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Damnatio Memoriae Inscribed: The Materiality of Cultural Repression

Chapter in book
Authors Ida Östenberg
Published in The Materiality of Text - Placement, Perception, and Presence of Inscribed Texts in Classical Antiquity, eds. Ivana Petrovic, Andrej Petrovic, Edmund Thomas
Pages 324-347
ISBN 978-90-04-37550-5
ISSN 1876-2557
Publisher Brill
Place of publication Leiden ; Boston
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 324-347
Language en
Subject categories History


This article targets erased Roman inscriptions in terms of materiality. It argues that the physical material and form of inscriptions played a crucial part in the phenomenon commonly termed damnatio memoriae. Materiality is further applied as a theoretical concept. Hence, the paper discusses changed, attacked, and erased inscriptions as agents that transmitted novel messages of the past and present to their viewers. It argues that these messages often differed from the original purpose of the erasures.

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