The history of funerary customs in Rome contains many unanswered questions and controversial debates, especially concerning the significant developments of the second century CE. In this book, distinguished historian Barbara E. Borg employs the full range of material and written evidence to explore four key questions that change our view of Roman society and its values. For the first time, senatorial burial practices can be reconstructed and contrasted with those of other classes. Borg then explains the change from incineration to inhumation as a revival of old Roman mores that accelerated after the example set by Hadrian. In the third chapter, she argues that tombs became prime locations for promoting and displaying long family lines among the elite, which then inspired freedmen to undertake similar commemorative practices. Finally she explores the association of deceased persons with the divine and apotheosis through portraits on divine body shapes and temple tombs.Read more
- Proposes a new, contextual approach to Roman funerary culture that integrates art, archaeology, epigraphy and literary sources
- Yields new and unexpected results regarding questions so far considered unsolvable or highly controversial
- Shows how the evidence for Roman funerary culture is a major source of evidence for Roman social history
Reviews & endorsements
Advance praise: 'This is an outstanding piece of work – the product of a very long period not only of thinking about this material but of doing fundamental research into what we know archaeologically. Borg is a pioneer in the new era that has been systematic about the study of assemblages – notably looking back into the old archives as well as at relatively rare modern finds. The book casts vibrant new light on questions of monument and memory, the shift from cremation to inhumation, the problems of individual apotheosis; it brilliantly marshals archaeological evidence against a series of epigraphically generated assumptions about individualism and against familial commemoration in the context of the Roman tomb, which dominated the scholarship of last generation.' Jaś Elsner, University of Oxford
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- Date Published: May 2022
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108460354
- length: 369 pages
- dimensions: 243 x 168 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.643kg
- contains: 100 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. In search of deceased senators
2. Reviving tradition in Hadrianic Rome: from incineration to inhumation
3. Family matters: the long life of Roman tombs
4. Straddling borderlines: divine connotations in funerary commemoration.
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