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Des banquets sur les reliefs funéraires romains : publics ou privés ?

Valérie Huet 1 
1 CRBC Brest - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
UBO - Université de Brest, IBSHS - Institut Brestois des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société
Abstract : How to identify a public or a private banquet on a funerary relief? Taking into account a corpus of 274 reliefs coming from Rome and Italy, I first questionned the main criteria the scholars had established to recognize public banquets: the number of the guests; the solemnity of the banquet expressed by the multiplication and juxtaposition of the banquets, and by the clothes; the typology: a banquet organized in sigma; outside space. Though the importance of the banquet is well displayed, it is however difficult to pin down the circumstances of the banquet and its 'public' or 'private' nature, in the absence of explanations given by the inscriptions. It is better to speak of communal banquets, the community refering to the ones of a city, of a college or even of an enlarged family. Then I questionned the possible identification of 'private' banquets on these reliefs. I argued that the choices of composition (kliné, sigma) testify mainly to choices of the sponsor to insist either on dissymetrical and hierarchic relations within the familia or on the community of friends or even of the citizens. Our difficulty in identifying the public or private nature of the depicted banquet is not symply due to a loss of reference on our modern side, but probably corresponds to the will of the sponsors and sculptors to evoke banquets as a whole. Thus that explains the fashion and the number of these scenes on funerary monuments in the Roman world.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 11:30:19 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, March 27, 2022 - 3:17:52 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01004363, version 1



Valérie Huet. Des banquets sur les reliefs funéraires romains : publics ou privés ?. Emmanuelle Rosso, Alexandra Dardenay. Dialogue entre sphère public et sphère privée dans l'espace de la cité romaine. Vecteurs, acteurs, significations, Ausonius, Bordeaux, pp.35-54, 2013. ⟨hal-01004363⟩



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