This book, built around the study of the representation of age and identity in 23,000 Latin funerary epitaphs from the Western Mediterranean in the Roman era, will set out how the use of age in epitaphs and, thus, also time, varied across this region. The discrepancy between the use of time to represent identity in death allows us to begin to understand the differences between the cultures of Italy and those of North Africa, Spain and southern Gaul.
The analysis will focus on the timescapes of cemeteries (a key urban phenomenon) in relation to other markers of time, not least the Roman invention of the birthday, the revering of the dead at the Parentalia and the topoi of life’s stages. In so doing, the book will contribute to our understanding of gender, the city, the family, the role of the military, freed slaves and cultural change. The book brings to the discipline of ancient history the concept of the timescape that can be seen to have varied geographically across the Mediterranean, and questions the claims of cultural unity for the Western Mediterranean as a region.
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Ray Laurence is Professor of Roman History and Archaeology at the University of Kent, UK.
Francesco Trifilo gained his PhD in Ancient History and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK.
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