|Abstract (english)|| |
This thesis is a study of the Roman family in the province of Lower Pannonia. It investigates the importance of familial and non-familial relationships attested on funerary inscriptions. All known tombstones set up during the Principate (1st to 3rd century CE), with clear relationship between the deceased and the dedicator are included. The final sample is made up of 585 epitaphs from a variety of civilian and military settlements in Lower Pannonia. The full catalogue is given at the end of the dissertation. Inscriptions originate from Aquincum, Intercisa, Mursa, Syrmium, and other settlements in the vicinity of the Roman border along the Danube. In terms of their typology, the bulk of monuments consists of stelae, plaques, fragments of sarcophagi, and funerary altars. Sometimes it was impossible to determine typological features, either due to the fact that a monument had been lost, or because a text was provided exclusively from earlier transcriptions. The vast majority of surviving epitaphs came from secondary use. As is known, the original graves gradually became completely bereft of their sculptural decorations as early as in late antiquity. In addition to that, the local population continuously used stone material as spolia in domestic and public buildings. Whenever possible, I examined the monuments by autopsy. Otherwise, they were studied from printed corpora, individual publications, and digital databases. Occasionally, I revised previous readings offered by digital databases. The funerary texts usually contain the name of the deceased and of the commemorator, their personal relationship, terms of endearment, and the lifespan of the deceased. In our sample, 1874 individuals are mentioned, with the names mostly partially preserved. Some inscriptions record relationships without giving the names of the persons involved. Altogether, 1031 acts of commemoration have been attested. Fourteen inscriptions are composed in verse. Almost every fifth was set up when the dedicator was still alive (se vivo / viva). About half of them begin with an invocation of the spirits of the departed (Dis Manibus). It seems that the formula was rarely recorded when the dedicators were still alive. The introductory formula is followed by the name of the deceased, mostly in the dative case. Sometimes the origin of the deceased is referred to by a toponym or an ethnonym. As an individual’s place of origin (origo), Aquincum is the most frequently mentioned among the Pannonian towns, while the Syrian city of Emesa tops other extra-Pannonian settlements. The latter corresponds well to the fact that a numerous Syrian detachment was stationed in Intercisa after the Marcomannic Wars (166-180). The precise age at death often occurs on children's epitaphs, but it is also found elsewhere. The rounding-up of ages to numbers that terminate in 5 or 0 is evident on more than half of the inscriptions. Ignorance of the exact age at death can be attributed to widespread illiteracy. Every fourth epitaph contains the formula hic situs est after the deceased's name. Along with the commemorator and the deceased, some inscriptions mention other individuals who took care of setting up the monument. The epitaphs rarely reveal circumstances of death or reasons for erecting a monument. Out of sixteen monuments that record the costs of funerary commemoration, six give precise information on the spent money. The highest confirmed cost is 15,500 HS, which roughly corresponds to the annual salary of lower officers of the time. It is not clear whether these figures relate to the construction of the monument or to all funeral services. Two inscriptions address a passer-by, thus providing a link between the monument and its audience. Only one epitaph ends with a spiritual sanction in the form of a curse. The most common ending formulas are hic situs est and sit tibi terra levis. Almost half of the inscriptions from Lower Pannonia include epithets that describe the deceased or the dedicator. The formulaic nature of the epithets means that they provide little information about real emotional ties and family bonds. They mostly appear in marital commemorations, or between freed slaves and their patrons. The terms piissimus or pientissimus (“most devoted”) appear to have been used mainly among spouses, dulcissimus (“sweetest”) for sons and daughters, and bene merens (“well-deserved”) for patrons. In Lower Pannonia inscribed tombstones were chiefly found outside of their original context. The vast majority of them cannot be precisely dated. Most of the inscriptions are only approximately dated, usually based on the combination of various criteria, such as the occurrence of the epigraphic formulae, monument typology, onomastics, and paleographic features. In our sample, only one tombstone bears a consular date. The monuments with the formula hic situs(-a) est (“lies here”) are generally dated to the 1st and 2nd centuries, while others, bearing the dedication Dis Manibus, mostly pertain to the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Neither of the two formulas can point to an exact date, and they somewhat chronologically overlap. All relationships are broken up into nuclear family, extended family, heirs, friends, and servile relationships categories. Brothers (fratres) constitute the closest kin. On eight occasions the brothers were testamentary heirs. Fellow soldiers are sometimes referred to as brothers. On only three occasions, their name patterns have been preserved enough to distinguish the differences in gentile names, i. e. that they were not born brothers. Sisters (sorores) were usually participating in group commemorations. The term coniunx in the meaning of husband is more often attested than maritus, while compar and virginius appear sporadically. As a term for wife, coniunx was more frequently used than compar. Remarriage is rarely attested, as when a dedicator recorded the name of both a former and a current spouse on a same inscription. The most common kinship relations are sons (filii) and daughters (filiae). Children were sometimes born into relationships without conubium, in which cases they were described as filii naturales. As for the extended family, a range of blood relatives and in-laws occur: grandparents (avi), grandmothers (aviae), fathers-in-law (soceri), mothers-in-law (socrae), uncles (avuculi), aunts (amitae), nephews (nepotes), sonsin-law (generi), daughters-in-law (nurus), cousins (nepotes; consobrini). Unrelated heirs have been confirmed by a number of examples. They are prominent on military epitaphs, where fellow soldiers (sometimes referred to as fratres) appear as heirs to the deceased's property. Furthermore, friends (amici) and freedmen (liberti) are regularly recorded. Although they sometimes took care of setting up a monument on their own, friends are usually listed together with members of the nuclear family. Freedmen appear more often in the role of dedicators than the deceased. Some inherited the patron's property and left a statement about it. Some freedwomen married their former patrons, while others had their own freedmen. Foster children (alumni), guardians (tutores), and slaves (servi) occur very sporadically. The main body of the thesis offers an analysis of funerary commemoration and family relations in order to assess the relative importance of familial and non-familial relations. I have collated the data using the method of Richard P. Saller and Brent D. Shaw. In the paper “Tombstones and Roman Family Relations in the Principate: Civilians, Soldiers and Slaves“ (1984), they focused on individual acts of commemoration, and counted them on epitaphs from Italy and the western provinces. Following their methodology, I divided the data into civilian and military samples, counting 299 and 286 inscriptions, respectively. A total of 1,874 individuals occurred, of whom 945 were on civilian and 929 on military stones. More than three-quarters of civilian relations belong to the nuclear family. This fits in with the results obtained by Saller and Shaw. The commemoration patterns show that the members of the nuclear family – and not the extended multigenerational family – mostly took care in perpetuating the memory. If the result had emphasized relations between extended and multigenerational families (i. e. the ones ruled by the pater familias), they would have been far frequently dedicated to agnatically connected individuals, especially to paternal grandparents. However, the grandfathers are markedly underrepresented in the sample from Pannonia Inferior. Only five commemorations between grandparents and their grandchildren have been confirmed, accounting for only 0.5% of civilian dedications. On military inscriptions, two-thirds of all ties belong to the nuclear family. However, in comparison to the civilian sample, fewer people are connected by way of kinship, and more by heirship and friendship. The most common individual relationship is husband-to-wife (13%), followed by dedications among unrelated heirs. The differences in commemorative patterns between civilians and soldiers seem to stem from the military way of life. In addition to the fact that they often served far from their homelands, soldiers were subject to the marriage ban during most of the Principe. The lack of familial relationships was somewhat compensated by an increased number of dedications among friends. The extended family is particularly poorly confirmed on military epitaphs, weaker than ties to unrelated heirs. In other words, in the absence of the nuclear family, soldiers were more often commemorated by fellow soldiers, friends, and unrelated heirs. The military commemorations from Pannonia Inferior are divided into three major subcategories (common soldiers, officers, and veterans). All subcategories exhibit similar distributions of nuclear family relations (68-70%). However, there occur significant differences in the frequency of basic relations, especially between common soldiers and veterans. For example, among ordinary soldiers marital dedications account for 14%, among officers 24%, and among veterans 23% of all relationships. These differences can hardly be attributed to the modest sample because all subcategories are attested by a relatively large number of inscriptions (between 80 and 125 inscriptions per category). Low marriage rates among ordinary soldiers are perhaps due to the legal ban on entering marriages. The relations between siblings also show differences by categories. For example, siblings are substantially less represented among veterans than among common soldiers. Commemorations between brothers, some of which fall in the category „fellow soldiers“, are confirmed by twice as many examples among common soldiers as among veterans, although veterans are represented by a much lower number of inscriptions than common soldiers. This phenomenon seems to be associated with freedom to enter marriages, too. In addition, veterans outnumber common soldiers. Even when they were not married, the veterans' siblings were seldom alive or closeby in order to set up a monument. Furthermore, strong patron-freedmen ties for officers are also indicative. Thanks to relatively high incomes, which in the 2nd century amounted to between 10,000 and 100,000 sesterces a year, they were able to have a significant number of slaves, and consequently freedmen clients. The freedmen at times returned gratitude for that benefaction by erecting tombstones. Only Aquincum and Intercisa provide us with a sufficient number of epitaphs for reliable conclusions about family ties in a given town. In contrast, Mursa, Senandria, Syrmium, Gorsium, and Sopianae offer just a handful of relationships, with the result that only one new inscription could significantly change their distribution. To illustrate this, 440 types of relationships between the commemorator and the deceased were recorded in Aquincum, while only 22 in Mursa. In the latter, only half of all relationships fall into the nuclear family category. In Mursa and many other settlements, the low distribution of the nuclear family is actually the consequence of a small number of inscriptions, and is therefore an unreliable indicator of commemorative practice. In addition to the Saller and Shaw method, I reanalysed the funerary commemoration from Pannonia Inferior by using the method established by Dale Martin. In his study of tombstones from Roman Asia Minor, Martin decided not to split up multiple acts of commemoration into a series of individual relationships. Instead, he counted every tombstone as a single act of commemoration. For instance, he counted several different relationships in an extended family as one relationship within an extended family. The results that I obtained by using this method in the sample from Pannonia Inferior differ slightly from the results obtained by the Saller and Shaw method. However, the main features do not show significant deviations. The nuclear family is represented by two thirds of all relationships, while the extended family accounts for less than 10% of all relationships. Friends and heirs also show a very similar distribution as obtained by the first method. In order to further estimate the strength of individual and collective ties, I investigated joint burials and joint acts of commemoration. Altogether 206 joint burials and 144 joint acts of commemoration have been confirmed. In both cases, members of the nuclear family predominate. They occur in 80% of joint burials and 69% of joint acts of commemoration. Several joint multi-generational commemorations have been confirmed. The cases are obviously not numerous enough to suggest that extended family ties were widely commemorated. The gender and age distributions were investigated as well. The biggest gender differences between civilian and military commemorators were expected in the conjugal line. Among civilians, there are 22 male per 10 female commemorators, while among soldiers, only 8 male per 10 female commemorators. The results are quite different from those in other Western provinces. The differences are probably due to the fact that in the Lower Pannonian sample, common soldiers and officers predominate over veterans. Namely, in the first two subcategories, more commemorations of women to husbands were recorded than vice versa. In the descending and ascending nuclear family, men more often erected tombstones in both civilian and military sample. As for the deceased, women predominate in the conjugal and descending lines among civilians. In the ascending line and in all three lines in the military sample, the deceased are mostly men. The results coincide with the general principles of gender representation in Roman epitaphs. Age analysis showed that men were more likely to record age. The attested age among civilians ranges from 9 months to 100 years, with the average about 37 years of age. Almost every fifth civil epitaph was set up for those under 10 years of age. With the exception of Italy and part of Dalmatia (Salona), this is the largest share of epigraphically attested children at the Empire level, and resembles the share in Gaul and Carthage. If we look at commemorations of the parents to their children, the vast majority (88%) apply to small children and adolescents, while the rest fall to adult children. The low distribution of parental dedications to adult children is perhaps related to the fact that the deceased mostly received new commemorators, namely their spouses. Furthermore, many parents were probably not alive at the time of the death of their adult children. Finally, when the parents were not around, the spouse's parents sometimes used to take part in the commemoration. If we look at conjugal commemorations, the average age of commemorated women is 34.7, and men 58 years of age. By the age of 40, women received almost 10 times more epitaphs than men in the same age group. After reaching the age of 40, men received almost twice as many dedications as women in the same age group. From this we may conclude that husbands and wives erected tombstones for each other according to the expected gender roles. Women of reproductive age and men of older age were more likely to receive funerary inscriptions than other age groups. Finally, the role of the family in transmitting names has been examined. The father's name was usually inherited in the form of filiation, which is best attested on the peregrini and the auxiliary soldiers' tombstones. The role of agnatic kinship is best seen in the cases of sons or daughters bearing their father's name. Although three generations of the same family rarely appear on the inscriptions, it occurred that several grandsons inherited their grandfather's names. Some inscriptions suggest that the grandfather's name was inherited even in cases where he was not mentioned at all. Furthermore, one example of filiation in the form of a matronymic as part of a personal name has been confirmed. Peregrines and citizens sometimes inherited the mother's full name. Descendants born in a community without conubia regularly inherited their mother’s gentilicium. An affiliation a wider kinship grouping (cognatio) occurs only once. The main conclusions derived from this research essentially coincide with the conclusions of studies conducted for other areas in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It turned out that the epigraphically attested inhabitants of Pannonia Inferior displayed the Roman model of family organization, similar to Italy and western provinces. Judging from epigraphic evidence, the Roman family in Lower Pannonia was essentially organized as a community of parents and their children. All other relationships based on kinship occur too rarely to be considered characteristic of the local population. Unlike literary or legal sources, the epigraphic material does not convey an image of the Roman family as a patrilineal and patrilocal multigenerational community, ruled by an almost almighty pater familias. Is rather seems that the family changed over time by birth, death, divorce, remarriage, or change of social status. It should be stressed out that conclusions based on tombstones apply only to epigraphically confirmed inhabitants. The results do not reflect demographic reality nor the actual family structure, but point to the strength of relationships in this province during the Principate.