Death Antiquity and Its Legacy

ISBN-10: 0195380983
ISBN-13: 9780195380989
Edition: 2012
Authors: Mario Erasmo
List price: $24.95
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Description: Personal and yet universal, inevitable and unknowable, death has been a dominant theme in all cultures since earliest times. Remarkably, across the span of several millennia and despite the myriad of cultural profusions since antiquity, we can  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 196
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.572
Language: English

Personal and yet universal, inevitable and unknowable, death has been a dominant theme in all cultures since earliest times. Remarkably, across the span of several millennia and despite the myriad of cultural profusions since antiquity, we can recognize in the customs of ancient Greece and Rome ceremonies and rituals that have lasting resonance today in both the East and West. For example, preparing the corpse of the deceased, holding a memorial service, the practice of cremation and of burial in "resting places" are all processes that can trace their origin to ancient practices. Such rites-described by Cicero and Herodotus, among others-have defined traditional modern funerals. Yet of late there has been a shift away from classical ritual and somber memorialization as the dead are transformed into spectacles. Impromptu roadside shrines, "virtual" memorials, the embalmment of the deceased in the attitude of daily activity, and even firework displays have come to the fore as new modes of marking, even celebrating, bereavement. What is causing this change, and how do urbanization, economic factors, and the rise of individualism play a part? Mario Erasmo creatively explicates and explores the nexus between classical and contemporary approaches to death and interment. From theme funerals in St. Louis to Etruscan sarcophagi, he offers a rich and insightful discussion of the end of life across the ages.

Acknowledgements
Foreword
Preface
Funerals
Funeral paradigms
Death on the periphery
Staging the dead
Viewing the dead
Likening the dead
Animating the dead
Disposal
Cremation
Staging cremations
Containing the dead
Burials and secondary disposal
Location And Commemoration
The dead on the periphery
The ancient dead on the periphery
Gates of the living and the dead
Legacy of Roman tombs
Neoclassicism
Cult of the Dead
(Self-) Identifying the dead
Moving memorials
Visiting the dead
Drinking and eating with the dead
Touring the dead
Epilogue
Some Suggestions For Further Reading
Notes
Picture Credits
Index

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