Family honour: the long life of Roman tombs

Wednesday 24 April 2013 18.00-19.30

Family honour: the long life of Roman tombs

It is often assumed that ambitious Romans of whatever class would erect new tomb monuments if they could. In my paper, I argue that this is not the case. Rather, at Rome, new tomb monuments are normally only built on the occasion of a major change of status (especially promotion to senatorial rank; manumission; first free born generation). They are normally and ideally used continuously over as many generations as the family (or familia) lasted. And the demonstration of a long family tradition often outweighs even a desire for ostentatious display.

Barbara E. Borg (Exeter University)