Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Roman burial ground found in Vatican
This article is a couple of days old, but it's interesting. The article mentions that archaeologists found "terracotta tubes... through which mourning families would pour honey to nourish the dead". I think this is interesting as it suggests that the beliefs Romans had about the afterworld as expressed in mythology (think of Orpheus and Eurydice or Aeneid VI) or philosophy (think of the ideas of Cicero and Lucretius) existed alongside a whole other set of beliefs and customs about what happened to the dead. It's hard to say exactly what the Romans believed about life after death, or about religion in general, because there was so much variety and complexity. You can find more info on life after death and funerary customs here, here and here (click on the guided tour).