BMCR 1996.07.16

1996.7.16, Hinard, ed., La mort au quotidien

, , , La mort au quotidien dans le monde romain : actes du colloque organisé par l'Université de Paris IV (Paris-Sorbonne 7-9 octobre 1993). De l'archéologie à l'histoire. Paris: De Boccard, 1995. 257 pages ; 25 cm.. ISBN 9782701800967.

This book consists of twenty papers presented at a colloquium at the Sorbonne in October 1993. Thirteen contributions are in French, seven in Italian. La mort au quotidien is a sequel to the proceedings of an earlier conference on death in the Roman world edited by Francois Hinard in 1987. 1 This time, the contributors were asked to focus on “la mort vécue”, the everyday reality of death in Rome that can be reconstructed from the social and religious practices and legal rules that governed the handling and disposal of the dead (p. 5).

The papers are grouped in four not always clear-cut categories, ‘death’, ‘the dead’, ‘the survivors’, and ‘image’. Adda Gunnella opens the section on “la mort” with a survey of references to sudden and violent deaths in Roman tombstone inscriptions (“Morti improvvise e violente nelle iscrizioni latine”, pp. 9-22). She argues that because these texts respond to unforeseen calamities, they are less conventional and distanced in nature than most funerary epigraphy. Such deaths would be considered extra fatum or sine fato. An impressively wide range of causes of death is attested: a soldier was murdered by his comrade; one wife was manu mariti crudelissimi interfecta and another thrown into the Tiber by her spouse, a fate she shared with the freedman Iucundus whose servants drowned him in the Rhine. Small children could drown in baths; one deceased is made to blame his own mother for his death. A number of references to death at the hands of brigands document a basic level of insecurity even under the pax Romana (pp. 13-15). Poison and magic are also invoked as causes of death. Literary invectives against physicians are echoed in some inscriptions: “cut up and killed by the doctors” is the most explicit complaint ( CIL 6. 37337). Death through a falling roofing tile is reminiscent of a crucial scene in ‘Ben Hur’. Fire, the sting of a viper and the horns of a bull complement the sources of accidental deaths. In short, Gunnella’s paper is an antiquarian list of unusual causes of death gleaned from the pertinent epigraphic corpora and auxiliary publications. On the basis of this material, she concludes that the ‘common people’ behind these texts were not educated to contain their emotions in the event of unexpected deaths and hence felt free to voice their anguish in such epitaphs (p. 22). It is not quite clear, however, whether such expressiveness was a function of the supposed frankness of the lower classes or of the peculiar circumstances of certain deaths. One might also wonder why uneducated dedicators should be explicit only in cases of unusual deaths but otherwise content themselves with stereotypic formulas.

Claire Lovisi offers a brief outline of some aspects of capital punishment (“La peine de mort au quotidien”, pp. 23-29), focussing on state regulation of private executions, that contains no new insights. The Polish scholar Wieslaw Suder discusses death in old age (“La mort des vieillards”, pp. 31-45). He asks whether Roman society as a whole, as opposed to a mere work of literature such as Cicero’s Cato maior de senectute, was preoccupied with the death of the elderly (p. 31). He rightly points out that grandparents were rare: the chance of a newborn child of having a living paternal grandfather was lower than 1 in 5, and only 1 newborn in 2,000 would have four living grandparents (p. 33). 2 This, however, must not be taken to imply that death in old age was itself rare (an impression, however unintended, the reader might get from Suder’s exposition). Even under conditions of very low life expectancy, the mortality curve is U-shaped and peaks at either end, in infancy and in old age: about 20-25 percent of all deaths would occur after age 50, some 15-20 percent after age 60. 3 Some parts of Suder’s paper have little to do with death, such as his discussion of marriage regulations for the elderly (pp. 34f.). Surveying views on the Roman dictum, sexagenarios de ponte deieci oportet, he concludes that while this may well refer to an exclusion of the elderly from voting, an allusion to geronticide cannot be ruled out (pp. 36-38). Attitudes to death in infancy and in old age vary between individual authors and different types of sources: Cicero asserts that the death of infants deserves no grief ( Tusc. 1.39.93) while that of old people is fully in accord with nature ( Cato maior 71). Isidorus of Sevilla, on the other hand, also considers death in old age as ‘natural’ but classifies infant death as ‘bitter’ ( Etym. 14: tria sunt genera mortis, acerba, immatura, naturalis; acerba infantium, immatura iuvenem, id est naturalis senium). At the same time, the elderly are commonly overrepresented in tombstone inscriptions, almost as if their death attracted more attention than that of others despite its ‘natural’ inevitability, whereas infants rarely receive their own epitaphs. Thus, there is no positive correlation between the amount of grief—a rather intractable issue 4—and the likelihood of commemoration. Roman funerary inscriptions regularly honour men of an advanced age who were sufficiently successful to leave behind relatives or freedmen capable of commemorating them, or at any rate enough money to ensure their own commemoration.

The second section, devoted to “le mort”, starts with Rita Lizzi’s paper on gender and death (“Il sesso e i morti”, pp. 49-68). She focuses on women’s involvement in the care for the dead: women rather than men were expected to mourn, and were both physically and spiritually closer to the unburied corpse than men who would keep their distance. Some of her suggestions remain speculative, for instance that women were thought closer to death because they also gave birth (p. 55), or that the extent of women’s mourning of up to one year could have been influenced by their perceived proximity to the dead on top of the pragmatic wish to avoid turbatio sanguinis (p. 55f). Lizzi draws attention to Christian aversion to women’s lamentations for the dead (pp. 64ff.) but also reminds us of an apocryphal tradition in which a character such as St Mary can be depicted, in a traditional (‘pagan’) manner, as distraught in the face of death (p. 67).

Annie Allara (“Corpus e cadaver, la ‘gestion’ d’un nouveau corps”, pp. 69-79) undertakes a terminological study of the two Latin terms denoting a corpse, corpus and cadaver. Her survey is in its entirety (and to the complete exclusion of secondary literature) based on ancient references from the second century B.C. to the second century A.D. As corpus, a dead body was closer to the living than as cadaver (p. 71-73); cadaver is associated with abandonment and a lapse of time since its last contact with the living. A corpse that was or had not been under the control of the community and lacked a proper burial became a cadaver, while a corpus, ideally, was safely buried and provided with a burial space that would continually be cared for.

Sergio Roda contributes a comparatively lengthy piece on “Corpo morto e corpo vivo nelle iscrizioni funerarie latine pagane” (pp. 81-99). This article, rich in unusually extensive footnotes, presents miscellaneous material from a large number of Latin tombstone inscriptions, ranging from dedications vivus-fecit -style to elaborate texts from the pages of the Carmina Latina Epigraphica. The central issue or issues of this paper, however, remain obscure: unlike any of the other contributions, Roda’s survey is rambling and strangely unfocussed. Given that this is one of the longest contributions in this volume, I can only hope that other readers will find it more enlightening.

The next three papers deal with the transport of the dead. Olivier Estiez discusses “La translatio cadaveris : le transport des corps dans l’Antiquité Romaine” (pp. 101-108). In this context, translatio cadaveris refers to the transfer of a corpse from one tomb to another (not from the place of death to the place of burial). Estiez contents himself with collecting the opinions of the Roman jurists, who addressed the question of when someone could be considered properly buried, and determined the circumstances under which it was permissible to exhume and move a corpse. Any transfer of the remains of a dead person was viewed as contaminating and therefore had to be carried out as quickly as possible. Estiez draws the conclusion, plausibly enough, that the rules governing—and above all restricting—the transfer of the buried were motivated by Roman fear of the insepultus.

Rare insight into the handling of dead bodies in real life is afforded by Bernard Boyaval’s brief but instructive paper on the transfer of mummies in Roman Egypt in the light of the mummy labels, wooden tablets which were tied to the mummy and recorded the name of the deceased and other details (“Le transport des momies et ses problèmes”, pp. 109-115). Mummy labels were exposed to three main dangers while the mummy was on its way to its deposition: fracture of the wood, disappearance, and fraudulous alteration of the text. Seasoned scribes went to some lengths to obviate these risks. Mummy labels could be reinforced; the text could be repeated on both sides or carried over both sides. In anticipation of the theft of the wooden label (wood was rare in Egypt and the labels were made of high-quality wood), the name of the deceased was sometimes also written on the outer layer of the mummy tissue. In order to prevent theft and re-use, the text could be spread over as large a space as possible or, better still, could be engraved in the wood. In the face of recurrent administrative abuse, a few labels state that all expenses (duties and tolls) were already paid; in one case, the writer even added “I paid you all I had to, I don’t owe anything” (p. 115). 5 More than any number of legal rules and literary sentiments, these simple documents throw new light on the sometimes irreverent ways in which corpses were dealt with in everyday life.

The last piece on moving the dead comes from Lellia Cracco-Ruggini (“‘Les morts qui voyagent: le repatriement, l’exil, la glorification'”, pp. 117-134). Rather than compiling a comprehensive dossier of transfers of the dead, she decides to focus on the three noteworthy aspects singled out in the title of her paper. Repatriation—the return of a deceased individual to his place of origin—was the most common reason for supra-local transfers of corpses prior to the late empire. The bodies of political leaders who died outside Rome, such as Sulla, Hirtius and Pansa, Drusus, Augustus and Trajan, were ‘repatriated’ to the capital with great pomp; others, including Germanicus and Septimius Severus, were cremated in the province and only their ashes were transferred to Rome. For ordinary people, translatio was impeded by legal rules. Even so, a few inscriptions record long-range transfers of corpses, e.g., from Carnuntum or Brittany to Rome, or from Rome to St Moritz, or from Dacia to Lambaesis (p. 121 n. 15); otherwise, people had to travel to distant provinces to visit the tombs of their relatives (p. 122 n. 17). In late antiquity, Rome began to lose its role as the ideal patria of the rulers: thus, Ambrose organized the transfer of the dead Valentinian II from Vienne to Milan (p. 124). As is well known, the mobility of human remains increased dramatically during the late empire, resulting in extended transfers of the bones of Christian martyrs (pp. 125ff.). ‘Exiled’ bones, the remains of martyrs buried on private property in times of persecution, were reclaimed by the church from the fourth century A.D. onwards and often transferred to major centres of worship in order to supply churches with suitable relics. This form of ‘repatriation’ was accompanied by growing glorification of these dead heroes. In many cases, their patria was not their actual place of origin but a new centre of power, such as Milan. With time, the bones of the martyrs were thought to be imbued with special powers. A graphic and well-known example given by Cracco-Ruggini concerns the transfer of the bones of St Babylas, a bishop of Antioch who died a martyr under Decius: initially buried in the Christian cemetery of Antioch, he was transferred by the Caesar Gallus to its suburb Daphnis in the hope of upsetting the pagan ceremonies there. Julian, only a few years later, returned St Babylas to Antioch, when pagans attributed the silence of Apollo at Daphnis to the polluting impact of his remains (p. 134). In general, this is a highly informative and well-documented contribution by a distinguished specialist of late antiquity (very much so, as she refers to no fewer than 22 of her other pieces in the footnotes). However, the most important implication of her paper, in the specific context of these proceedings, goes unmentioned in this or any other paper: the contrast between the reluctance of the ‘pagan’ Romans (well-documented by several of the other contributors) to handle their dead and especially to exhume and move them around, and the Christian enthusiasm for digging up bones and distributing them all over the Roman world. This change of attitude highlights a real transformation of the underlying mentality that lies at the heart of the issues covered by this book.

Michèle Ducos gives an overview of the special properties of a Roman place of burial (“Le tombeau, locus religiosus“, pp. 135-144). The Roman jurists devoted considerable attention to the definition of a locus religiosus. A tomb became locus religiosus through the burial, accompanied by the required rituals, of bones or ashes. Provisional storage of a dead body had no such effect. While a place became sacer through a public measure, it was made religiosus through a private act. Ducos cites an intriguing reference in the Digest to slaves who live in tombs, a practice which, he holds, is confirmed by literary works; it is to be regretted that Ducos fails to supply pertinent references. 6 The jurists were also keen on limiting the size of a locus religiosus, excluding structures that did not actually shield the buried, to avoid a transformation of too much real estate into inalienable ground ( extra commercium) that could not be put to further use. A useful survey of what the legal sources have to say on this subject, Ducos’ article presents material that may equally well be consulted in F. De Visscher’s fundamental study, Le droit des tombeaux romains (Milan 1963), to which the author frequently refers and on which his account is clearly based (cf. p. 248 n. 32).

The third part of the book is devoted to the survivors. The first paper in this section, Francesca Prescendi’s “Il lutto dei padri nella cultura romana” (pp. 147-154), is in some way complementary to Rita Lizzi’s “Il sesso e i morti”, a paper on how women dealt with the dead. Indeed, there is no obvious reason why these two pieces should appear in different sections of the volume rather than side by side, all the more so as Lizzi devotes more attention to the ‘survivors’ than to the dead. It is also hard to understand why there is no cross-referencing between these two contributions (cf. below). Prescendi addresses the interesting question of how men handled death and grief. The ‘official’ perspective, exemplified by Seneca ( Ep. Mor. 99.6), is clear: innumerabilia sunt exempla eorum, qui liberos iuvenes sine lacrimis extulerint, qui in senatum aut in aliquod publicum officium a rogo redierint et statim aliud egerint (p. 147). Prescendi presents stories about various aristocrats said to have suppressed their grief, and confronts the premise that men were supposed to be in mourning for a much shorter period than women. Strictly speaking, for men there was no such thing as honourable grief, and their mourning would not be condoned for long (p. 152). A major problem here is that virtually all the pertinent evidence refers to public figures. That ordinary male citizens spent only a few days in mourning following the death of Augustus tells us little about their behaviour in the event of the death of their own close relatives. The pervasive aristocratic bias in our sources leaves us wondering about the customs of the common people and about possible discrepancies between attitude and conduct.

“La neuvaine funéraire à Rome ou ‘la mort impossible'” (pp. 155-169) by Nicole Belayche discusses the rituals performed during the 7 or 8 days between death and burial. In a way, the Romans found it difficult to ‘let go’ of the deceased and especially to view the unburied as totally dead. Belayche is unique among the contributors to this volume in readily conceding that most of what we know pertains to the ruling classes and that he cannot hope to elucidate anything other than aristocratic customs (p. 156f.). References to the exposition of the corpse in the atrium and to certain sacrifices underline the aristocratic outlook of the sources. The only dead that really counted were the male citizens (p. 162). No Roman was truly dead as long as he was remembered: consecratio was the most efficient means to this end, while its counterpart, damnatio memoriae, had the opposite effect. In Belayche’s view, commemoration comes out as the matter closest to the heart of the dead Roman nobleman.

Lucienne Deschamps takes a narrow look at surviving references to funerary practices in the third book of Varro’s lost work De Vita Populi Romani (“Rites funéraires de la Rome républicaine”, pp. 171-180), a learned piece mostly of interest to the specialist. “L’enlevement du cadavre” by Jean-Christian Dumont (pp. 181-187), is the first of two papers devoted to the famous inscription from Puteoli regulating the undertaker’s business in that city, a text which is perhaps best known for its chilling description of how to commission and carry out the execution of slaves. 7 Dumont singles out some stipulations on the physical location of the undertakers, their age and number, and the disposing of a dead slave. He rightly points out that this document tells us about the handling of death among the common people (p. 187). Surprisingly, he makes no reference to the second paper on the undertakers of Puteoli, written by the editor himself, an inexplicable omission to which I will return below.

For some indeterminable reason, another piece is sandwiched between Dumont’s paper and that second treatment of Puteoli, namely “Il trattamento del corpo dei suicidi” by Paolo Desideri (pp. 189-204). The author opens his paper with the disarmingly sincere confession that he had not been particularly interested in that subject before and looked into it only when he received an invitation to participate in this colloquium; hence, he could not offer any new sources or new interpretations of sources already known (p. 189). In keeping with this approach, the material in this paper is in the first instance derived from a few pertinent works by Y. Grisé, J. L. Van Hooff and J.-L. Voisin. Desideri pays special attention to individuals who hanged themselves, and to the treatment of their corpses (pp. 190-197). This kind of suicide was commonly regarded as particularly dishonourable, and appears relatively rarely the Roman sources. He then deals rather cursorily with ‘other types of suicide’ and concludes his contribution with a discussion of ‘political suicide’ under the early empire which in the absence of references to the treatment of corpses is of no perceptible relevance to his chosen subject (pp. 200-203).

Francois Hinard takes another look at “La ‘Loi de Pouzzoles’ et les pompes funèbres” (pp. 205-212). He limits himself to four lines of the text of the inscription, which contain material already discussed by Dumont. While Hinard investigates these passages in greater detail than Dumont (focussing on the location of the Lucus Libitinae of Puteoli), he, too, eschews any reference to the other’s paper (even though he mentions a ‘suggestion’ by Dumont on p. 209 n. 12). 8 Neither of the authors points out that undertakers (who doubled as executioners) were a priori likely to reside outside the city limits, or in some special quarter. 9

Gérard Freyburger attempts to throw light on the shadowy figure of the goddess Libitina and her terrestrial support staff (“Libitine et les funerailles”, pp. 213-222). His is a purely antiquarian study, revolving around questions such as the definition and etymology of the goddess Libitina, the location of her sanctuary, and the activities of the libitinarii who were disliked because of the profits they made from funerals.

The last section, “L’image”, consists of only three papers. Elena Falletti surveys “La representazione dei funerali e delle onoranze funebri nell’epigrafia latina” (pp. 225-234), which very well sums up the contents of that paper. Silvia Giorcelli deals with the burial of soldiers fallen in battle (“Il funus militare”, pp. 235-242). I fail to understand why this paper was not included in the section on ‘the dead’ where it clearly belongs. She points out that soldiers who died in their beds do not differ from civilians in terms of funerary practice, except that their privileged financial situation more frequently enabled them to indulge in the luxury of proper epigraphic commemoration (p. 236f.). Soldiers killed in battle were usually buried on the spot in mass graves ( bustum). Unlike the Greeks, the Romans did not normally erect trophaea or collective tumuli on battlefields; Adamklissi is unique in this respect (p. 240 and n. 29). Transfers to Rome of individuals fallen in battle were extremely rare (p. 241).

In the final paper, Yann Le Bohec addresses the image of death among the Lingones, a populous people in Northern Gaul (“Le sentiment de la mort chez les Lingones”, pp. 243-253). His discussion is based on two types of documents, the so-called ‘Testament of the Lingon’ and a considerable number of funerary inscriptions. The former, a curious document preserved on two folios (out of five or more) copied in the tenth century and recovered in the library of Bale in 1863, 10 records the sentiments of a local magnate, Sextus Iulius (Aquila?), who lived in the second half of the second century A.D. To judge from the extant text, this person imagined that he would remain a grand seigneur in the afterlife, furnished with a big house on a vast estate. He also expected to inhabit his tomb, and perhaps even his statue set up there (p. 245f.). This document offers us a truly unique glimpse into the mind of an upper-class provincial that shows him to be remarkably calm and confident as he contemplates his own demise: one must wonder whether his compatriots shared his outlook on death and the netherworld. Ordinary tombstone inscriptions do little to answer this question. Three-fifths of the texts reviewed by Le Bohec are unspectacularly dedicated diis manibus. As the words on the tombstones fail to reveal anything worth knowing, we must fall back on the reliefs. However, in the absence of background information on the religious beliefs of this people, it is impossible to decide whether certain objects and motifs are used as symbols or merely reflect daily life. It is a moot point whether Roman or Celtic elements dominate the funerary record. If Roman style seems prevalent, Le Bohec reminds us, this may simply be due to the fact that the persons who left inscribed tombstones belonged to the privileged few who were more likely to embrace Roman civilization (p. 253).

The papers in this volume suffer from an almost complete lack of cross-fertilization and integration. I have already referred to the logical link between the contributions by Lizzi and Prescendi: yet the former briefly touches on male responses to death (p. 63) without a reference to Prescendi’s paper that is devoted to that very subject. When Ducos discusses the provisional storage of corpses earmarked for later burial (p. 138) he might well refer to the work of Allara and Estiez. Deschamps muses on the association of women with the dead without mentioning Lizzi’s paper that contains a more extended treatment of that issue (p. 177). There is no communication between the papers that deal with the transfer of corpses and Giorcelli’s observations on the immobility of killed soldiers. The most bewildering case of a missing cross-reference, however, is Dumont’s addressing a point of detail about the location of the Lucus Libitinae of Puteoli (p. 182 and n. 2) which is discussed at length by Hinard (pp. 208-210). Only four out of twenty contributors refer the reader to other papers in the same volume. 11 As I have pointed out above, the allocation of some papers to specific sections is questionable. There are also some indications of careless editing or proof-reading: footnotes appear on the wrong page; Suder’s article, unlike the others, abounds in misprints, especially in the references. 12

The bibliography is heavily skewed in favour of the native languages of the contributors: 39 percent of the titles are in French and 34 in Italian, compared to 14 in English and 10 in German. National biases vary: while 61 percent of the titles cited by French authors are in French (and 79 percent in French and Italian combined), 47 percent of those referred to by Italians are in Italian (and 74 percent in Italian and French). 13 It is not so much this rather unsurprising preference as certain extremes that make one wonder: fewer than 9 percent of all titles cited by French scholars are in English; 6 out of 11 French speakers can do without any references at all to works in English. Although this approach could be viewed as a much-needed antidote to the growing Anglocentrism in American and British research, it hardly does justice to the actual linguistic distribution of relevant scholarship. Both ‘sides’, speakers of Romance languages and of English alike, would do well to beware of linguistic parochialism.

La mort au quotidien is a generally useful collection of papers which differ not so much in terms of competence and quality as in terms of originality, and which are for the most part strictly isolated from one another. As introductory essays to a variety of problems connected with death in Roman society, many of the contributions will be consulted with profit, and the odds are that one will come across more interesting details and references than one has been looking for. The deplorable lack of an index, however, will make such discoveries unnecessarily time-consuming or fortuitous.

  • [1] F. Hinard (ed.), La mort, les morts et l’au-delà dans le monde romain: actes du colloque de Caen 20-22 Novembre 1985 (Caen, 1987). Cf. also the proceedings of a previous conference, “Aspetti dell’ideologia funeraria nel mondo romano”, published in AION (Arch.) 6 (1984). [2] Based on P. Laslett, “La parenté en chiffres”, AESC 43 (1991) 12. For similar rates, cf. now also R. P. Saller, Patriarchy, property and death in the Roman family (Cambridge, 1994) 48-65. [3] A. J. Coale & P. Demeny, Regional model life tables and stable populations: second edition (New York, 1983) 42f. This might be qualified in the light of some palaedemographic evidence from cemeteries in the vicinity of Rome, most notably on the Isola Sacra, which suggests that fewer people lived to age 50 and over than predicted even by pessimistic life tables: A. Sperduti, I resti scheletrici umani della necropoli di età romana-imperiale di Isola Sacra (I-III sec. d.C.): analisi paleodemografica (unpub. doctoral thesis, Rome, 1995) (a reference I owe to Peter Garnsey). [4] Responses to infant death have recently attracted some attention: on the ancient sources see J.-P. Néraudau, “La loi, la coutume et le chagrin – réflexions sur la mort des enfants”, in La mort (see above, n. 1) 195-208; M. Golden, “Did the ancients care when their children died?”, G & R 35 (1988) 152-163. Comparative evidence suggests contradictory conclusions: compare N. Scheper-Hughes, Death without weeping (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1992) with J. R. Folta and E. S. Deck, “The impact of children’s death on Shona mothers and families”, Journal of Comparative Family Studies 19 (1988) 433-451; M. Nations and L.-A. Rebhun, “Angels with wet wings can’t fly”, Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 12 (1988) 141-200. I am not aware of comparable studies of responses to death in old age (though they may well exist). [5] On the cost of transporting mummies, cf. H.-J. Drexhage, “Einige Bemerkungen zum Mumientransport und den Bestattungskosten im römischen Aegypten”, Laverna 5 (1994) 167-175. [6] Digest: D. and 11-12. Literary sources: p. 141. [7] AE 1971, no. 88. English translation in J.F. Gardner and T. Wiedemann, The Roman household: a sourcebook (Routledge: London and New York, 1991) 24-26. Dumont gives no reference to the place of publication of this text. [8] One will eagerly await the publication of a detailed commentary on this text by Hinard and others, announced on p. 205 n. 2. [9] Cf. H. Aigner, “Zur gesellschaftlichen Stellung von Henkern, Gladiatoren und Berufsathleten”, in I. Weiler (ed.), Soziale Randgruppen und Aussenseiter im Altertum (Graz, 1988) 201-220. [10] See Y. Le Bohec (ed.), Le Testament du Lingon: Actes de la journee d’études de Lyon (Lyon, 1991). [11] Belayche (p. 160 n. 41, 161 n. 79), Desideri (p. 195), Freyburger (p. 217 n. 42), Le Bohec (pp. 247, 248). [12] Footnotes: e.g., pp. 23f., 27f., 75f. Suder: most of the 20-odd errors I counted are trivial, some misleading: thus, the first noun in the title of A. van Hooff’s book From autothanasia to suicide is transformed into euthanasia (p. 41 n. 77); Testless youth in ancient Rome (p. 37 n. 49), or another distorted title: Was the Roman youth socially? (p. 35 n. 36). Justinian ruled in the fourth century A.D. (p. 38). A typo in Cracco-Ruggini’s piece makes Commodus die in A.D. 92 (p. 124). [13] This strong preference for Romance languages is put into perspective by the only contributor who is not a Romance speaker, W. Suder, who shows no such bias.