All posts tagged Death

The Walking Dead of Ancient Rome

rome-walking-dead

One of my all time favourite comics (and now television show by AMC) is The Walking Dead. The show depicts a post apocalyptic world filled with zombies (dead people) and the living fight for their own survival.

Fortuitously in the ‘real world’ we have no such interaction with the dead and they are placed firmly within the realms of fiction.

However, in Ancient Rome it was a completely different story. The living perceived a very real threat of the dead returning and sought measures to placate the restless spirits of those that had past.

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A Roman Burial Society to Diana & Antinous

Diana

A lecturer of Ancient History at Macquarie University once mentioned that the Romans could teach us a thing or two about bureaucracy. I’ve never quite taken the quote too seriously, I mean, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Recently I stumbled upon an inscription (Lanuvium, Italy, 136 C.E.) that exposes a certain sophistication that would rival our own modern social clubs. The inscription reveals a burial society dedicated to Diana & Antinous with a primary purpose of ensuring burial for its members but also serving secondary functions of religious worship and social interaction.

This article will explore the by-laws of the burial society and through these laws, attempt to understand what it meant to belong to a social group in Ancient Rome.

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10 Famous Suicides from the Ancient World

Lucretia, Suicide of a Roman Matron

In the classical period (800 BC – AD 500), suicide held a different connotation than it does today. It was only at the Council of Arles in AD 452 that it was officially condemned as a sin by the Christians.

For the aristocracy of many cultures, it was a viable option to the humiliation of public trial and granted the individual dignity in death that befitted their social standing. Suicide could also be seen as the ultimate act of defiance against tyrants (Cato & Caesar) and allowed the natural flow of assets to pass to heirs (rather than the state).

It was not acceptable for all though. Soldiers, slaves and those accused of capital crimes were not permitted the same grace on suicide.

This article contains 10 of the more famous suicides from Ancient Rome & Greece.

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