Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Véronique Dasen and Thomas Späth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199582570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582570.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 February 2020

Wax and Plaster Memories

Wax and Plaster Memories

Children in Elite and non-Elite Strategies*

(p.109) 5 Wax and Plaster Memories
Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture

Véronique Dasen

Oxford University Press

Scattered and debated iconographical documents relate to the imagines maiorum, those wax portraits of office-holding ancestors which were kept in the homes of the elite. A number of plaster masks of children, often very young, have been found in tombs of the imperial period in Rome and in the provinces. These artefacts come from non-elite families and raise a number of questions relating to commemorative practices as well as to the status of children in lower social orders. Why and in what circumstances were these plaster moulds realized? On a living or a dead child? Was a wax or plaster portrait produced from these moulds? These unusual and little known funerary portraits allow us to revisit the need of memorials and the importance of mimesis in Roman society, and throw an unexpected light on the reworking of aristocratic imagery in freedmen's families.

Keywords:   familial memory, fictores, funerary masks, imagines maiorum, likeness, plaster portraits, resemblance, wax imagines, wax portraits

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .