This book undertakes to answer questions relating to the creation of deity assimilation statues for young boys, a common mode of commemoration for the Romans. In addition, it demonstrates that many statues traditionally understood to represent youthful divinities actually possess portraits, even and especially if the faces appear joyful. It also proposes that these deity assimilation statues were commissioned primarily as posthumous commemorations. As such, the sculptural examples should be recognized as belonging to and constituting an important class of funerary sculpture; a class which has been, to this point, overlooked. It is also suggested that despite the fact that they were posthumous commemorations, deity assimilation statues of young boys were not necessarily placed in a sepulchral context, rather, it is maintained that images of children assimilated to divinities primarily served a sentimental purpose, and that, in that capacity, they may have been intended for and regularly kept in a domestic context, close to the surviving family.
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