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Lecture 32

CLASSICS 2K03 Lecture 32: Death & Dying in Rome
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Department
Classics
Course
CLASSICS 2K03
Professor
Dr.Scarfo
Semester
Winter

Description
Death& Dying in Rome Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:26 PM • Skeleton Mosaic ○ Butler holding winejugs • House of the Faun • Pompeii • 1st centuryA.D. • Oneof several materialexamplesthatrepresents Rome'sspecialintrigue in death&morbidity • ConstantreminderofmortalityfortheRomans - Encouraged thelivingto enjoy their lives &short -lived pleasures • These images don't inviteseriouscontemplation ofbody & so- Inspired by epicurean philosophy, if death were a certainty & life were short, then it should be filled withfun, justas itshould virtue • Contextsinwhichmanyoftheseobjectsfoundsuggestsgoodhumor • Imagery suggests acceptance of death TopicsofDiscussion • LifeexpectancyinancientRome • Causesofdeath • The Roman funeral • Mourning LifeExpectancy • Lifeexpectancyatbirthfell intheagerangeof20 -30 years • CIL 6.22417: 'Mercuriuslived twenty-five years, six months, twenty days, & four hours. His very lovingbrother& his mistress Julia provided thismemorialfor him becausehe waswell deserving.' ○ Onenamesuggests thathewaslikely aslave - Mistress Julia may have ownedhim • CIL 6.2187: 'PubliusMaliusFirminuslived twenty-four years, three months, & twenty-seven days. Publius Malius Maximus provided this memorial for his well-deserving brother.' • If individual survived critical period of childhood, likely they'd live to mid-dle age(~40-50 years) • CIL 6.2187: 'PubliusMaliusFirminuslived twenty-four years, three months, & twenty-seven days. Publius Malius Maximus provided this memorial for his well-deserving brother.' • If individual survived critical period of childhood, likely they'd live to mid-dle age(~40-50 years) • Sources ofevidence very problematic such that Roman demographersprovide estimates using model life tabs hese tablesdescribe population structuresof antiquityinabsenceofreliablestatisticaldataforRomanpopulation - Use statistics of populations similar to those of ancie-Heint to general populationpatternsofRome • CIL 6.21738: 'LutatiaSecundina,a verysweet child,lived fouryears, six months, &nine days.' • Withassumptionoflifeexpectancyatbirthof25years, demographersestimate thatabout28%ofallnewbornbabiesdidNOTsurvivetoageone • ~50%of children did NOTsurvivepast the ageof 10 • Exact figures areof course impossibleto determine ○ CansaywithsomeconfidencethatinRome(& throughoutmuchof Empire)life wasshort ○ Deathmayhavebeen'matter -of-fact' part of life Disease& Death • Malnutrition & lack of proper diet: Scurvy & rickets ○ Rickets most often childhood dissCausedbylackofexposureto vitamin D ○ Osteomalaciaoccurredinadults • Poor sanitation ○ Vermin, excrement, etc. • Contaminationofthewatersupply • Generalovercrowding FourGroupsofDisease • EntericViruses- Gastroenteritis,meningitis,hepatitisA • Bacteria (e. coli& salmonella)- Gastroenteritis,salmonellosis,typhoid(thelast beingthe mostsevere) • Parasitic Protozoan-sDiarrhea&infectionofthegastrointestinaltract • Parasitic Worm- sNematodes(e.g.hookworms)&cestodes(i.e.tapeworms) Disease& Death • Duetothevaguenessofancientdescriptionsofillnesses, it isdifficultto identifyfor certain whether cholera waspresent • Parasitic Worm- sNematodes(e.g.hookworms)&cestodes(i.e.tapeworms) Disease& Death • Duetothevaguenessofancientdescriptionsofillnesses, it isdifficultto identifyfor certain whether cholera waspresent • Dysenterywouldhavealsobeencommon Malaria • Proximity towards swamp & lo- wlying areasresulted in mosquitoes- Malaria wasevidentlyan issue • Notusuallyfatal,B
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