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Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity

Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity

Paperback Key Themes in Ancient History

By (author) Ian Morris, Series edited by P.A. Cartledge, Series edited by Peter Garnsey

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 20mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 22 October 1992
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521376114
  • ISBN 13: 9780521376112
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 48 b/w illus. 12 tables
  • Sales rank: 361,514

Product description

In this innovative book Dr Morris seeks to show the many ways in which the excavated remains of burials can and should be a major source of evidence for social historians of the ancient Graeco-Roman world. Burials have a far wider geographical and social range than the surviving literary texts, which were mainly written for a small elite. They provide us with unique insights into how Greeks and Romans constituted and interpreted their own communities. In particular, burials enable the historian to study social change. Ian Morris illustrates the great potential of the material in these respects with examples drawn from societies as diverse in time, space and political context as archaic Rhodes, classical Athens, early imperial Rome and the last days of the western Roman empire.

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Review quote

"Morris represents a new wave of research in archaeology, and his book is welcome...It is engagingly written and unites a great deal of wide-ranging information." Choice "Morris has written an excellent book about the interpretation of ancient burial remains and the use of such interpretations for social history." Religious Studies Review "While aimed primarily at social historians, this work will also be of significant interest to classical archaeologists looking for creative approaches to interpreting the graves they excavate...I once heard an anthropologist claim that classical archaeology has not produced a theorist of note since Pausanias. Morris, citing recent work on Greek burials, asserts that the field may yet answer its critics. This work is part of that response." Clark A. Walz, American Journal of Archaeology

Table of contents

1. The anthropology of a dead world; 2. 'Mos Romanus': cremation and inhumation in the Roman empire; 3. 'Dem bones': skeletal remains; 4. Taking it with you: grave-goods and Athenian democracy; 5. Monuments to the dead: display and wealth in classical Greece; 6. Famous last words: the inscribed tombstone; 7. At the bottom of the graves: an example of analysis; 8. Conclusion; Bibliographical essay; Bibliography; Index.