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Never before available in paperback, J. M. C. Toynbee's study is the most comprehensive book on Roman burial practices. Ranging throughout the Roman world from Rome to Pompeii, Britain to Jerusalem -- Toynbee's book examines funeral practices from a wide variety of perspectives. First, Toynbee examines Roman beliefs about death and the afterlife, revealing that few Romans believed in the Elysian Fields of poetic invention. She then describes the rituals associated with burial and mourning: commemorative meals at the gravesite were common, with some tombs having built-in kitchens and rooms where family could stay overnight. Toynbee also includes descriptions of the layout and finances of cemeteries, the tomb types of both the rich and poor, and the types of grave markers and monuments as well as tomb furnishings.
The most comprehensive book on Roman burial practices-now available in paperback
J. M. C. Toynbee was Lawrence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University and an honorary Fellow of Newnham College. Before her death in 1985, she served as a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Numismatic Society, and as a member of the faculty of the British School in Rome. She authored numerous articles and books, including Art in Roman Britain, The Art of the Romans, Roman Historical Portraits, and Roman Life and Art in Britain.
Throughout this book one is continuously conscious of the richness of the material and the difficulties the author must have encountered in trying to keep her work within manageable proportions. This she has accomplished in masterly fashion, giving us enough of each topic to prevent her treatment ever being described as summary, and yet making us aware of unresolved questions and filled with the desire to know the answers... This is most certainly a book which will inspire further research, perhaps in the form of more detailed studies of burial rights in individual provinces and their development from earlier native customs which were neither Greek nor Etruscan. * Times Literary Supplement *