For the Romans, the manner of a person's death was the most telling indication of their true character. Death revealed the true patriot, the genuine philosopher, even, perhaps, the great artist--and certainly the faithful Christian. Catharine Edwards draws on the many and richly varied accounts of death in the writings of Roman historians, poets, and philosophers, including Cicero, Lucretius, Virgil, Seneca, Petronius, Tacitus, Tertullian, and Augustine, to investigate the complex significance of dying in the Roman world. Death in the Roman world was largely understood and often literally viewed as a spectacle. Those deaths that figured in recorded history were almost invariably violent--murders, executions, suicides--and yet the most admired figures met their ends with exemplary calm, their last words set down for posterity. From noble deaths in civil war, mortal combat between gladiators, political execution and suicide, to the deathly dinner of Domitian, the harrowing deaths of women such as the mythical Lucretia and Nero's mother Agrippina, as well as instances of Christian martyrdom, Edwards engagingly explores the culture of death in Roman literature and history.
Presenting a wide range of relevant, translated texts on death, burial and commemoration in the Roman world, this book is organized thematically and supported by discussion of recent scholarship. The breadth of material included ensures that this sourcebook will shed light on the way death was thought about and dealt with in Roman society.
In Reading Death in Ancient Rome, Mario Erasmo considers both actual funerary rituals and their literary depictions in epic, elegy, epitaphs, drama, and prose works as a form of participatory theater in which the performers and the depicters of rituals engage in strategies to involve the viewer/reader in the ritual process, specifically by invoking and playing on their cultural associations at a number of levels simultaneously. He focuses on the associative reading process-the extent to which literary texts allude to funeral and burial ritual, the narrative role played by the allusion to recreate a fictive version of the ritual, and how the allusion engages readers' knowledge of the ritual or previous literary intertexts. Such a strategy can advance a range of authorial agendas by inviting readers to read and reread assumptions about both the surrounding Roman culture and earlier literature invoked through intertextual referencing. By (re)defining their relation to the dead, readers assume various roles in an ongoing communion with the departed. Reading Death in Ancient Rome makes an important and innovative contribution to semiotic theory as applied to classical texts and to the emerging field of mortality studies. It should thus appeal to classicists as well as to advanced undergraduate and graduate students in art history and archeology.
An original study of the role and rituals of death in Roman civilization. Death never ceases to fascinate the living and in roman society, where the mortality was high, people were forced to confront the brevity of life and the impact of death. What did death mean and symbolize to the Romans? What does 'roman death' tell the modern reader about ancient society? This accessible and engaging book ranges from suicides, funeral feasts, necromancy and Hades to mourning, epitaphs and posthumous damnation. Impressive in its broad scope and fascinating in the level of detail, Valerie Hope presents the first survey to study death in ancient Rome in such an approachable and authoritative style.
The elaborate and inventive slaughter of humans and animals in the arena fed an insatiable desire for violent spectacle among the Roman people. Donald G. Kyle combines the words of ancient authors with current scholarly research and cross-cultural perspectives, as he explores * the origins and historical development of the games * who the victims were and why they were chosen * how the Romans disposed of the thousands of resulting corpses * the complex religious and ritual aspects of institutionalised violence * the particularly savage treatment given to defiant Christians. This lively and original work provides compelling, sometimes controversial, perspectives on the bloody entertainments of ancient Rome, which continue to fascinate us to this day.
The 'Old Work', the largest fragment of a Roman civilian building still standing in Britain, is a spectacular landmark which points to the site of Wroxeter Roman City, between medieval Shrewsbury and modern Telford. In its prime the city was the fourth largest in Britain, surpassed only by London, Cirencester and St Albans. Intensive archaeological research over the last 30 years, building on the work of earlier archaeologists and antiquarians, now makes it possible to understand much of the rise and fall of this great city. With the help of over 100 illustrations (many in full colour) the authors chart the modern rediscovery of Wroxeter. This lively and authorative account will be equally satisfying to those living in the Welsh Marches and to those with an interest in Roman Britain.
Fiction in English - Australian writers, 1945- - Texts
Death is a life crisis; a time of change and transformation, for the dead and the bereaved. Thus how dying, death and death rituals are used, described, presented and interpreted is fundamental to any society. This volume includes ten chapters, from expert contributors, which explore funerary rituals and commemoration in the Roman world, focusing upon the themes of memory and mourning. How were the memories of the dead constructed and contested; what role did funerals, oratory-and history, writing play in the names of the dead; how Were the dead mourned and commemorated? This volume challenges boundaries between traditional academic disciplines and utilizes current approaches in Scholarship. It-highlights how death was interwoven with Roman life and brings together diverse evidence such is poetry, oratory, portraiture, epigraphy, and funerary monuments. These chapters individually and collectively demonstrate the significance of studying the evidence for Roman death and death rituals, and how concerns for memory and mourning both shaped and were reflected in that evidence.
Our taste for blood sport stops short at the bruising clash of football players or the gloved blows of boxers, and the suicide of a politician is no more than a personal tragedy. What, then, are we to make of the ancient Romans, for whom the meaning of sport and politics often depended on death? In this provocative, thoughtful book, Paul Plass shows how the deadly violence of arena sport and political suicide served a social purpose in ancient Rome. His work offers a reminder of the complex uses to which institutionalized violence can be put. Violence, Plass observes, is a universal part of human life, and so must be integrated into social order. Grounding his study in evidence from Roman history and drawing on ideas from contemporary sociology and anthropology, he first discusses gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome. Massive bloodshed in the arena, Plass argues, embodied the element of danger for a society frequently engaged in war, with outsiders--whether slaves, criminals, or prisoners of war--sacrificed for a sense of public security
Defined by borders both physical and conceptual, the Roman city stood apart as a concentration of life and activity that was legally, economically, and ritually divided from its rural surroundings. Death was a key area of control, and tombs were relegated outside city walls from the Republican period through Late Antiquity. Given this separation, an unexpected phenomenon marked the Augustan and early Imperial periods: Roman cities developed suburbs, built-up areas beyond their boundaries, where the living and the dead came together in densely urban environments. Life and Death in the Roman Suburb examines these districts, drawing on the archaeological remains of cities across Italy to understand the character of Roman suburbs and to illuminate the factors that led to their rise and decline, focusing especially on the tombs of the dead. Whereas work on Roman cities has tended to pass over funerary material, and research on death has concentrated on issues seen as separate from urbanism, Emmerson introduces a new paradigm, considering tombs within their suburban surroundings of shops, houses, workshops, garbage dumps, extramural sanctuaries, and major entertainment buildings, in order to trace the many roles they played within living cities. Her investigations show how tombs were not passive memorials, but active spaces that facilitated and furthered the social and economic life of the city, where relationships between the living and the dead were an enduring aspect of urban life.
In ancient Rome, it was believed some humans were transformed into special, empowered beings after death. These deified dead, known as the manes, watched over and protected their surviving family members, possibly even extending those relatives’ lives. But unlike the Greek hero-cult, the worship of dead emperors, or the Christian saints, the manes were incredibly inclusive—enrolling even those without social clout, such as women and the poor, among Rome's deities. The Roman afterlife promised posthumous power in the world of the living. While the manes have often been glossed over in studies of Roman religion, this book brings their compelling story to the forefront, exploring their myriad forms and how their worship played out in the context of Roman religion’s daily practice. Exploring the place of the manes in Roman society, Charles King delves into Roman beliefs about their powers to sustain life and bring death to individuals or armies, examines the rituals the Romans performed to honor them, and reclaims the vital role the manes played in the ancient Roman afterlife.
The volume presents essays on different aspects of Roman sarcophagi. These varied approaches produce freshinsights into a subject which has received increased interest in English-language scholarship, with a new awareness of the important contribution that sarcophagi can make to the study of the social use and production of Roman art. Metropolitan sarcophagi are the main focus of the volume, which will cover a wide time range from the first century AD to post classical periods (including early Christian sarcophagi and post-classical reception). Other papers will look at aspects of viewing and representation, iconography, and marble analysis.
Never before available in paperback, J. M. C. Toynbee's study is the most comprehensive book on Roman burial practices. Ranging throughout the Roman world from Rome to Pompeii, Britain to Jerusalem—Toynbee's book examines funeral practices from a wide variety of perspectives. First, Toynbee examines Roman beliefs about death and the afterlife, revealing that few Romans believed in the Elysian Fields of poetic invention. She then describes the rituals associated with burial and mourning: commemorative meals at the gravesite were common, with some tombs having built-in kitchens and rooms where family could stay overnight. Toynbee also includes descriptions of the layout and finances of cemeteries, the tomb types of both the rich and poor, and the types of grave markers and monuments as well as tomb furnishings.
Studies in the History and Society of Greece and Rome
Author: Senior Lecturer in Ancient Greek Culture Graham Oliver
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Category: Social Science
Tombstones provide the largest single category of epigraphical evidence from the ancient world. However, epigraphy – the study of inscriptions – remains, for many students of history and archaeology, an abstruse subject. By marrying epigraphy and death, the contributors to this collection hope to encourage a wider audience to consider the importance of inscribed tombstones.