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The Art of ForgettingDisgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture$
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Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877463_flower

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Conclusion Roman Memory Spaces

Conclusion Roman Memory Spaces

(p.276) Chapter X Conclusion Roman Memory Spaces
The Art of Forgetting

Harriet I. Flower

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter concludes that the Romans, and especially those who wrote history, saw memory (memoria) as if it were a discrete space, filled with the monuments, inscriptions, portraits, written accounts, and other testimonies to the life of a Roman citizen (in most cases an elite male). It notes that this symbolic space, a powerful and definitive marker of elite status, stretched across the various visual and textual media, and between generations to ensure the survival and continuity of the community and of the particular culture of its political families. The chapter adds that memory, in this formal sense, also formed a bridge between public and private, between domestic and political. It observes that memory in Roman culture could be found in three essential media: monument, text, and ritual, which was visible and legible but also dramatic and able to be recreated, for example, by actors impersonating ancestors at an aristocratic funeral.

Keywords:   Romans, history, memory, elite, monument, text, ritual

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