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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

An investigation of Roman funerary monuments erected to remember the dead gives us profound insight into the ways in which texts and images were employed to convey information on individual lives. The frontiers of the empire are fruitful ground for an investigation of the means by which different ethnic groups perceived and negotiated their identities, in life and in death, in the wake of population movements precipitated by the Roman conquest. Case studies taken from the Rhine and Danube frontiers demonstrate that changing cultural identity manifested itself in the use of tombs with Latin inscriptions and in the way men and women chose to depict themselves in their funerary portraits. The representation of ‘self’ through ethnic dress and bodily adornment was visibly and publicly communicated in such images. The funerary monument—a Roman cultural vehicle—became a forum for expressing ethnic affiliations and gendered behaviour.

Keywords: commemoration, memory, identity, ethnicity, dress, gender

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