Damnatio memoriae

ancient Roman punishment by removing a person's name, depictions, and reference to them from official records, up to rewritings of histories


Damnatio memoriae is a Latin practice or phrase that means "condemnation of memory". It means that a person's existence should be cut out of history. Actually, it was never totally achieved. In practice it meant removing the name from official records and monuments. That left plenty of letters and scrolls from which historians have pieced together the information we have.

The face at the bottom left was erased because of damnatio memoriae.