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Religion in the Household II Honouring the Dead. Commemorating the dead Burial and commemoration was the duty of the heir (closest living relative) Burial.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion in the Household II Honouring the Dead. Commemorating the dead Burial and commemoration was the duty of the heir (closest living relative) Burial."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion in the Household II Honouring the Dead

2 Commemorating the dead Burial and commemoration was the duty of the heir (closest living relative) Burial and commemoration was the duty of the heir (closest living relative) Forms of grave markers ranged widely from simple pottery markers, wooden markers, stele, columbarium, mausoleum Forms of grave markers ranged widely from simple pottery markers, wooden markers, stele, columbarium, mausoleum Type of burial reflects wealth and status of deceased Type of burial reflects wealth and status of deceased House tombs very popular in 2 nd and 3 rd century AD, House tombs very popular in 2 nd and 3 rd century AD, Important to display on grave marker what was most important to those who had died and those who remained behind: i.e. relationships and the duties associated with it; political achievements (upper-classes), occupation (lower classes); wealth (size and quality of tomb and length of inscriptions), marriage (legal especially), family, children, age especially if deceased died young or lived to ripe old age, etc., Important to display on grave marker what was most important to those who had died and those who remained behind: i.e. relationships and the duties associated with it; political achievements (upper-classes), occupation (lower classes); wealth (size and quality of tomb and length of inscriptions), marriage (legal especially), family, children, age especially if deceased died young or lived to ripe old age, etc.,

3 Commemoration of a married couple

4 Tombstone of a freedman and his family

5 The monument of Eurysakes Tomb of the baker Eurysakes Tomb of the baker Eurysakes Wealthy freedman baker Wealthy freedman baker Displays pride in his craft of baking buns for the elite Displays pride in his craft of baking buns for the elite

6 Columbarium (columbaria pl.)

7 Columbaria Columbaria Elite families with large slave familia had their own columbaria where their slaves and ex-slaves received a niche for their ashes and a commemoration (ranging from name only to more elaborate indication of age, family relationship, occupation) Elite families with large slave familia had their own columbaria where their slaves and ex-slaves received a niche for their ashes and a commemoration (ranging from name only to more elaborate indication of age, family relationship, occupation) Also public columbaria where anyone could purchase a niche for a relatively small amount of money Also public columbaria where anyone could purchase a niche for a relatively small amount of money

8 Private rites associated with the dead Feast on day of funeral Feast on day of funeral Another feast on 9 th day after burial Another feast on 9 th day after burial Other meals with friends at the grave site and family were held throughout the year, on birthdays, Other meals with friends at the grave site and family were held throughout the year, on birthdays, Also on public festivals honouring the dead Also on public festivals honouring the dead

9 A Roman death mask of a Roman senator Private Custom in Prominent Roman families with the ius imagines (the right to preserve the images of their dead)– Private Custom in Prominent Roman families with the ius imagines (the right to preserve the images of their dead)– displayed ancestors’ death- masks in the tabularium of their houses and at funerals members of the family wore the mask and paraded their ancestors in the funeral procession (of course, only the men). displayed ancestors’ death- masks in the tabularium of their houses and at funerals members of the family wore the mask and paraded their ancestors in the funeral procession (of course, only the men). Wax imprint was taken directly after death, from which a plaster mask was made. Wax imprint was taken directly after death, from which a plaster mask was made.

10 Polybius on the funeral of a prominent Roman When any illustrious person dies, he is carried in procession with the rest of the funeral pomp, to the rostra in the forum; sometimes placed conspicuous in an upright posture; and sometimes, though less frequently, reclined. And while the people are all standing round, his son, if he has left one of sufficient age, and who is then at Rome, or, if otherwise, some person of his kindred, ascends the rostra, and extols the virtues of the deceased, and the great deeds that were performed by him in his life. By this discourse, which recalls his past actions to remembrance, and places them in open view before all the multitude, not those alone who were sharers in his victories, but even the rest who bore no part in his exploits, are moved to such sympathy of sorrow, that the accident seems rather to be a public misfortune, than a private loss. He is then buried with the usual rites; and afterwards an image, which both in features and complexion expresses an exact resemblance of his face, is set up in the most conspicuous part of the house, inclosed in a shrine of wood. Upon solemn festivals, these images are uncovered, and adorned with the greatest care. ….contnued When any illustrious person dies, he is carried in procession with the rest of the funeral pomp, to the rostra in the forum; sometimes placed conspicuous in an upright posture; and sometimes, though less frequently, reclined. And while the people are all standing round, his son, if he has left one of sufficient age, and who is then at Rome, or, if otherwise, some person of his kindred, ascends the rostra, and extols the virtues of the deceased, and the great deeds that were performed by him in his life. By this discourse, which recalls his past actions to remembrance, and places them in open view before all the multitude, not those alone who were sharers in his victories, but even the rest who bore no part in his exploits, are moved to such sympathy of sorrow, that the accident seems rather to be a public misfortune, than a private loss. He is then buried with the usual rites; and afterwards an image, which both in features and complexion expresses an exact resemblance of his face, is set up in the most conspicuous part of the house, inclosed in a shrine of wood. Upon solemn festivals, these images are uncovered, and adorned with the greatest care. ….contnued

11 continued And when any other person of the same family dies, they are carried also in the funeral procession, with a body added to the bust, that the representation may be just, even with regard to size. They are dressed likewise in the habits that belong to the ranks which they severally filled when they were alive. If they were consuls or praetors, in a gown bordered with purple: if censors, in a purple robe: and if they triumphed, or obtained any similar honor, in a vest embroidered with gold. Thus appeared, they are drawn along in chariots preceded by the rods and axes, and other ensigns of their former dignity. And when they arrive at the forum, they are all seated upon chairs of ivory; and there exhibit the noblest objects that can be offered to youthful mind, warmed with the love of virtue and of glory. For who can behold without emotion the forms of so many illustrious men, thus living, as it were, and breathing together in his presence? Or what spectacle can be conceived more great and striking? (Polybius – Ancient History Sourcebook) And when any other person of the same family dies, they are carried also in the funeral procession, with a body added to the bust, that the representation may be just, even with regard to size. They are dressed likewise in the habits that belong to the ranks which they severally filled when they were alive. If they were consuls or praetors, in a gown bordered with purple: if censors, in a purple robe: and if they triumphed, or obtained any similar honor, in a vest embroidered with gold. Thus appeared, they are drawn along in chariots preceded by the rods and axes, and other ensigns of their former dignity. And when they arrive at the forum, they are all seated upon chairs of ivory; and there exhibit the noblest objects that can be offered to youthful mind, warmed with the love of virtue and of glory. For who can behold without emotion the forms of so many illustrious men, thus living, as it were, and breathing together in his presence? Or what spectacle can be conceived more great and striking? (Polybius – Ancient History Sourcebook)


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