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In the first comprehensive study of Roman ancestor masks in English, Harriet Flower explains the reasons behind the use of wax masks in the commemoration of politically prominent family members by the elite society of Rome. Flower traces the functional evolution of ancestor masks, from their first attested appearance in the third century BC to their last mention in the sixth century AD, through the examination of literary sources in both prose and verse, legal texts, epigraphy, archaeology, numismatics, and art. It is by putting these masks, which were worn by actors at the funerals of the deceased, into their legal, social, and political context that Flower is able to elucidate their central position in the media of the time and their special meaning as symbols of power and prestige.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199240241
ISBN-10: 0199240248
Format: Paperback
(217mm x 138mm x 24mm)
Pages: 434
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 28-Oct-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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