What was the purpose of damnatio memoriae?

What was the purpose of damnatio memoriae?

Damnatio memoriae is a modern Latin phrase meaning “condemnation of memory”, indicating that a person is to be excluded from official accounts.

What is the Roman rationale behind damnatio memoriae?

Damnatio memoriae (condemnation of memory) was a punishment reserved for certain people the Romans decided to dishonour for one reason or another. Rather impressively, it involved trying to get rid of all records that the person ever existed.

Who experienced Damnatio?

Perhaps the most striking and widespread examples of damnatio memoriae come from the reign of Caracalla, a member of the Severan Dynasty who ruled from 211-217 C.E. He was initially co-emperor with his younger brother Geta, but after months of squabbling between the sibling rulers, Caracalla had Geta assassinated.

Which Roman emperor was not subject to damnatio memoriae?

Declared an enemy of the state (hostis) by the Senate, Nero was subjected to a de facto damnatio memoriae, meaning that while no official senatorial decree was passed to eradicate any trace of his reign from history, his name and images were still attacked, erased, or removed from public view and put into storage.

Who lived in Roman Domus?

Wealthy Roman citizens in the towns lived in a domus. They were single-storey houses which were built around a courtyard known as an atrium. Atriums had rooms opening up off of them and they had no roofs. A rich Roman house had many rooms including kitchen, bath, dining, bedrooms and rooms for slaves.

How long did the Tetrarchy last?

Ultimately the tetrarchic system lasted until c. 324, when mutually destructive civil wars eliminated most of the claimants to power: Licinius resigned as augustus after the losing the Battle of Chrysopolis, leaving Constantine in control of the entire empire.

What is the term for erasing history?

Damnatio memoriae is a Latin practice or phrase that means “condemnation of memory”. It means that a person’s existence should be cut out of history.

Why was there a shortage of workers in the Roman Empire?

The Roman Empire was built upon conquering, raiding and utilising other nation’s lands. The Romans also heavily relied on slave labor, but with expansion grinding to a relative halt, they were unable to acquire new slaves and suffered a major slave labor shortage. To cope with these declines, taxes were increased.

What was the purpose of damnatio memoriae in ancient Rome?

In ancient Rome, the practice of damnatio memoriae was the condemnation of Roman elites and emperors after their deaths. If the senate or a later emperor did not like the acts of an individual, they could have his property seized, his name erased and his statues reworked.

Are there any examples of damnatio memoriae?

There are many examples of damnatio memoriae throughout the history of the Roman Republic and Empire. As many as 26 emperors through the reign of Constantine had their memories condemned; conversely, about 25 emperors were after their deaths. The damning of memory phenomenon, however, is not unique to the Roman world.

Why did Lucius Aelius Sejanus suffer damnatio memoriae?

Lucius Aelius Sejanus suffered damnatio memoriae following a failed conspiracy to overthrow emperor Tiberius in A.D. 31. His statues were destroyed and his name obliterated from all public records. The above coin from Augusta Bilbilis, originally struck to mark the consulship of Sejanus, has the words L. Aelio Seiano obliterated.

Are there any re-cuttings in ancient Rome?

A similar re-cutting is evident on a set of reliefs found in Rome and now housed in the Vatican Museums (below). The so-called Cancelleria Reliefs show mythological and allegorical figures celebrating members of the Flavian dynasty for their military successes.

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