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Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture Paperback – 28 Oct 1999

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Product details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed edition (28 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199240248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199240241
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2.5 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,129,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

timely contribution to ancient cultural history ... in thoroughly reconsidering an important element of Roman culture, this book reaffirms its profoundly political nature. (Jane D. Chaplin, The Classical Review)

The book is an important contribution to Roman family history as well as to the study of Roman power politics. Clearly written; well organized. Very valuable listing, with translation, of testimonia. (Choice)

In addition to an exhaustive discussion of the imagines... the book contains highly plausible, useful, and in some cases... ground-breaking accounts of many other subjects. The documentation is everywhere extensive and clearly presented... and... the argumentation is generally, lucid, and easy to follow... the book is a valuable contribution to scholarship, and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in any aspect of the ancient Roman world. (David Mankin)

About the Author

Harriet I. Flower is at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
IT is now around sixty years since a book was dedicated largely or wholly to Roman ancestor masks (imagines) with the result that the present re-examination is not in need of a lengthy justification. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon in the Amazon on 17 July 2011
Format: Paperback
After she admits in the first chapter that no ancestor masks (imagines) survive, no paintings or sculptures of the masks survive, and no classical author gives a clear descriptions of a mask, it seems amazing that the author is able to fill another few hundred pages with so little to go on. However, read on and you can see a great historian at work -- gathering clues from every possible source and combining them into a remarkably coherent narrative. It should be said that the real topic of the book turns out to be the way the Roman ruling classes used all forms of ancestor veneration to sustain and enhance the status of the living -- through funeral processions and orations, coin designs, statues and public works, etc. -- so that stressing ancestor masks in the title is a bit misleading. It's quite a technical read (and by no means a 'popular' account for the coffee-table) but it kept me genuinely interested from start to finish. Highly recommended for anyone who's interested in going a bit deeper into Roman social history.
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