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Sepulcra Romana. Mors in Roma Archeological evidence indicates that the Romans practiced both cremation and inhumation (what we'd call "burial"). However,

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Presentation on theme: "Sepulcra Romana. Mors in Roma Archeological evidence indicates that the Romans practiced both cremation and inhumation (what we'd call "burial"). However,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sepulcra Romana

2 Mors in Roma Archeological evidence indicates that the Romans practiced both cremation and inhumation (what we'd call "burial"). However, from the mid 3rd century B.C.E. on, burial became increasingly more popular. Cremation began to decrease especially with the advent of Christianity

3 Mors in Roma In Cremations, survivors burned gifts and personal belongings of the dead, in addition to the body. The ashes were gathered and buried in a container which could be anything from a cloth bag to a marble chest.

4 Wealthy Romans similarly had elaborate and monumental tombs (sometimes oddly shaped, e.g. a pyramid, or a cylinder. Mors in Roma The Etruscans made elaborate tombs in which they buried their dead (at least their wealthy dead).

5 Mors in Graecia The Greek attitude toward death lacks the belief in a dualistic after- life. Fear of the after-life was largely absent. The deceased’s journey to the next world was effected by elaborate ritual conducted by the relatives of the deceased, primarily women.

6 Mors in Graecia The funeral was a three-act drama which comprised laying out the body, the funeral procession, and the burial

7 Funeral Procession of Germanicus

8 Mors in Roma In Roman tradition, death was thought of as a blemish striking the family of the deceased. For this reason, rituals established a strict separation between the deceased and the living

9 Mors in Roma Romans believed that life after death could occur in three ways: 1.Di manes: spirits of the dead who remained forever on their burial land 2. Lemures: spirits of the unburied dead who haunted inhabited areas and disturbed the living 3.Deification: elevation of an exceptional individual’s status to that of a god

10 Mors in Roma Ritual was substantially modified for those who died in their prime, the unburied dead, victims of murder, suicides, heroes, etc. Special sympathy was felt towards women who died at a marriageable age but unmarried.

11 Whether the deceased had been buried or cremated, the grave site was typically marked by a tombstone and/or wooden grave marker. Mors in Roma The tombstones could contain a sculpture of the dead person, and any demographic or political service information, and a dedicatory inscription by the family member who paid for the tombstone.

12 Sepulcrum Q. Haterii The tomb of the Haterii family, specifically Quintus Haterius, the orator who died in 26 A.D. It was covered by one of the towers which Flavius Honorius built outside the porta Nomentana, and the excavations of 1827 brought to light fragments that showed it to have been a rectangular monument, surmounted with a sort of altar

13 Quintus Haterius Ca. 65 BC to 26 AD

14 A carving from the now destroyed tomb of the Haterii family. The relief sculpture shows a crane being used to build a tomb which is decorated with busts of people already, or to be, buried inside. A dead person lies "in state" at the top. Other sides of the tomb of the Haterii also have carvings of buildings, including the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus, suggesting that at least one of the Haterii was in the construction business. Sepulcrum Q. Haterii

15 Detail of the Crane - Two men climb to the top of the crane's jib and attach a tree/branch/plant symbolizing, as it still does today in many places, the completion of the building project. Sepulcrum Q. Haterii

16 Sepulchrum Eurysacis The tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces, a baker, built about the end of the republic (ca. 30 BC), in the angle formed by the splitting of the via Praenestina and the via Labicana.

17 Sepulchrum Eurysacis


19 This facing has a series of cylindrical holes along the sides, which possibly are designed to represent measures for grain or vessels for mixing dough Above these cylinders are reliefs representing the various operations of bread-making. Sepulchrum Eurysacis It is trapezoidal, composed of concrete with travertine (limestone) facing.

20 Sepulchrum Eurysacis

21 The tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces the baker is one of the largest and most well preserved freedmen funerary monuments in Rome.

22 Sepulchrum Eurysacis Freedmen were men who were at first slaves but were able to buy their freedom. They were proud of their freedom and earnings and therefore often created such lavish funerary monuments.

23 On the monument is an inscription: “est hoc monimentum Marcei Vergilei Eurysacis pistoris redemptoris apparet” The meaning of the last word is uncertain; it is a verb, probably in the sense apparet magistratibus “This is the monument of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces, baker, contractor, public servant.” Sepulchrum Eurysacis


25 The Mausoleum of Caecilia Metella is located at the top of a hill on the Appian Way Sepulcrum Caeciliae Metellae The tomb dominates the surrounding landscape and is surmounted by fortifications added during the medieval period.

26 Sepulcrum Caeciliae Metellae Built at the end of the Roman republican period, this tomb was built to hold the casket of Caecilia Metella, the daughter of Caecilius Quintus Metellus (the conqueror of Crete) and wife of Crassus.

27 Her casket was placed in a central burial cell with a conical vault. The building is a cylinder surrounding the cell. Sepulcrum Caeciliae Metellae The cylinder is faced with limestone with a frieze decorated with ox or bulls' skulls and garlands.

28 Sepulcrum Caeciliae Metellae Link to the google maps aerial view of the monument: com/maps?t=h&ie =UTF8&ll=41.852 15,12.521008&spn =0.001814,0.00342 8&z=18

29 The simple inscription facing the Appian Way reads: CAECILIAE / Q. CRETICI F. / METELLAE CRASSI, or "To Caecilia Metella, daughter of Quintus Creticus, [and wife] of Crassus".

30 Urns at the Tomb of Caecilia Metella

31 View from the base of the tomb of Caecilia Metella

32 Sepulcrum Caeciliae Metellae Kupferstiche von Giovanni Battista PiranesiGiovanni Battista Piranesi

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