MEMENTO MORI


MEMENTO MORI

P. V. JONES    Book Number: 87181    Product format: Hardback

Sub-titled 'What the Romans Can Tell Us About Old Age and Death' Cambridge University educated Peter Jones wrote the bestselling Learn Latin and various other books on the Classics. In his entertaining and revealing guide, he shows how the Romans confronted their own mortality. They knew nothing about hygiene let alone disease and had no defences against nature. Death was everywhere. Half of all Roman children were dead by the age of five. Only 8% of the population made it to over 60 years old. One bizarre result was that half the population consisted of teenagers. Chapters include Facing Up To Death, Exemplary and Ignominious Deaths. In 399BC Socrates was in the dock, found guilty of corrupting the young and refusing to recognise the gods recognised by the state. His penalty was death. He was executed by drinking poison. This is described by his friend Plato and his friend Crito, there at the time who told the slaves standing by to go fetch the drug. Cato the Younger, Agrippini, the libido-crazed Messalina, third wife of Emperor Claudius, said to have won a 'shagging' competition with prostitutes and, according to the satirist Juvenal, served regularly in a brothel. There are blessings of old age, happy endings, the fighting Scipios, poets on love and death, grieving for sons, respect for age, epitaphs and the afterlife. From the élites' philosophical take on the brevity of life to the epitaphs left by butchers, bakers and buffoons, here is a book to take the sting out of death. 212pp.
Published price: £12.99
Bibliophile price: £6.00


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ISBN 9781786494801
Browse this category: History

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