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The Roman life course: a view from the inscriptions

The Roman life course: a view from the inscriptions
The Roman life course: a view from the inscriptions
Epitaphs inscribed on stone record biographical information about the deceased, and in certain cases, the age at death. However, it has been demonstrated that these ages on Roman epitaphs are not an accurate reflection of the demographics of death, but are subject to cultural bias. Using the idea of the ‘life course’, this article explores these cultural biases and their relationship to age and gender structures. Material from Italy suggests that these are tied into ideologies of gender, with adulthood defined by the transition to magistrate for men and wife for women. Material from other areas demonstrates different patterns, and in the case of Etruria, these are shown to be a negotiation between pre-Roman and Romanized customs. The phenomenon of ‘ agerounding’ is also argued to be part of these ideas of correct age
1461-9571
43-63
Revell, Louise
6f4f0c55-4408-4cff-b084-0459957b3c37
Revell, Louise
6f4f0c55-4408-4cff-b084-0459957b3c37

Revell, Louise (2005) The Roman life course: a view from the inscriptions. European Journal of Archaeology, 8 (1), 43-63. (doi:10.1177/1461957105058209).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Epitaphs inscribed on stone record biographical information about the deceased, and in certain cases, the age at death. However, it has been demonstrated that these ages on Roman epitaphs are not an accurate reflection of the demographics of death, but are subject to cultural bias. Using the idea of the ‘life course’, this article explores these cultural biases and their relationship to age and gender structures. Material from Italy suggests that these are tied into ideologies of gender, with adulthood defined by the transition to magistrate for men and wife for women. Material from other areas demonstrates different patterns, and in the case of Etruria, these are shown to be a negotiation between pre-Roman and Romanized customs. The phenomenon of ‘ agerounding’ is also argued to be part of these ideas of correct age

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Published date: 2005
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 372161
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/372161
ISSN: 1461-9571
PURE UUID: bd1e363d-324f-4864-a7f6-4748ac55485c

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Date deposited: 27 May 2016 07:50
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:37

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Author: Louise Revell

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