n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Displaying honourable scars : a Roman gimmick

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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There are several references in the literature to what appears to have been a particular Roman practice during, at least, the republican period, namely the display of, or the promise to exhibit publicly, scars won as a result of honourable service to the during military campaigns. The extent of the notices concerning these cicatrices ought to indicate that the bearers of bodily disfigurements, once healed, were ready to indulge in a remarkable degree of exhibitionism at some appropriate moment, either for the delectation of the crowd or to curry favour with their fellow citizens. However, to what extent does the information provided by various Greek and Roman writers reveal a special feature of public life in the Republic, or does this apparent evidence actually constitute nothing more than a literary ?

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