Death in Ancient Rome
Yale University Press, 2007 - History - 287 pages
For the Romans, the manner of a person's death was the most telling indication of their true character. Death revealed the true patriot, the genuine philosopher, even, perhaps, the great artist--and certainly the faithful Christian. Catharine Edwards draws on the many and richly varied accounts of death in the writings of Roman historians, poets, and philosophers, including Cicero, Lucretius, Virgil, Seneca, Petronius, Tacitus, Tertullian, and Augustine, to investigate the complex significance of dying in the Roman world.
Death in the Roman world was largely understood and often literally viewed as a spectacle. Those deaths that figured in recorded history were almost invariably violent--murders, executions, suicides--and yet the most admired figures met their ends with exemplary calm, their last words set down for posterity. From noble deaths in civil war, mortal combat between gladiators, political execution and suicide, to the deathly dinner of Domitian, the harrowing deaths of women such as the mythical Lucretia and Nero's mother Agrippina, as well as instances of Christian martyrdom, Edwards engagingly explores the culture of death in Roman literature and history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
according appears arena argues aristocratic associated audience authors battle become body Book brave bravery Caesar Cato Cato's celebrated century Chapter character Christian Cicero civil claim combat concern condemned context contrast course dead death defeated described desire detail dinner discussed dying earlier emperor emphasises endurance example explored face fear of death fight figure funeral further gladiator gladiatorial Hill human important individual instance issue kill kind later least Letter live look Lucretius martyrs means nature Nero offered once pain particular passage performance perhaps philosophical play pleasure Pliny political position presented quam reader referred relation role Roman Rome seems seen senate Seneca sense serves significant Socrates sometimes spectacle spectators Stoic story stresses suffering suggests suicide Tacitus term texts Thrasea tradition treatment virtus women writing