in Boston amount to about 500 annually, and the Potter's Field is full. A public crematory is doubtless an improvement in all respects over the loathsome Potter's Field.
Aside from the sentimental objection to cremation already mentioned, the chief argument against cremation is the medico-legal one that with the burning of the body possible traces of crime are obliterated. Frederick L. Hoffman, in a paper on "Cremation as a Life Insurance Problem" (Sanitarian for January, 1901), calls attention to this phase of the subject and points out that 64 of the 528 persons cremated at Saint Louis, Mo., in 1895-99 died from accidents, violence, or suicide. In view of the number of murders, by poison or otherwise, that are committed to obtain insurance money, it is recommended that very special precautions be taken to ascertain the exact cause of death before issuing a permit for cremation. To meet this difficulty, the Cremation Society of England investigates the conditions of death in the case of every body for whose incineration application is made. It has also secured the services of a distinguished pathologist to make autopsies when necessary.
METHODS OF CREMATION. Among the practical methods of cremation which have been attempted may be mentioned, in the first place, the experiments of Dr. Polli at the Milan gas-works, and those of Professor Brunetti, who exhibited an apparatus at the Vienna exhibition of 1873, and described his results in La cremazione dei cadaveri (Padua, 1873). Polli obtained complete incineration or calcination of the bodies of dogs by
At the Fresh Pond Crematory in New York City the body is removed from the coffin, which is burned separately. The body is then wrapped in an alum-soaked sheet to prevent premature ignition of the clothing and placed in a clay retort which is subjected to extreme heat. The retort is perforated to allow the gases which are generated during the early part of the process to escape into a combustion chamber, where they are burned and purified before passing off in the flues. The process of incineration requires from one to three hours, according to the size and condition of the body. The ashes are gathered from the bottom of the retort, the ashes from the clothing are fanned out, iron removed with a magnet, and the clean bone-ash sealed in a black tin canister. A columbarium or urn hall is provided, where the ashes may be placed in urns, and where the funeral service may be held. At the crematory in Mount Auburn Cemetery, near Boston, Mass., the retorts and incinerating apparatus were made by the Engle Sanitary and Cremation Company of Des Moines, Iowa.
A crematorium at Washington, D. C., to be built by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia at the joint expense of the District and the United States, was authorized in April. 1906. The act makes compulsory the burning of the bodies of all persons who die from the more dangerous communicable diseases, provided
such bodies must be disposed of at public expense. The crematorium must be large enough to burn all bodies the disposal of which is a public charge and also such other bodies as may be presented for burning.
The first municipally owned crematorium in England was opened for use at Hull, in January, 1901. The furnace is of the regenerative type and was designed by the late Mr. Henry Simon, former president of the Manchester Cremation Society. It consists of three interior chambers, the two lower of which are surrounded by air-pass
to 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897
Washington, D. C...
Totals, U. S.. 25 16 47 114 127 190253 373 471 562 668 824
CREMATIONS PERFORMED IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES
CREMATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES
11 21 34
3 10 14
to 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891
319 113 164 180 168 220 282 258 | 221
49 121 134
95 128 111 165
during the cremation. The process occupies about one hour, at the end of which there only remain the inorganic bases of the bones, in the form of silver-gray, pumice-like fragments. The cremating chamber is at no time visible to mourners. The coffin, when brought into the chapel, is placed on a catafalque. When the committal sentence in the religious service is reached, it passes noiselessly, by means of invisible mechanical arrangements, through curtains into an intermediate chamber, and the curtain falls behind the coflin as it enters the cremating
159 221 46 54 99 107 46 38 57 52 21 32 39 39
77 67 83 106 160 187 186 232 243
9 13 14
42 60 64
ages. The lower chamber contains a coke fire, and the upper one is for the reception of the body. The fire is lighted several hours before the apparatus is to be used, and is supplied with air in the usual way, so that by the time the apparatus is to be used the air-passages are thoroughly heated. Most of the direct air-supply is then cut off, and the partially consumed gas (carbonic oxide) from the coke is allowed to mix in the second air-chamber with the air heated by passing through the side air-passages. The incinerating chamber is thus filled with gas of an intensely oxidizing character in a state of incandescence. The degree of heat can be regulated in the most There is no smoke and little visible flame before the body is introduced, and if the coffin is made in accordance with the regulations laid down, there is no smoke and no noise
17 29 41 37 38
14 28 31 51 62 68 74
CREMATIONS IN EUROPE
4 10 14 15 12
1892 1893 1894
246 228 220
6 1,017 1,101 1,390 1,693 1,996 2,414 13,281
ཆ ཆ ཁྲུ ཥ 1༤ སྐ
1898 1899 1900 Total
1895 1896 1897
466 24 114 21 62
241 265 262
632 1,535 1,054
4,110 146 2,245 4,261
2,482 721 719
Totals, Europe 465 182 243 285 304 366 572 614 927 987 978 1,078 1,229 1,426 1,586 1,887 14,684 U. S. & Europe 490 198 290 399 431 556 825 987 1,186 1,402 1,595 1,811 1,995 2,179 2,619 3,119 3,582 4,301 27,965
chamber. The charge for cremating the bodies of residents within the city is one guinea; for non-residents it is three guineas.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. A chapter on Cremation treating the subject from the sanitary and economic standpoint is contained in Baker, Municipal Engineering and Sanitation (New York, 1901). Cobb, Quarter Century of Cremation in North America (Boston, 1901), includes a complete history and statistics of the movement in the United States, with brief supplementary matter and tables for Europe. The book also contains a very full bibliography of the subject. Freeman, Crematoria in Great Britain and Abroad (London, 1906) contains descriptions with diagrams and illustrations of some of the principal crematoria in the world. An introductory chapter contains a historical sketch.
CREMER, krāmēr, AUGUST HERMANN (18341903). A German Protestant theologian. He was born at Unna, Westphalia, October 18, 1834; studied at Halle and Tübingen, and since 1870 has been professor of systematic theology at Greifswald. Two of his publications have been translated, Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der neutestamentlichen Gräzität (1866-67; 9th ed. 1902; Eng. trans., 1872, 3d ed. 1886), and Ueber den Zustand nach dem Tode (1883; 6th ed. 1901; Eng. trans., 1885); Des Wesen des Christentums (1901; Eng. trans., as Reply to Harnack on "The Essence of Christianity," 1903).
ated 60 miles southeast of Milan, in a fertile plain on the left bank of the Po, below the Adda and above the Oglio (Map: Italy, E 2). It has broad but irregular streets and attractive public squares, and a bridge 3100 feet long over the Po; it is surrounded by old walls, and a partly covcred canal passes through it. The twelfth-century Romanesque Lombard cathedral has a rich main façade and many frescoes by masters of the Cremona School. From the Torrazzo (397 feet), the highest clock-tower in Italy, is a view of the entire course of the Po through Lombardy. Others of the 44 (formerly 87) churches are the richly decorated sixteenth-century San Pietro al Po, the fourteenth-century Sant' Agostino e Giacomo in Braida, with paintings by Perugino and others, the sixteenth-century Santa Margherita, built and decorated by Giulio Campi, Sant' Agata with four large fine frescoes, and in a suburb San Sigismondo, with frescoes and Also notepaintings by Cremonese masters. hall and the thirteenth-century Palazzo de' Gonworthy are the restored thirteenth-century city falioneri, and the Palazzo Reale, with naturalhistory and other collections. A memorial tablet marks the house where Antonio Stradivari (q.v.)
made his violins. Cremonese violin-makers who
preceded him were the two Amati and Guarneri. Boccaccino, Melone, Bembo, the three Campis, Famous painters of Cremona were Boccaccio and Sofonisba d'Angussola, whose five sisters also practiced the art. Cremona has a seminary, technical school, two theatres, a library of 100.000 a lyceum, a gymnasium, an industrial school, a volumes and a chamber of commerce. town has an active trade by rail and water, marThe silk, cotton, and wool fabrics, machinery, and kets grain, flax, cheese, etc., and manufactures earthenware. It is lighted by electricity and has the Romans in B.C. 218 and grew to be an impora telephone system. Cremona was colonized by tant commercial centre. It was destroyed in A.D. 70 by Vespasian, who afterwards encouraged its rebuilding. It was laid waste by the LomIt again became important in the tenth century. In the fourteenth century it (commune), in 1881, 31,788; in 1901, 37,693. came into the possession of Milan. Population Annales Consult Holder-Egger, "Die Cremonenses." Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde, vol. xx. (Hanover, 1900).
bards in 605.
CREMER, JACOBUS JAN (1827-80). A Dutch novelist, born at Arnheim. Especially noteworthy are his rural tales in dialect, Betuwsche Novellen (1856). He wrote also: De Lelie van 's Gravenhage (1851); Daniel Sils (1856); Anna Rooze (1867); Dokter Helmond en zijn vrouw (1870).
CREMER, WILLIAM RANDAL (1838-). An English parliamentarian, eminent as an advocate of international peace. He was born at Fareham. In 1885 he entered the House of Commons to which he was reelected in 1886, 1892, 1900, and 1906. To further the cause of universal peace he founded the Inter-Parliamentary Conferences which have met since 1888 at frequent intervals, He visited the United States repeatedly in the interest of an Anglo-American treaty of arbitration. He was secretary of the International Arbitration League and the editor of the Arbitrator. In 1903 he received the Nobel peace prize.
CRÉMIEUX, kráʼmye', ISAAC ADOLPHE (17961880). A French statesman and philanthropist, born at Nîmes. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar at Aix in 1817. About 1830 he went to Paris, where he soon became famous, particularly in the defense of the political prisoners. He became in 1842 a Deputy from Chinon, and served till 1848. Under the Republic of 1848 he was elected as Deputy to the Constituent Assembly and the Legislative Assembly, and was one of the first seven named by the Chamber on February 24 to form the Provisional Government, in which he acted as Minister of Justice. On the night of Louis Napoleon's coup
d'état Crémieux was arrested and thrown into He was soon released and voluntarily prison. retired into private life until November, 1869. when he was elected a Deputy to the Corps Législatif. On September 4, 1870, he was proclaimed a member of the Government of National Defense, and the following day he was made Minister of Justice. He rendered the famous decree which expelled from their seat the infamous magistrates composing the "mixed commissions" under the Empire. Another decree bearing his name, the Decree Crémieux, naturalized in mass 30,000 of his coreligionists in Algeria. In 1871 he subscribed 100,000 francs toward the payment of the war indemnity for the liberation of the French territory from the Germans. In 1875 he was elected life Senator. He was one of the founders of the Alliance Israélite Universelle (q.v.) and its president from 1863 to 1866 and from 1868 to 1880. Consult: Jacquot, Les contemporains (Paris, 1867); Blanc, Histoire de dix ans (Brussels, 1846).
CREM'NITZ. See KREMNITZ.
CREMONA, krå-mō'nå. The capital of the province of the same name in North Italy, situ
CREMONA, LUIGI (1830-1903). An Italian mathematician, born in Pavia. He participated in the struggle for independence against Austria in 1848-49, later studied at the University of Pavia, obtained a mathematical professorship in Bologna, and in 1873 became professor of higher mathematics in the University of Rome and director of the engineering school of the institution. His contributions to the study of projective geometry and of graphical staties are important. He introduced these subjects into the curricula of Italian technical schools. His works include: Introduzione ad una teoria geometrica delle curve piane (1862); Le figure reciproche nella statica grafica (3d ed., 1879); and Elementi di geometria projettiva (1873).
CREMORNE (kre-môrn') GARDENS. A famous resort in London, closed in 1877.
CRENEL', or CRENELLE (OF. crenel, notch, embrasure, from ML. crenellus, dim. of
Lat. crena, notch). Any embrasure or opening in the walls of a fortified place; especially the spaces between merlons (q.v.) on a battlemented parapet, from which missiles could be discharged. Hence it is sometimes used to desig
nate a battlement. Crenellated is used of a building supplied with crenels. See BATTLE
CREʼNIC ACID (from Gk. кpývŋ, krēnē, fountain). One of the constituents of vegetable mold, produced wherever leaves and other plant matter are decaying, especially in peat-bogs and marshes.
CRE ODON'TA (Neo-Lat., nom. pl. of Gk. xpéac, kreas, flesh idovs, odous, tooth). A suborder of extinct mammals, ancestral to the true carnivores, and hence sometimes called Carnivora Primigenia, and found fossil in the lower Tertiary rocks. The creodonts comprise primitive or synthetic types of animals that vary in size from that of a weasel to that of a grizzly bear, and that combine the characters of the true carnivorous families in such manner as to render determination of the taxonomic rank of any particular species a matter of some difficulty. The members of the suborder present resemblances to the bears, civets, and dogs among the true carnivores; the genus Patriofelis seems prophetic of the Pinnipedia, or seals, and Mesonyx resembles the carnivorous marsupials of Australia. The more primitive forms show characters possessed also by the Insectivora, Tillodontia, and Condylarthra. The oldest known mammal skull-that of Triisodon from the lower Puerco beds of the lowest Eocene of New Mexico -is placed among the Creodonta. Creodont remains are found in the lower Tertiary of Patagonia, and these are of interest because they resemble the carnivorous marsupials of Australia and New Zealand much more closely than do the North American creodonts. The range of the suborder in both North America and Europe is from the base of the Eocene into the lower Miocene. During Eocene time the creodonts played that important rôle among land animals which subsequently, during later Eocene and Miocene time, was assumed by the true carnivores. Among the more interesting and important genera are Arctocyon, Hyænodon, Mesonyx, Oxyæna, Patriofelis, Stylolophus.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. Matthew, “A Revision of the Puerco Fauna," Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. ix. (New York, 1897); id., "Additional Observations on the Creodonta," Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. xiv. (New York, 1901); Scott, "A Revision of the North American Creodonta," Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, vol. ix. (Philadelphia, 1887). See articles on MESONYX; OXY.ENA; HYENODON; PATRIOFELIS; MAMMALIA; TRIISO
European birth, neither is it used in speaking of the Canadian French.
CREOLE (Fr. créole, Sp. criollo; probably a negro corruption of Sp.*criadillo, criado, servant, from criar, to create, rear). A name properly used in the southern United States and in Latin America to designate the pure-blooded descendants of original French, Spanish, or Portuguese stock. By English writers it has sometimes been incorrectly supposed to mean a mestizo or mulatto; but it cannot properly be applied to any person of mixed race, non-Latin stock, or
CREOLE CASE, THE. An incident in American history, which caused some friction between the governments of the United States and Great
Britain and was the occasion of an animated debate between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery elements in Congress. In 1841, 19 of the 135 slaves on board the American brig Creole revolted, while being transported coastwise between Hampton Roads and New Orleans, and securing control, after killing the captain and wounding several others, directed the vessel to Nassau, New Providence, where all those who had not been directly concerned in the revolt were immediately liberated by the British authorities, the others being held for trial on a charge of murder, in the local courts. Daniel Webster, who was then Secretary of State, demanded the return of the slaves, on the ground that they were legally property and were on American soil and under the jurisdiction of the United States, so long as they were under the American flag, even when on board a ship. They were never returned, however, by the British Government. The incident caused J. R. Giddings (q.v.) to offer a series of resolutions in the House of Representatives, on March 21, 1842, declaring that slavery could exist only by positive law of the separate States; that these States had delegated no control over slavery to the Federal Government, which alone had jurisdiction on the high seas, and, therefore, that slaves on the high seas became free, and the coastwise slave trade was unconstitutional. The House passed a resolution of censure, and Giddings immediately resigned, but was triumphantly reëlected. His resolutions expressed the basis of one phase of the constitutional anti-slavery agitation. They are given in full in Giddings's History of the Rebellion (New York, 1864). The statute of March 2, 1807, regulating the coastwise slave trade, is in 2 U. S. Statutes at Large 426. See SLAVERY,
CREOLE STATE. Louisiana. See STATES, POPULAR NAMES OF.
CRE OLIN (origin uncertain). An unofficial dark-brown, sirupy liquid, of tarry odor, derived from coal-tar. It is soluble in alcohol and forms a milky fluid (an emulsion) with water. Different specimens vary considerably in composition and strength, and the careless use of the substance may cause poisoning. It is a good antiseptic, particularly against organisms that bear no spores, and is a powerful deodorizer. In operative surgery, it has the disadvantage that the milky character of the solution makes it dillicult to see instruments placed in it.
CRE ON (1
In the Greek legend, the son of Menæceus, and (Lat., from Gk. Kptov, Kreōn). brother of Jocasta, wife of Laïus, King of Thebes. After the death of Laïus he assumed the government and offered the crown and Jocasta to whosoever could free the city from the Sphinx. ŒEdipus (q.v.) accomplished the task, and thus unconsciously became the husband of his own mother. After his fall Creon once more assumed the rule as guardian of the sons of Edipus, Eteocles and Polynices (q.v.). After the death of the brothers, Creon again became king, and forbade the burial of Polynices and the Argives. Antigone (q.v.), however, defied Creon and buried her brother's body, whereupon Creon sen