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Roman Tomb Gardens: The Construction of Sacred Commemorative Landscapes

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Author(s): Nadine Brundrett

Journal: The Brock Review
ISSN 1188-9071

Volume: 11;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 51;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Roman gardens | Roman tombs

ABSTRACT
Roman tombs were often beautified by commemorative gardens. These loci were the result of a synthesis of religious attitudes towards burials and gardens, and they signified the ancient connection between commemoration and land ownership. These gardens were often termed “farms”, “orchards” or “estates” in epitaphs implying that the cultivated space was as important to the commemorators as the tombs were. The presence of these gardens around tombs offered a pleasant locale for an eternal dwelling, but more importantly they provided a productive garden to help pay for its upkeep. Roman necropoleis were not lonely places, but landscapes filled with exuberant plantings of flowers, fruit trees and vines emblematic of the ideal Roman locus amoenus.
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