Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity by Ian Morris

By Ian Morris

The manager goal of this publication is to teach how burials can be utilized as a uniquely informative resource for Greek and Roman social historical past. Burials allow a much wider diversity of inference and perception than the literary texts produced by means of and for a slender social elite, and by way of learning them extensive Dr. Morris is ready to supply new interpretations of social swap in Graeco-Roman antiquity. the most important interdisciplinary significance of the booklet lies in its try and holiday down limitations among archaeologists and historians of alternative societies and cultures.

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All other aspects of these graves were typical of local burial customs, even though the 20 Cumont 1922; 1942; 1949. Cumont's work is perceptively discussed by Nock (1946) and Gordon (1975); for a more detailed attack on this logic in archaic Greece, see Morris 1989a. 18 The anthropology of a dead world texts tell us that these people looked forward to an afterlife entirely different from that in 'official' Greek religion. The texts were originally thought to be Orphic; Pythagoreans or Dionysiacs are nowadays more favoured.

Hodder (maybe wisely) left it rather vague, apparently covering a wide range of economic, social and psychological unpleasantness. The idea is, after all, a return to the New Archaeology style of 'middle-range theory' which can be fitted to any set of data, and Hodder has himself retreated from this position. When he gives an example of his contextual archaeology at work, in an account of why the Ilchamus decorate their calabashes more elaborately than the other groups who live around Lake Baringo in Kenya, he explicitly 33 Hodder 1979; 1982c: 186-90; Parker Pearson 1984; 1989; D.

He goes on: 'The body was not consigned to the flames, as is the Roman custom (mos Romanus), but following the practice of foreign kings it was embalmed with spices' (Ann. 6 (written c. D. 115)). Three hundred years later, though, Macrobius could say that cremation was the sort of thing that people only read about in books (Sat. 5). Two interesting stories, to be sure. There are strict limits on what we can do with them, but they hint at the biggest single event in ancient burial, the change in 'the Roman custom' from cremation to inhumation.

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