Vortrag: 'Torn, Cut and Offered: Roman mourners and some of their hair'
I am happy to announce the first Ancient World Seminar of this academic year. We aim to organise a hybrid event where the public can be present physically, while the speaker will be present virtually as COVID-restrictions currently prevent travel from the UK to the Netherlands without quarantine. However, since this is the first AWS of this academic year, we would like to welcome everyone else physically to enjoy the awarding of Crasis Bachelor’s Thesis Prize, the opening lecture, and drinks afterwards. The event will take place at the Norman building (Lutkenieuwstraat 5). The doors will be open from 16.00 onwards. We would like to ask you to register before the 16th of september via this form, where you can also indicate your interest in joining the dinner afterwards.
On the 21st of September 2021, 16.15-18.00, dr. Valerie Hope (The Open University) will give a lecture on:
'Torn, Cut and Offered: Roman mourners and some of their hair'
In 38 CE the sister of the emperor, Gaius Caligula died. Gaius was devastated and one way in which he demonstrated this was through his hair. Gaius was said to have oscillated between letting his hair grow long and shaving it close, his hair thus represented his indecisive and inept character as both mourner and emperor. In the Roman world hair presentation and styling was important for both men and women, and this continued to apply during mourning. Following the death of a close relative, mourners were expected to treat their hair in certain ways, ways that often reversed and challenged the normative expectations for clean, neat and arranged hair. This paper explores what mourners were expected (or were thought) to do to their hair, with a particular focus on cutting the hair and offering locks of hair to the dead. It explores the potent symbolism of hair and the ways in which it contributed to the embodied experience of public mourning, and was used to construct moralising evaluations of individual mourners.
About the speaker
Valerie Hope is a senior lecturer in Classical Studies at the Open University, UK. Her main research area is Roman social history, with a focus on funeral and mourning rituals. Recent publications include several chapters investigating Roman mourning, including its sensory dimensions, and gendered presentation. Books include: Memory and Mourning: Studies on Roman Death; Roman Death: The Dying and the Dead in Ancient Rome; and Death in Ancient Rome. A Sourcebook.
CRASIS Thesis Prize
The third CRASIS Bachelor’s Thesis Prize will be awarded before the lecture.
Evelien de Graaf
ReMa-student Classical, Medieval and Early Modern studies.
on behalf of the CRASIS team
University of Groningen