Roman Beliefs about Life and Death. The Romans usually placed the tombs of the dead by the side of the road just outside towns. Some of the inscriptions on Roman tombs show how the Romans believed the dead wanted to be close to the life of the living:
‘I see and gaze upon all who come to and from the city’
‘Lollius has been placed by the side of the road in order that everyone who passes may say: “Hello, Lollius”’
Sometimes there were recesses in the walls of a tomb to hold the remains of several members of a family.
One wealthy Pompeian had his ashes buried in this fabulously expensive, hand-carved blue and white glass vase which was found in one of the tombs outside the Herculaneum gate
Offerings of lentils, eggs, beans flour and wine were regularly left by tombs.
Sometimes holes were made in the tomb so that food and wine could be poured inside.
Tombs were therefore decorated with flowers and surrounded by gardens.
The family of the dead person would hold a banquet on the anniversary of their death. This was sometimes in a dining room especially built attached to the tomb itself.