laudātiō fūnebris

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The funeral speech praising the accomplishments and virtues of the deceased. Because of the public nature of funerals, the speech offered an opportunity to display the family's status, to connect the deceased's merits with his or her illustrious ancestors, and to reinforce collective values. Important gentes (see gens) preserved and displayed speeches over the years, thus creating a self‐flattering if often fictional historical record. Funeral speeches devoted to women (see next entry) show the same combination of private and public concerns. See consolation; epitaphios.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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