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Religion, Death and Burial in Pompeii and Herculaneum.

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Presentation on theme: "Religion, Death and Burial in Pompeii and Herculaneum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religion, Death and Burial in Pompeii and Herculaneum

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3 Pompeii Herculaneum Many references to the Capitoline Temple, but as yet uncovered. Temple of the Capitoline Trio Temple of Apollo Doric Temple in the Triangular Forum

4 Pompeii Herculaeum Dionysis/Bacchus temple Frescoes in the Villa of Mysteries Cult of the Imperial Genius -Shrine of Augustales Temple of Fortuna Augusta Temple of the Genius Augusti Temple of Isis Temple of Venus Temple of Asclepius

5 Pompeii Herculaeneum Temple of the Lares Publici, built after the 62AD Earthquake Significant evidence for the worship of Lares (household protector spirits) Penates (spirits of the pantry) Genius (spirit of the family) in all large houses in Pompeii as well as shops and public spaces. Extensive evidence for the worship of the Lares and associated gods in a variety of large houses. No evidence to suggest a significant public space to the Lares as in Pompeii. “The rituals practiced before the shrine demonstrated the reliance of the familia in its maintanence and continuity. The shrine bound the Roman family to its past, protected its present and provided for its future”. Jashemski

6 Lararium from the House of Julius Polybius, Pompeii Kitchen Lararium from the House of the Faun, Pompeii Freestanding lararium in the peristyle of the House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii

7 LARARIUM-HOUSEHOLD RELIGION The genius, which guaranteed many children for the family was always shown as a priest with covered head and holding a drinking horn Snakes represented other guardian spirits. They also represent the renewal of the life of the ancestors “ The most sacred, the most hallowed place on earth is the home of each and every citizen. There are his sacred hearth and his household gods, there the very centre of his worship, religion and domestic ritual.” Cicero The penates protected the food supply and looked just like the lares. Together with Vesta they represented the material prosperity of the household The Lares or spirit protectors of the house were shown as young dancing men in short tunics, who held a drinking horn(rhyton) in one hand and a plate ( patera ) in another

8 Necropolis near Porta Nucera Romans believed that the deceased entered into a shadowy existence in the underworld after death. The dead who were happy were those who had made the successful transition from the land of the living to the land of the dead. They joined the manes, the spirits of the dead

9 Attitudes to death In Petronius’s Satyricon Trimalchio says” Man’s life alas is but a span, so let us live while we can. We’ll be like this when dead ( silver skeleton thrown on the table ) Romans had no clear concept of life after death but numerous graffiti urge the people to live life to the full. “Learn this well: while I am alive, you are my enemy, Death”

10 Examples of elaborate Tombs

11 Tomb of Mammia& Altar Tomb of NaevoleiaTyche

12 Tomb of Vestorius Priscus ( Herculaneum)

13 Tombs as a reflection of Status Many of the earlier tombs had a box-like shape, featuring decorative concrete ornamentation on the outside and elaborate wall paintings and funerary offerings on the inside (Grant 57). However, in The Age of Augustus, a different kind of tomb, shaped like a semicircular bench, came into fashion. This style of monument was only built for the very highest social tier of Pompeian society. Many of those that have been found are located within the sacred zone around the perimiter of the city, called the pomerium, an area that the town council only allotted to those people considered to be deserving of great prestige and privilege (Zanker ).The Age of Augustus This new type of tomb fit well with Augustan ideals, as it did not mearly honor the deceased but also provided an amenity for the town. Tombs as a reflection of StatusArchaeologists have interpreted the worn steps of these monuments to mean that travelers as well as citizens of Pompeii used these benches often as places to sit and to rest (Zanker 124).


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