This is a volume of studies concerned with death and its impact on the social order. The first topic considered is gladiatorial combat; not merely popular entertainment, it was also an important element in Roman politics. The book then investigates the composition of the political elite in the late Republic and Principate (249 BC - AD 235), showing that ideals of hereditary succession disguised high rates of social mobility. The final chapter ranges over aristocratic death rituals and tombs, funerals and ghost stories, to the search for immortality and the power of the Roman dead in distributing property by written wills.
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