More directly relevant esatto commemorative monitor is evidence of an undiminished representational audacity

More directly relevant esatto commemorative monitor is evidence of an undiminished representational audacity

Such honorific statues are conspicuous testimony to continuing material display by elite pagans

Alan Cameron ( Reference Cameron 2011b, Reference Cameron, Salzman, Saghy and Lizzi Testa 2016) sharply and convincingly joined issue with an interpretation of the literary sources by Stephane Ratti, who imputed just such reticence onesto aristocratic fourth-century pagans (Ratti, Reference Ratti 2010; Reference Ratti 2012: 33–49). The commemoration con 384 of the death of the senator and consul designate Vettius Agorius Praetextatus is emblematic. His disappearance was mourned by crowds durante the streets of Rome, perhaps dignified by a public funeral, and marked by the erection of several statues. These included the singular honours of verso monument per the Roman Forum (LSA-1409; CIL VI 1779) and another consecrated by the Vestal Virgins, with whom he had served as pontifex (Kahlos, Reference Kahlos 2002: 151–9; Matthews, Reference Matthews, Rousseau and Papoutsakis 2009: 131–2).

At least half of the dozen or so erected con the Forum of Trajan in the fourth century represented non-Christian imperial officials, not counting emperors (Chenault, Reference Chenault 2012: 130, table A). Footnote 15 Far from being cautiously suppressed, pagan religious offices were proudly published on statue bases. The inscription for a statue of L. Aradius Valerius Proculus, dated 340 only lads, announced him preciso be augur, pontifex maior, quindecimvir sacris faciundis (LSA-1396; CIL VI 1690); serving Vesta and Sou are among the honours ascribed sopra 347 preciso Memmius Vitrasius Orfitus (LSA-1441; CIL VI 1739); a decina later Vulcacius Rufinus is qualified pontifex maior (LSA-1253; CIL VI 32051); towards the end of the century, Fabia Aconia Paulina, the widow of Vettius Praetextatus, is described beneath her statue as an initiate into the Eleusinian and other mystery cults, priestess of Hecate and devotee of Ceres (LSA-1474; CIL VI 1780). Statues were erected esatto honour at least two chief Vestal Virgins mediante the second half of the fourth century. Footnote 16 Nothing suggests that pagans were more muted in their self-representation than their Christian peers.

They were not paraded through the streets, even durante the case of public rites associated with high-level aristocrats

A fortiori, pagan reticence would be surprising mediante the more modest gesture of funerary decoration. Sarcophagi were not on display for all puro see. Most sarcophagi were viewed only by family, household retainers and a few friends or associates. Epitaphs did not commonly include expressions of religious affiliation other than the ubiquitous DM (dis manibus), verso formula not scrupulously avoided by Christians – Caldelli ( Reference Caldelli and Di Stefano Manzella 1997) counted 158 examples – or even Jews (Kraemer Reference Kraemer 1991: 155–8). Most important, the preferred pagan funerary motifs in the fourth century comprised mostly secular or neutral themes, the deployment of which would not have attracted opprobrium, or even much expose.

Thus, apart from the dearth of sarcophagi itself, nothing points esatto a change sopra mentality regarding funerary display that would lead pagans puro abandon the sarcophagus habit earlier than Christians. Short of such a revolution in pagan commemorative practices, an alternative – if novel and ultimately unconvincing – conjecture would attribute the decline per pagan sarcophagus production not esatto a renunciation of sarcophagal burial but rather to a greater inclination puro reuse old chests.

Recycling marble was a long-standing Roman tradition, and reduced supply from eastern quarries per the third and fourth centuries sharpened the incentive (Fant, Reference Fant and Oleson 2008: 132–3; Prusac, Reference Prusac 2016: 16–19, 47–50, 118–22). Christian and pagan customers were equally likely sicuro buy new sarcophagi made from reused ily funerary heirlooms or the acquisition of ‘pre-owned’ sarcophagi bearing mythological or other obviously pagan imagery could, hypothetically, have been more common con the non-Christian community. Like Veyne’s redating conjecture, excess reuse of earlier sarcophagi by pagans would imply that the fourth-century shortfall can be made up from monuments already known and considered (con this case accurately) onesto have been produced durante an earlier century. Also like the theory of chronological revision, disproportionate reuse is mathematically possible, theoretically tempting, and lacking empirical validation. It does not demand verso complex organization of production to accommodate conflicting demands, but shares with the redating hypothesis an improbable divergence of taste between groups separated by religious affiliation and not much else.

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