What Eric Rebillard is Up To

Classics professor Eric Rebillard has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support his research on funerary behaviors among the common people of the Roman Empire.

“Knowledge about Roman funerary rituals and burial practices is largely limited to a few texts and a few monuments, both products of the cultural and social elite of the Roman Empire,” said Rebillard. “I believe that burials allow us to go far beyond the limits of our other evidence in the study of the non-elites and that the study of funerary rituals can thus extend considerably our understanding of Roman culture.”

Rebillard’s project applies statistical analysis to a database of excavated tombs in Italy during the first three centuries of the Roman Empire to analyze the layout and contents of the graves and treatment of the bodies.

The project is unique, says Rebillard, because previously funerary monuments and grave goods have been studied mainly as indicators of social status. Rebillard’s approach is to emphasize funerary ritual itself and to study funerary behaviors.

The Mellon Foundation previously awarded Rebillard a New Directions fellowship to support his research.

via Cornell Chronicle: Grant funds classics research.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s