Crisis and Ambition: Tombs and Burial Customs in Third-Century AD Rome

Hardcover | October 7, 2013

byBarbara E. Borg

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Tombs and burial customs are an exquisite source for social history, as their commemorative character inevitably expresses much of the contemporaneous ideology of a society. This book presents, for the first time, a holistic view of the funerary culture of Rome and its surroundings during thethird century AD. While the third century is often largely ignored in social history, it was a transitional period, an era of major challenges - political, economic, and social - which inspired creativity and innovation, and paved the way for the new system of late antiquity.Barbara Borg argues that during this time there was, in many ways, a return to practices known from the Late Republic and early imperial period, with spectacular monuments for the rich, and a large-scale reappearance of collective burial spaces. Through a study of terraced tombs, elite monuments,the catacomb nuclei, sarcophagi, and painted image decoration, this volume explores how the third century was an exciting period of experimentation and creativity, a time when non-Christians and Christians shared fundamental ideas, needs, and desires as well as cemeteries, tombs, and hypogea.Ambition continued to be a driving force and a determining factor in all social classes, who found innovative solutions to the challenges they encountered.

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Tombs and burial customs are an exquisite source for social history, as their commemorative character inevitably expresses much of the contemporaneous ideology of a society. This book presents, for the first time, a holistic view of the funerary culture of Rome and its surroundings during thethird century AD. While the third century is...

Barbara E. Borg is Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Exeter. She has worked on a wide range of topics, often linking her core subject Greek and Roman art and archaeology with neighbouring disciplines such as Egyptology, Classical Literature, Ancient History, and Geology.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:324 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.1 inPublished:October 7, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199672733

ISBN - 13:9780199672738

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of FiguresList of PlatesAbbreviations1. Introduction: The third Century2. Traditional Cemeteries and Tombs3. Innovation and New Designs4. Underground Tombs5. Long-Term Use and Re-Use6. Sarcophagi7. Sarcophagi in Context8. Interior Decoration9. ConclusionsBibliographyIndex