morning notes 7h50

par delprat

Definition: The ius imaginis is a Roman custom that (1) allowed a member of the nobility to have a wax mask (imago) of himself that would be handed down to descendants and (2) granted the privilege of a public funeral at state expense. At the funeral, the imago would be worn by an actor in the procession. The actor would also wear the clothing and insignia of the highest office and play the part (persona) of the deceased. [Incidentally, persona is the term for theatrical mask. The personae covered more than the face; the imagines, only the face.] Other actors would play the role (also, personae) of ancestors and wear their masks.

To obtain the ius imaginis right required obtaining one of the curule magistracies:

  • curule aedile,
  • praetor,
  • censor, or
  • consul.

stemmata

 

Pline

Il en était autrement chez nos ancêtres: on n’étalait dans les atrium ni des statues d’artistes étrangers, ni des bronzes, ni des marbres; mais des bustes en cire étaient rangés chacun dans une niche particulière, images toujours prêtes à suivre les convois de famille; et jamais un mort ne manquait d’être accompagné de toutes les générations qui avaient précédé.

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