Death & Tombs

I had recently written about the tomb of Publius Phileros just outside the town of Pompeii. This tomb captured a glimpse of life in this ancient Roman town and the relationships between people.

Funerals were important to ancient Romans. The practice varied during the ages but during Republican Rome cremations were more popular than inhumations. One thing always remained common- cemetries and tombs were always outside the city limits. This could have had the practical use of keeping diseases out.

Tombs outside the City
Tombs outside the City

Streets lined with tombs on either side leading inside and outside of a town were fairly common.  The photograph below actually could look like a real street with houses and real people living- but it was actually a line of tombs.

Line of Tombs looking like houses
Line of Tombs looking like houses

Families that were rich could afford their own monumental tombs. Most other people however belonged to guilds that paid for funeral services of their members. In this case the remains of the dead were also preserved in Columbaria.

Family Tomb Outside Pompeii
Family Tomb Outside Pompeii
Some Tombs Outside Via Nocera
Some Tombs Outside Via Nocera
Tomb with Semi Circular Bench where travellers could rest
Tomb with Semi Circular Bench where travellers could rest

One of the craziest Roman tombs I’ve ever seen is the tomb of Eurysaces the Baker right outside Porta Maggiore at Rome. The entire tomb is shaped like an oven and also has friezes of people baking.

Here lies the Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker
Here lies the Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker

I can’t believe we’ve done 4 posts already. 22 more alphabets to go! What would you like to see?

D for Death
D for Death

 

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22 thoughts on “Death & Tombs”

  1. How interesting. I learned about the tombs outside the city walls in a book I read recently called “Ancient Rome on 5 denarii a day” (it was quite fun), but hadn’t seen any pictures. Yours are lovely.

  2. One of my traveling friends shared with me her interest in visiting cemeteries. I never thought of visiting tomb stones before, but now I actually enjoy it. So much history can be found there.

  3. I remembered John Donne’s famous poem: ” Death be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”

  4. Was wondering when the A-Z would feature Rome 🙂 lovely pictures to match the post. They do look peaceful and hope the souls there rest in peace!

    1. Ah ha ha! My A to Z themes are tweaked around my regular themes so Rome will feature once more at least!

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