This is a volume of studies concerned with death and its impact on the social order. The first topic considered is gladiatorial combat; not merely popular entertainment, it was also an important element in Roman politics. The book then investigates the composition of the political elite in the late Republic and Principate (249 BC – AD 235), showing that ideals of hereditary succession disguised high rates of social mobility. The final chapter ranges over aristocratic death rituals and tombs, funerals and ghost stories, to the search for immortality and the power of the Roman dead in distributing property by written wills.
Reviews & endorsements
'… few Roman historians can have put down this book with the comfortable feeling that their views were just as plausible as before … witty, elegant and a sustained pleasure to read.' Michael Crawford, The Times Literary SupplementSee more reviews
'The insights of the professional sociologist are matched by a mastery of the detailed evidence and a clarity of exposition which compels even his critics to envious admiration.' T. P. Wiseman, History Today
'The central chapters represent a genuine contribution to a new understanding of Roman social institutions.' Sir Moses Finley, London Review of Books
'The essays on death are spectacular tours de force.' Andrew Lintott, The Times Higher Education Supplement
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- Date Published: June 1985
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521271172
- length: 304 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 150 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.454kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Murderous games
2. Political succession in the late Republic (249–50 BC) Keith Hopkins and Graham Burton
3. Ambition and withdrawal: the senatorial aristocracy under the emperors Keith Hopkins and Graham Burton
4. Death in Rome
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