Ancient Roman Funeral Traditions

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To say that the ancient Romans thought a lot about funerary ritual and post-mortem commemoration is an understatement. Abundant textual evidence records complex, performative rituals surrounding death and burial in ancient Rome while significant expenditures on elaborate tombs and funerary portraits. The roman funeral was seen as a type of passage that signified the transition between the death and the life of the person. It was extremely important for them to have proper ceremonies and a burial to avoid spirits and other things from the underworld coming back to affect them. There hasn’t been an exact description of the Roman funeral practices that have been found but there have been numerous accounts of ancient sources that do exist and can provide us accounts of ancient funerals. For the most part Roman …show more content…
They began inside of the city and ended outside of the walls at the cemetery. The wealthier the deceased was in his past life the flashier his or her funeral procession would be. Some of the flashier processions would have mimes and musicians. For the less fortunate they might only have a few solo flute players that would play during their procession. Wealthier the deceased was rich or poor they often had professional mourners who attended the procession and formed a large portion of it. These professional mourners were women who were in fact not part of the passed one’s family but actually were paid to participate in the mourning process. These paid mourners sometimes went to extremes to play the part. There have been accounts of certain funerals where the women would not only yell and wail loudly but would also literally rip out hair from their heads and scratch their faces in mourning. If a professional mourner was extreme and impressive that signified that the certain individual was an exceptionally wealthy and powerful person

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