Op weg naar vrijheid en burgerschap | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 53, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



In Rome, Ostia, and other cities of Italy in the imperial period the over-whelming majority of the grave monuments were set up by freed people. Since this predominance does not reflect demographic realities, we may infer that freedmen and freedwomen had strong incentives to set up funerary monuments. This article looks at their tombs from the perspective of freedwomen. How were they portrayed in the reliefs and inscriptions on their tombs? It will be argued that while most presented themselves according to the ideals of the Roman , the respectably married citizen woman, some emphasized their profession as part of their social identity or were portrayed in the guise of female deities following the example of the empresses. Thus, the portraits and epitaphs of freedwomen show a greater diversity than those of freeborn women.


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