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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Romans, though disciplined, still tender towards their children

Another excerpt from the lecture series: THE ROMAN EMPIRE: FROM AUGUSTUS TO THE FALL OF ROME posted by The Great Courses.
I am sometimes asked about Roman attitudes towards their families and children with the questioner assuming the disciplined Romans were less affectionate than we are and I point to Roman tombstone inscriptions like the one below illustrating how the Romans loved their children as much as we do.
‘Spirits who live in the underworld, lead innocent Magnilla through the groves and the Elysian Fields directly to your places of rest. She was snatched away in her eighth year by cruel fate while she was still enjoying the tender time of childhood. She was beautiful and sensitive, clever, elegant, sweet, and charming beyond her years. This poor child who was deprived of her life so quickly must be mourned with perpetual lament and tears.’
The Great Courses' article continues the discussion of Roman funerary inscriptions and attitudes toward the afterlife.
Here's a better image of the 2nd century Roman sarcophagus depicting the Triumph of Dionysus that I photographed at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore Maryland back in 2004, though.

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