By Greg Rowe

An research of the transformation of the Roman country from Republic to dynastic monarchy

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Some burials differ in character from the rest, since they establish a separate ‘family plot’ within the communal tomb providing for future burials. 12 Composition of the Familiae The central concern of this paper is the rate of manumission, and I will therefore first present a set of raw statistics of the free and unfree members of the two familiae (see table 1). The figures are not exact, since there is considerable scope for interpretation.

In Solin’s newer investigation (1996a), the total, as can be seen above in the text, has increased to approximately 27,500, which is somewhat more than one-fourth of all the individuals known from Rome, according to Solin’s estimate (Solin 2003a: p. xxx) of the total population known to us. 5% barbarian cognomina (neither Latin nor Greek). Since in these epitaphs many individuals will have been slaves and freedmen, the proportion of Greek cognomina among those who were not should be even lower.

4 Apart 44 Henrik Mouritsen from the problem associated with uneven transmission of the material, a fundamental difficulty relates to the fact that putting up inscriptions was neither ‘instinctive’ nor universal. It was a distinct cultural practice – or ‘habit,’ as some scholars describe it – that some sections of society embraced while others did not, or at least not all at the same time or in the same way. Inscriptions can therefore in principle provide information only about those groups in society that decided to use this particular medium of self-expression.

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