IDENTITY, IMMORTALITY, INTERACTION: FEMALE FUNERARY MONUMENTS AS SITES OF IDENTITY BUILDING IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Chen, Amanda Kane
Gensheimer, Maryl B
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As final markers of identity and memory, the tombs of Roman women carried ritual, ideological, and emotional significance. By surveying the funerary monuments of four distinct Roman women, it is possible to reconstruct, at least in part, the exhibited identities of Eumachia, Naevoleia Tyche, Faustina the Elder, Claudia, Amymone, and Postumia Matronilla. Drawing in the viewer to participate in the creation of identity through narrative and contextual relationships, each of the sepulchers solidifies the memories of the deceased women, thereby granting them an immortality of sorts. Engaging with issues of gender, status, the politics of self, propaganda, and regional variation, this paper seeks to explore the nuances of life, death, and identity in the Roman world, with an emphasis on understanding the monuments in their original contexts.