Childhood Studies Children in the Classical World
by
Mark Golden
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791231-0076

Introduction

The classical world encompassed a geographical area now occupied by some thirty-five independent nations and endured for over a millennium, from Homer in the 8th or 7th century BCE to Constantine in the 4th century CE. It was home to two major languages with rich and varied literatures and, in many places and many times, an epigraphic habit which produced countless other texts, with new ones discovered every day. The standard bibliographical resource, L’Année philologique, lists upwards of 15,000 titles a year and quite a few of these are relevant to children. (Childhood for boys stretched from birth until they reached maturity on their entry into the citizen body, generally at fourteen in some Hellenistic Greek cities, at fifteen or sixteen at Rome, at seventeen or eighteen in classical Athens; girls became women when they married.) I have therefore had to be strictly selective, preferring books to articles and chapters and work in English to that in other languages (though the interests and abilities of French and especially German scholars assure that there are plenty of exceptions). Likewise, I generally exclude theses (even often-cited ones such as C. Vorster, “Griechische Kinderstatuen”) and contributions to works of reference (such as M. Kleijwegt, “Kind,” Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum 20 (2004) columns 865–947).

General Overviews

The challenge of treating children in Antiquity comprehensively has discouraged most scholars. Though its length and rich illustration causes it to resemble a coffee-table book, Backe-Dahmen 2008 is admirable for its achievements as well as its ambition. Its virtues are brought out by comparison with deMause 1974. This contains references to many ancient sources, but these are garnered second-hand or in translation and the author’s psychohistorical slant and presentist bias leads him to confuse categories the Greeks and Romans kept quite distinct, such as exposure and infanticide. But the best access to the range of ancient childhoods is through collections. Evans Grubbs and Parkin 2013 is as au courant as possible, well organized, and written by some of the leading experts; it is a true handbook in everything except size. Cohen and Rutter 2007 is exceptionally well illustrated, as befits its focus on the material evidence of art and archaeology. Its chapters provide many opportunities to pick out both continuity and divergence in the area of ancient childhood (such as in the care contributors take to identify stages of childhood in Greek and Roman images and the bewildering variety of indicators they perceive). Dasen 2004 is at once more restricted, to early childhood, and more expansive through the inclusion of chapters on Egypt, the ancient Near East, and the Byzantines and of a forty-page bibliography of recent work, organized by subject.

  • Backe-Dahmen, A. Die Welt der Kinder in der Antike. Mainz am Rhein, Germany: von Zabern, 2008.

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    The only single-author book-length treatment of both Greek and Roman children. Despite its brevity, the book is well illustrated, printed in a large-scale format, and contains particular useful discussions of children and religion, the depiction of Erotes, and the childhoods of the gods.

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    • Cohen, A., and J. B. Rutter, eds. Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies, Athens, 2007.

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      This thick and profusely illustrated publication of conference papers is especially attentive to material culture. After a full introduction, noteworthy contributions deal with a recently discovered mosaic illustrating a boy’s education in Late Antiquity, the importance of parenting in the Iliad, gestures on Athenian vases, girls’ ritual activities in the Bronze Age Aegean, depictions of children on Athenian votive reliefs and funerary monuments and on Roman tombstones and sarcophagi.

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      • Dasen, V., ed. Naissance et petite enfance dans l’Antiquité: Actes du colloque de Fribourg, 28 novembre—1 décembre 2001. Fribourg, Switzerland, and Göttingen, Germany: Academic Press, 2004.

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        A collection of papers prepared for a Fribourg colloquium in 2001, including contributions on conception, pregnancy, birth, and infancy in Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and Byzantium as well as in Greece and Rome. The volume includes a helpful bibliography of work published in the 1990s.

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        • deMause, L. “The Evolution of Childhood.” In The History of Childhood. Edited by L. deMause, 1–73. New York: Harper Torch, 1974.

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          Using literary sources (in translation) and a psychoanalytic framework, deMause contrasts the “infanticidal mode” of ancient childrearing, characterized by resentment and hostility, to the more nurturing and child-centered practices of North America in the late 20th century.

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          • Evans Grubbs, J., and T. Parkin, eds. Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

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            An up-to-date and comprehensive collection of thirty chapters by an international team of experts. Highlights include “Demography of Infancy and Early Childhood in the Ancient World” (Parkin), “The Child Patient of the Hippocratics: Early Pediatrics?” (Dean-Jones), “Raising a Disabled Child” (Laes), “Play, Pathos and Precocity: The Three ‘P’s of Greek Literary Childhood” (Pratt), “The Ancient Child in School” (Bloomer), “Children in Hellenistic Egypt: What the Papyri Say” (Parca), “Children in Roman Egypt” (Pudsey).

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            Greece

            Monographs concentrate on a particular period or place. Though its first edition appeared in 1990, before the recent spate of books on the material evidence for classical Athenian childhood, Golden 2015 retains its relevance because of its comprehensive coverage of the textual sources and its interest in the child’s personal relationships within and outside the household. (A new edition is being prepared.) Both Kennell 1995 and Ducat 2006 tend to make Spartan childhood in the archaic and classical periods less out of step with what went on in other Greek cities, Kennell by arguing that many of its more outré elements were innovations of later times (and often designed precisely to startle and impress other Greeks), Ducat by insisting on the importance of the individual family at Sparta too. Herter 1927 has had extraordinary impact for so short a piece. Recent challenges to its main thesis on the interest in and importance of children in the Hellenistic period include Schlegelmilch 2009, along with Ambühl 2005 and Radke 2007 (both cited under Children in Greek Literature).

            • Ducat, J. Spartan Education: Youth and Society in the Classical Period. Translated by E. Stafford, P.-J. Shaw, and A. Powell. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2006.

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              The major work by the leading French authority on ancient Sparta, commissioned by the Classical Press of Wales and then translated into English, focusing on the interpretation of Xenophon’s Constitution of the Lacedaemonians, the most important ancient source. Ducat suggests that individual Spartan families played an important part in the upbringing of younger boys especially, much as in other classical Greek cities.

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              • Golden, M. Children and Childhood in Classical Athens. 2d ed. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.

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                A pioneering survey of attitudes toward and experiences of children in classical Athens, based mainly on literary sources. Pays special attention to children’s relations with members of the family, slaves and other outsiders in the household, and their peers. The second edition includes an introductory overview of major trends since the first in 1990 and a new chapter on change over time within the classical period.

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                • Herter, H. “Das Kind im Zeitalter des Hellenismus.” Bonner Jahrbücher des Rheinischen Landesmuseums in Bonn und des Vereins von Altertumsfreunden im Rheinlande 127 (1927): 250–258.

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                  This short but very influential article argues that children made up one of the marginalized groups which attained new prominence in Greek literature and fine art in the Hellenistic period which followed the death of Alexander the Great.

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                  • Kennell, N. M. The Gymnasium of Virtue. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.

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                    A thorough examination of the upbringing of Spartan children, emphasizing change over time. Many of the more picturesque details are said to reflect a revival of the reformed system of the Hellenistic period rather than much older traditional practices.

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                    • Schlegelmilch, S. Bürger, Gott und Götterschūtzling: Kinderbilder der hellenistischen Kunst und Literatur. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2009.

                      DOI: 10.1515/9783110217667Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      A wide-ranging interdisciplinary study of Hellenistic texts, art, and domestic architecture. The prominence of children in poetry, usually ascribed to a change in mentalité, is found to reflect the dynastic interests of the Ptolemies, the ruling family of Egypt, and some native Egyptian motifs. Our perception of Hellenistic art is shaped by the Roman copies which survive.

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                      Rome

                      The Roman world was even more diffuse than the Greek (indeed, it included Greeks after the conquests of the 2nd century BCE), yet scholars have been willing to take on the subject of Roman childhood nevertheless, though narrowing the field geographically (Gaul, Italy) or in time (200 BCE–100 CE, the Imperial period). Néraudau 1984 was written in the wake of Philippe Ariès’ influential assertion that childhood was an invention of the Early Modern period in Europe; on the contrary (urges Néraudau), the Romans recognized childhood as a distinct and articulated stage of life as early as the middle Republic (though under Greek influence) and their interest in it developed further over time. Wiedemann 1989 too is much engaged with changes over time in Roman ideas, both before the triumph of Christianity and after. More recent studies have been able to take the existence of a Roman concept of childhood more for granted and have devoted themselves to its legal framework and representation in images (Rawson 2003) and to underexplored issues such as children’s labor, the child and sex (Laes 2011). In both books, which follow the child from birth to maturity, historical changes in attitudes toward children have been replaced to some extent by changes during childhood itself. Coulon 2004 is more on the model of scholarship on the Greek world, a close-range examination of a portion of the Roman Empire in the west, with due attention to distinctive elements in material culture and attitudes. Dasen and Späth 2010 originated in one of the regular conferences on the Roman family founded by Beryl Rawson in the 1980s and therefore situates childhood in the context of family studies, as a means (not always successful) of familial continuity and renewal of identity. Laes, et al. 2015 has a similar origin but reaches into the period of Late Antiquity and takes in childhood among Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire too. In contrast, Laes and Vuolanto 2017 breaks new ground in emphasizing children’s experiences and agency as individuals.

                      • Coulon, G. L’enfant en Gaule romaine. Paris: Errance, 2004.

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                        A well-illustrated account of children in Roman Gaul, moving from conception and pregnancy through rearing (and exposure), toys and games, education, sickness and death. Coulon contrasts the care and concern of parents in Gaul with the indifference and lack of affection which he believes characterize attitudes toward children elsewhere in the Roman world.

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                        • Dasen, V., and T. Späth, eds. Children, Memory, and Family Identity in Roman Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

                          DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582570.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          A collection of papers focusing on children’s role in the transmission of social memory and its importance in constructing identities within the family—and on threats to that role from children’s illness, abandonment, and death. Subjects include the transmission of religious knowledge, wax images of ancestors and children, Statius’ treatment of slave delicia, sick children, abandoned children who survived, and children born as a result of incest.

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                          • Laes, C. Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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                            An exceptionally wide-ranging book, geographically and thematically, building on many earlier publications (some available only in Dutch). Discussions of children’s labor (defined very broadly to include free children’s activity in cult, competitive sport, and political office as well as the work of slaves) and children and sex are noteworthy, as is the thirty-seven-page bibliography.

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                            • Laes, C., K. Mustakallio, and V. Vuolanto, eds. Children and Family in Late Antiquity: Life, Death and Interaction. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2015.

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                              Thirteen chapters focus mainly on demography, child labor, and sexual exploitation (see Martens 2015, cited in Children and Sexual Relations), illness and healing. Empire-wide investigations are supplemented by local studies of late Roman Egypt, 4th- and 5th-century Antioch, Constantinople.

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                              • Laes, C., and V. Vuolanto, eds. Children and Everyday Life in the Roman and Late Antique World. London and New York: Routledge, 2017.

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                                A collection of essays on the experiences and agency of children in the Roman Empire, extending as late as the 9th century and including discussions of clothing (Harlow), play (Dolansky), graffiti (Huntley), schooling (Vössing, Bloomer), accidents (Graumann), “the cognitive function of cult” (Mackey), and—an especially strong chapter—children’s experience of the urban environment of Pompeii (Laurence). A number of contributions make good use of contemporary developmental psychology.

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                                • Néraudau, J.-P. Être enfant à Rome. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1984.

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                                  A substantial survey of children and ideas about childhood, centered on Rome and Italy and relying mainly on literary sources. Identifies a number of stages in the Roman discovery of childhood: the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE, the early Imperial period, the 2nd century CE.

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                                  • Rawson, B. Children and Childhood in Roman Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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                                    A systematic investigation by an influential veteran in the field, stressing the evidence of late Republican and early Imperial images, inscriptions and legal sources in following the Roman child through the life course.

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                                    • Wiedemann, T. E. J. Adults and Children in the Roman Empire. London: Routledge, 1989.

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                                      Making use mainly of literary evidence (especially biography, letters, and panegyric), this lively book makes a case for changes in attitudes toward the place of children in the Roman West during the first four centuries CE and includes a suggestive discussion of Roman children at play.

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                                      Bibliographies

                                      Many recent monographs such as Beaumont 2012 (cited under Children in Greek Art) and Laes 2011 (cited under General Overviews: Rome) include excellent bibliographies, but the fullest available is Vuolanto’s online compilation.

                                      Children in Greek Literature

                                      Kassel 1991 retains a good deal of its value, due to its author’s scholarly eminence and the simple fact that it has no real rival. (Pratt’s chapter in Evans Grubbs and Parkin 2013, cited under General Overviews, suggests that her forthcoming book on children in Greek literature will be a worthy successor.) Less comprehensive work most often deals with two exceptionally influential genres, the Homeric epics and Athenian drama. The Iliad is the oldest extant European work of fiction; Ingalls 1998 is intended to provide a baseline for later literature and to demonstrate that care and concern for children exited as far back as our evidence goes. Zeitlin 2008 is the latest in a long line of studies of the playwright who brought slaves and foreigners, women and children into so many of his tragedies and used them to raise questions about common stereotypes as well as to investigate the most intense—and universal—of human emotions. The comic poets too bring children onstage. Menander, as Heap 2002–2003 argues, is Euripides’ heir in using responses to children as a guide to the characterization of adults; French 1999 brings out how the broader humor of Aristophanes can depend on his audience’s acceptance of close connections between fathers and their children. Recent studies of Hellenistic poetry (Ambühl 2005, Radke 2007) have challenged the influential contention of Herter 1927 (cited under General Overviews: Greece) that it testifies to a fundamental change in attitudes toward children in that period. Among prose authors, Plutarch displays a special interest in children, in his essays as well as his biographies. Duff 2003 moves beyond generalizations to show how he makes use of childhood anecdotes to structure and inform his portrayal of the adult Alcibiades, a striking but hardly unique instance of a man whose essential nature was set when he was very young. Anderson 2000 offers something more radical, an attempt to recover a genre of children’s fiction from ancient myth, fable, and folklore.

                                      • Ambühl, A. Kinder und junge Helden: Innovative Aspekte des Umgangs mit der literarischen Tradition bei Kallimachos. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2005.

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                                        Considers the emphasis on the infancy and childhood of gods and heroes in the work of the Hellenistic poet Callimachus, arguing that his purposes are chiefly literary: to ring changes on earlier poetic presentations of these figures and to make the claim that he too (like a young god or hero) is full of potential, able to create something new.

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                                        • Anderson, G. Fairytale in the Ancient World. London: Routledge, 2000.

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                                          Argues that many classical (and Near Eastern) stories are the ancient equivalents of modern fairytales—Niobe, for example, is a variation of the Snow White story—and sometimes retain traces of adaptation for an audience of children.

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                                          • Duff, T. E. “Plutarch on the Childhood of Alkibiades (Alk. 2–3).” Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 49 (2003): 89–117.

                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0068673500000961Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            An examination of anecdotes about Alcibiades’ childhood which begin Plutarch’s biography. Though they appear to be rather chaotic chronologically, they reveal Plutarch as a sophisticated literary artist, serving as they do to introduce Alcibiades’ character, to prefigure key themes of the biography as a whole, and to signal important recurring images.

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                                            • French, V. “Aristophanes’ Doting Dads: Adult Male Knowledge of Young Children.” In Text and Tradition. Studies in Greek History and Historiography in Honor of Mortimer Chambers. Edited by R. Mellor and L. A. Tritle, 163–181. Claremont, CA: Regina, 1999.

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                                              Glimpses of family life in the comedies of Aristophanes reveal fathers who are (surprisingly) engaged with and fond of their young children.

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                                              • Heap, A. M. “The Baby as Hero? The Role of the Infant in Menander.” Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London 46 (2002–2003): 77–129.

                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb00736.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Unusually prominent in the comedies of Menander, babies are used to further the characterization of others in Samia and Epitrepontes.

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                                                • Ingalls, W. B. “Attitudes towards Children in the Iliad.” Échos du monde classique 42 (1998): 13–34.

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                                                  Though (or because) children are represented as weak, fearful, and ineffectual, parents and other adults exert themselves to protect and care for them and the harm they suffer is poignant and pathetic. These feelings and behaviors characterize direct narration, similes, and speeches.

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                                                  • Kassel, R. “Quomodo quibus locis apud veteres Graecos infantes atque parvuli pueri inducantur describantur commemorentur.” In Kleine Schriften. Edited by H. G. Nesselrath, 1–73. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1991.

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                                                    A 1951 Latin dissertation, a youthful work by one of the greatest classical philologists since the Second World War, for decades the standard reference for children in early Greek literature to 400 BCE and still the most extensive discussion.

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                                                    • Radke, G. Die Kindheit des Mythos: Der Erfindung der Literaturgeschichte in der Antike. Munich: C. H. Beck, 2007.

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                                                      Like Ambühl 2005, this book explains Hellenistic poets’ focus on the infancy and childhood of gods and heroes and on the time before their canonical deeds as a means to claim to be inaugurating a new literary era. It extends this approach to Apollonius of Rhodes and Theocritus as well as Callimachus.

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                                                      • Zeitlin, F. I. “Intimate Relations: Children, Childbearing and Parentage on the Euripidean Stage.” In Performance, Iconography, Reception: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin. Edited by M. Revermann and P. Wilson, 318–332. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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                                                        Children are remarkably prominent in Euripides’ plays, praised for their physical charm, mourned for their pathetic deaths, the focus of conflict among women (above all). Though this interest is paralleled in other contemporary evidence, the range and intensity of his presentations of children are the poet’s own.

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                                                        Children in Roman Literature

                                                        Manson 1978 appeared in the aftermath of the second edition of Philippe Ariès’ influential book on the Early Modern discovery of childhood; its account of the new appreciation of children found in Roman writers of the late Republic influenced Néraudau 1984 (cited under General Overviews: Rome) in turn. Lee 1979 and Petrini 1997 have other influences, Jung and a reading of Catullus, but both affirm the importance of children, girls as well as boys, in Virgil’s tragic vision. Ascanius/Iulus is of particular importance as a reflection of Homer’s Astyanax and the ancestor of the family to which Caesar and Augustus belonged and so a link between Rome’s past and its (as yet uncertain) future.

                                                        • Lee, M. O. Fathers and Sons in Virgil’s Aeneid: Tum Genitor Natum. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1979.

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                                                          A very personal Jungian reading of the Aeneid by a classicist (and well-known commentator on opera), this book ponders the prominence of fathers and sons in Virgil’s poem and asks why, despite their best efforts and intentions, fathers so often fail their sons.

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                                                          • Manson, M. “Puer bimulus (Catulle 17, 12–13) et l’image du petit enfant chez Catulle et ses prédecesseurs.” Mélanges d’Archéologie et d’Histoire de l’École française de Rome 90 (1978): 247–291.

                                                            DOI: 10.3406/mefr.1978.1147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Catullus’ sweet image of a child sleeping in his father’s arms reflects a new appreciation of children found also in other (very different) Latin writers of the mid-1st century BCE such as Cicero and Lucretius. But this emotional affection coexists with the traditional criticism of children’s intellectual and moral limitations.

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                                                            • Petrini, M. The Child and the Hero: Coming of Age in Catullus and Virgil. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

                                                              DOI: 10.3998/mpub.14316Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              An imaginative book, arguing that Catullus’ view of youth and of the difficulty and danger of making the tradition to maturity (most evident in the longer poems) influenced Virgil’s pessimistic account of the (often disastrous) initiations of young men into the adult world of the Aeneid. A final chapter presents Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue as offering a contrast between the golden age of childhood and the bleak disappointments of adult life.

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                                                              Children in Greek Art

                                                              Representations of children have long been an integral part of the history of Greek art. Problems of decoding images and of determining the contexts and uses of objects on or through which these depictions appear have prompted many scholars to take on broader subjects. So Rühfel 1984b and Beaumont 2012 in fact amount to comprehensive studies of childhood in classical Athens, though they differ from the standard pattern by starting from images rather than texts; this is all the truer of Beaumont 2012 because of its full bibliography. Similarly, Bobou 2015 includes material on medical, philosophical, and other ideas about childhood, while both van Hoorn 1951 and Hamilton 1992 explore all aspects of the Anthesteria, not just the iconography of the choes, though van Hoorn is much more willing to explain what he sees on the pots as constituent elements of the festival. Such coverage is beyond the reach of volumes which are more comprehensive (Rühfel 1984a, Neils and Oakley 2003) or narrower (Hirsch-Dyczek 1983). These concentrate more on changes over time, variations between artistic media, and the spatial (and so emotional?) relations of children and adults on vases, dedications, gravestones. Hirsch-Dyczek 1983 is complemented by Grossman (in Cohen and Rutter 2007, cited under General Overviews), not superseded by it, owing to their differences in the way they organize the material.

                                                              • Beaumont, L. A. Childhood in Ancient Athens: Iconography and Social History. London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

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                                                                A thorough examination of Athenian images of children from the late 7th to the late 4th century BCE, with 120 illustrations and full and frequent footnotes. Demonstrates that childhood varied by gender, by social status, and over time within the classical period and offers substantial discussions of many ritual and cultural practices and institutions connected to the iconography of childhood.

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                                                                • Bobou, O. Children in the Hellenistic World: Statues and Representation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

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                                                                  A profusely illustrated account of Hellenistic sculptures of children, including a catalogue raisonné of marble statues as well as discussion of terracottas and of votive and funerary reliefs. Most statues and terracottas are found in sanctuaries, especially those of healing or tutelary deities; few come from houses.

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                                                                  • Hamilton, R. Choes and Anthesteria: Athenian Iconography and Ritual. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992.

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                                                                    Skeptical account of the drinking vessels called choes (often bearing images of children) and of their connection with the Athenian springtime festival of the Anthesteria. In particular, Hamilton doubts that the festival introduced three-year-olds to the community. Includes a helpful appendix of textual sources but few illustrations.

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                                                                    • Hirsch-Dyczek, O. Les représentations des enfants sur les stèles funèbres attiques. Kraków: Jagellonian University, 1983.

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                                                                      A short but well-illustrated account of the depictions of children on classical Athenian tombstones.

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                                                                      • Neils, J., and J. Oakley, eds. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past. New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2003.

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                                                                        Complementing the catalogue of a 2001 exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College and including many illustrations, some in color, the substantial essays in this volume include “Childhood in Ancient Greece” (Golden), “The Changing Face of Childhood” (Beaumont), “Children in Aegean Prehistory” (Rutter), “Fathers and Sons, Men and Boys” (Shapiro), “Mothers and Daughters” (Foley), “Children and Greek Religion” (Neils), and “Death and the Child” (Oakley).

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                                                                        • Rühfel, H. Das Kind in der griechischen Kunst von der minoisch-mykenischen Zeit bis zum Hellenismus. Mainz am Rhein, Germany: Philipp von Zabern, 1984a.

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                                                                          By far the most inclusive single-author overview of children in Greek art, extending from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period and encompassing all media and featuring over 120 illustrations (some in color).

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                                                                          • Rühfel, H. Kinderleben im klassischen Athen: Bilder auf klassischen Vasen. Mainz am Rhein, Germany: Philipp von Zabern, 1984b.

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                                                                            Its 101 illustrations of Athenian vases depicting children guarantee that this work, which long held the field unchallenged, retains its value. The material is divided into two sections, on everyday life and on cult and festivals.

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                                                                            • van Hoorn, G. Choes and Anthesteria. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1951.

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                                                                              The standard catalogue and account of the drinking jugs often including images of children and of their association with the Athenian springtime festival of the Anthesteria; many illustrations.

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                                                                              Children in Roman Art

                                                                              Work on children in Roman art has been less prominent and less discursive, perhaps because the study of Roman childhood has tended to privilege political and legal issues over the rites and cult practices which have attracted so much attention in the Greek world. (This is especially true of studies of the portrayal of children in the emperor’s family.) Uzzi 2005 in fact mainly hopes to illuminate a political question, Roman imperial ideology; Huskinson 1996 must regularly consider whether scenes on sarcophagi for children provide evidence of everyday life or refer only to symbols and myths. Variation between social groups, regional diversity, and comparisons with other Roman media and with Greek examples distinguish Mander 2013.

                                                                              • Huskinson, J. Roman Children’s Sarcophagi: Their Decoration and Its Social Significance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

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                                                                                A catalogue (with some illustrations) of sarcophagi for children from Rome (and Ostia) in the first four centuries CE. Though smaller, sarcophagi for children were often as elaborate and costly as those for adults; representations of Cupids chariot-racing in the Circus (and especially of crashes) and of mourners surrounding the child’s bed are distinctive.

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                                                                                • Mander, J. Portraits of Children on Roman Funerary Monuments. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

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                                                                                  A copiously illustrated study of children’s tombstones from the western Roman Empire, stressing parents’ conceptions of childhood and concern for their children and including a catalogue of over 900 monuments.

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                                                                                  • Uzzi, J. D. Children in the Visual Arts of Imperial Rome. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                    A study of children, Roman and non-Roman, in official art (including coins) from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE. Roman children appear in public gatherings and scenes of the emperor’s beneficence, already integrated into a society whose potential they signify; non-Roman children figure in depictions of Roman military triumphs and their aftermath, symbols of the defeat and submission of their people.

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                                                                                    Children in Inscriptions

                                                                                    Texts engraved on stone and other media—grave epitaphs, public consolation decrees, lists of adolescents enrolled as ephebes or participating in rituals—are a precious source of information on children outside the literary elite and its preoccupations. Publications appear in profusion every year, most restricted to one inscription or a few more like it. Laes 2007 provides a general user’s guide, with many references to specific studies, Vérilhac 1978–1982 a collection of some 200 verse inscriptions, a welcome opportunity to identify recurring themes. Döpp 1996 includes the Greek text and German translation of our only surviving example of a poem by an ancient child, a Roman boy able to compose in Greek.

                                                                                    • Döpp, S. “Das Stegreifgedicht des Q. Sulpicius Maximus.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 114 (1996): 99–114.

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                                                                                      A unique document, a monument erected by Roman freed-slave parents for their son, who died at eleven, shortly after gaining an honorable mention in the competition in verse improvisation at the Capitoline Games of 94 CE. The inscription includes Maximus’ poem.

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                                                                                      • Laes, C. “Inscriptions from Rome and the History of Childhood.” In Age and Ageing in the Roman Empire. Edited by M. Harlow and R. Laurence, 25–37. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2007.

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                                                                                        A compact and richly referenced overview of the use of inscriptions (especially tombstone epitaphs) for the study of Roman childhood.

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                                                                                        • Vérilhac, A.-M. Paides Aoroi: Poésie funéraire I-II. Athens, Greece: Grapheion Demosieumaton tes Akademias Athenon, 1978–1982.

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                                                                                          A collection of some 200 metrical Greek epitaphs, eulogies, laments, and consolations, with translations into French and an accompanying volume of full linguistic and thematic commentaries.

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                                                                                          Children in the Archaeological Record

                                                                                          Children in the archaeological record constitute the most exciting and controversial area in present-day research on childhood in the classical world; in particular, the study of funerary practices produces and promises the most new information but is roiled by disagreements on how to interpret it. Studies of individual cemeteries and communities (such as Houby-Nielsen 1995 and Crelier 2008) reveal change over time, not always in the same direction; collections of such studies (such as the three published as part of the project L’enfant et la mort dans l’Antiquité: Guimier-Sorbets and Morizot 2010, Nenna 2012, Hermary and Dubois 2012) make available a wide variation from place to place (in addition). Furthermore, children of different ages are often treated differently. While the inclusion of children in burial sites alongside adults is often taken to be a sign of enhanced status and inclusion in the greater community (Houby-Nielsen 1995, Crelier 2008), the burial of very young children within or close to domestic dwellings may (also) testify to affection and close family ties (as in Scott 1999). Here if anywhere it is important to treat men and women, mothers and fathers separately: men make rules for the political community, women have a closer tie to infants. But it is also true (as Houby-Nielsen 1995 points out) that women are in charge of preparing the bodies and furnishing the graves of the dead of all ages.

                                                                                          • Crelier, M. C. Kinder in Athen im gesellschaftlichen Wandel des 5. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.: Eine archäologische Annäherung. Remshalden, Germany: BAG Verlag, 2008.

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                                                                                            The late-6th-century rise in the number of children’s graves in the Ceramicus cemetery is not matched by the evidence of Athenian red-figure vases in general. However, there is a corresponding increase in depictions of children on lecythi, which have strong funerary associations, and this confirms that there was a change in perceptions of children as members of the family. Detailed summary in French.

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                                                                                            • Guimier-Sorbets, A.-M., and Y. Morizot, eds. L’enfant et la mort dans l’Antiquité I: Nouvelles recherches dans les nécropoles grecques—le signalement des tombes d’enfants. Actes de la table ronde internationale organisée à Athènes, École Française d’Athènes, 29–30 mai 2008. Paris: de Boccard, 2010.

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                                                                                              Conference papers, mostly in French (with English summaries). Includes a helpful review of the value of archaeology for the history of childhood and studies of cemeteries, burials, and tomb markers from the Iron Age on from all over the Greek world (and three on the Roman West). The different practices call into question broad theories on the relationship between funerary practices and attitudes toward children or the rise of the polis.

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                                                                                              • Hermary, A., and C. Dubois, eds. L’enfant et la mort dans l’Antiquité III: Le matériel associé aux tombes d’enfants. Actes de la table ronde internationale organisée à la Maison Mediterranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme (MMSH) d’Aix-en-Provence, 20–22 janvier 2011. Paris: Errance, 2012.

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                                                                                                The publication of conference papers devoted to objects deposited in children’s graves, especially in the Greek world (including the western Mediterranean). An introductory survey (Dasen) reviews problems in using grave goods to identify the age or sex of those buried with them. (For example, miniature objects are not always toys.) Individual chapters note peculiarities of particular times and places (terracottas for the children of western Greeks in the archaic and classical periods) and ages (sea shells for the youngest children in the Athenian Ceramicus). As for children of the Roman west, some, in Gallia Narbonensis of the High Empire, got graves like those of adults from the age of six.

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                                                                                                • Houby-Nielsen, S. “‘Burial Language’ in Archaic and Classical Kerameikos.” Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens 1 (1995): 129–191.

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                                                                                                  Detailed account of burials in the Ceramicus cemetery at Athens, paying special attention to variations in location, funerary practices, and grave goods among males and females and among different age groups (including children of different ages). The richness of children’s graves tells against the view that they were unimportant or devalued; changes in burial customs which begin toward the end of the 6th century BCE are linked to intellectual upheavals which led to democratic reforms.

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                                                                                                  • Nenna, M.-D. L’enfant et la mort dans l’Antiquité II: Typres de tombes et traitement du corps des enfants dans l’antiquité gréco-romaine. Actes de la table ronde internationale organisée à Alexandrie, Centre d’Études Alexandrines, 12–14 novembre 2009. Alexandria, Egypt: Centre d’Études Alexandrines, 2012.

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                                                                                                    A collection of studies on the tombs and treatment of dead children (in English and French, with summaries in Arabic too). Most deal with Egypt, from the pre-dynastic period to the Roman, but there are also helpful contributions on the bioarchaeology of children in Greece (Fox) and the cemeteries of Roman North Africa (de Larminat), In many cemeteries, children’s tombs are more likely to hold grave goods than those of adults.

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                                                                                                    • Scott, E. The Archaeology of Infancy and Infant Death. Oxford: Archaeopress, 1999.

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                                                                                                      A spirited examination of burial practices for infants, including those of Roman Britain, drawing on a wealth of comparative material. Argues that the burial of children within the household need not be a sign of inconsequence or a failure to have joined the community but may rather speak to mothers’ desire to keep their children close or be meant to encourage agricultural or human fertility.

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                                                                                                      Children in Myth

                                                                                                      Laager 1957 collects evidence for the births and childhoods of some major gods and observes that some have more of a childhood than others. This is a theme of Beaumont 1995 too: the author explains the lack of a childhood for female divinities on Athenian vases by reference to contemporary attitudes toward women. Dowden 1989 is also interested in the relation of myth and social reality, though in this case the link is between stories of the deaths of girls and very old cults concerning the transition into womanhood.

                                                                                                      • Beaumont, L. A. “Mythological Childhood: A Male Preserve? An Interpretation of Classical Athenian Iconography in its Socio-Historical Context.” Annual of the British School at Athens 90 (1995): 339–361.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/S0068245400016245Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        While Attic red-figure vases portray the birth and childhood of male gods and heroes, such depictions of goddesses and heroines are very rare and even then figures such as Aphrodite and Artemis are shown as fully formed adults from the start. The dependence and powerlessness of female children were apparently incompatible with divinity; and heroines (like ordinary women) gain significance and social status largely through their association with male heroes after they have reached maturity.

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                                                                                                        • Dowden, K. Death and the Maiden: Girls’ Initiation Rites in Greek Mythology. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.

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                                                                                                          A breezy and wide-ranging study of Greek myths involving the deaths of girls, taken as evidence for very ancient cults celebrating their transition (or the transition of a chosen few) into adulthood. The prominent theme of the wrath of a goddess expresses the transition’s risks.

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                                                                                                          • Laager, J. Geburt und Kindheit des Gottes in der griechischen Mythologie. Winterthur: P. G. Keller, 1957.

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                                                                                                            Thorough account of the sources for the birth and childhood of Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, Zeus, Triptolemus, noting that for some (Athena, Aphrodite) only their birth is a subject of literature or art while others (such as Dionysus) enjoy a divine childhood.

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                                                                                                            The Family

                                                                                                            If art and religion predominate in studies of the family in ancient Greece, it was the 1980s revolution in Roman family studies that has inspired much work on Roman childhood. Beryl Rawson was one of that revolution’s leaders, as a researcher, a mentor for other Australian scholars like Suzanne Dixon, and an organizer of conferences. Rawson 2010 makes a fitting memorial, including as it does chapters on children as well as the best contemporary accounts of ancient Greek and Roman families.

                                                                                                            • Rawson, B., ed. A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Malden, MA, and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1002/9781444390766Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              A current and comprehensive collection, edited by the doyenne of Roman family studies and completed just before her death. Chapters focusing on children include “Other People’s Children” (Golden), “The Roman Life Course and the Family” (Parkin), “Childbirth and Infancy in Greek and Roman Antiquity” (Dasen), “Grieving for Lost Children, Pagan and Christian” (Laes), “Ethos: The Socialization of Children in Education and Beyond” (Morgan).

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                                                                                                              Greece

                                                                                                              Neither Lacey 1968 nor Pomeroy 1997 makes room for a chapter devoted to children, but both lay out the legal (especially Lacey) and emotional (especially Pomeroy) environment of childhood. Pomeroy also makes a case that girls were more likely to be exposed at birth.

                                                                                                              • Lacey, W. K. The Family in Classical Greece. London: Thames and Hudson, 1968.

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                                                                                                                The standard reference for over a generation and still worth consulting, this book covers more than its title claims, including chapters on the family in Homer’s epics and on archaic Crete.

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                                                                                                                • Pomeroy, S. B. Families in Classical and Hellenistic Greece: Representations and Realities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

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                                                                                                                  Vigorous overview by one of the senior scholars on women and the family in ancient Greece, placing due emphasis on differences over time and space and between genders and social classes. The material on male athletes who replicated their fathers’ successes is especially interesting, the case studies of historical Athenian and Egyptian families innovative.

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                                                                                                                  Rome

                                                                                                                  Bradley 1991, Evans 1991, and Dixon 1992 all devote chapters or extended discussions to children. Their anecdotal and analytic accounts of disruption in the Roman family and the lives of its children are given a quantitative underpinning in Saller 1994.

                                                                                                                  • Bradley, K. R. Discovering the Roman Family: Studies in Roman Social History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                    A collection of studies, some published previously, stressing the frequency of discontinuity and dislocation within the Roman family, its potentially upsetting effects on children, the important role therefore played by ongoing relationships between slave childminders and children. A great deal of information is presented in clear catalogues.

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                                                                                                                    • Dixon, S. The Roman Family. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

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                                                                                                                      Sound overview, situating the Roman family within its own legal environment and the context of modern debates over family structures and sentiments. A separate chapter is devoted to children.

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                                                                                                                      • Evans, J. K. War, Women and Children in Ancient Rome. London and New York: Routledge, 1991.

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                                                                                                                        A relatively brief but ambitious book, making the case that Rome’s wars of conquest in the early and middle Republic and the consequent long absences of men from their homes led to the erosion of the power (patriapotestas) of the head of the household, new independence for women, and increasing sensitivity to young children.

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                                                                                                                        • Saller, R. P. Patriarchy, Property and Death in the Roman Family. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511582998Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Using computer simulations, Saller demonstrates that many Roman children lost their fathers relatively early and so were freed from his strict control (patriapotestas); the life tables which show family composition over time are a basic resource. Also argues that the mix of free and unfree statuses in the household encouraged fathers to discipline their sons through reason rather than the force suited to slaves.

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                                                                                                                          Parents and Children

                                                                                                                          High infant and child mortality, the exposure of newborns, the use of slave wet-nurses and paedagogi—all joined to persuade some scholars that Greeks and Romans invested little emotion in individual children. Golden 1988 puts the case for the defense, one buttressed by the chapters by Rawson and Eyben in Rawson 1991.

                                                                                                                          • Golden, M. “Did the Ancients Care When their Children Died?” Greece and Rome 35 (1988): 152–163.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0017383500033064Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Invokes evidence from other high-mortality societies studied by anthropologists and historians to argue that, far from being neglectful or feeling indifferent, Greek and Roman parents did everything they could to help their children survive and grieved deeply for them when they died.

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                                                                                                                            • Rawson, B., ed. Marriage, Divorce and Children in Ancient Rome. Canberra, Australia, and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                              The second of the ongoing series of publications arising from the regular conferences on the Roman family, this collection features a number of chapters on the relations of adults and children (Rawson), indulgent fathers and sons (Eyben), freedmen and -women and their heirs (Weaver).

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                                                                                                                              Fathers

                                                                                                                              Scholarship on the ancient family generally emphasizes the legal power, social dominance, and political weight of the Greek kyrios and Roman paterfamilias. Both Hallett 1984 and Strauss 1993 go further, making far-reaching claims for the effects of the relations between fathers and daughters (Hallett, at Rome) and sons (Strauss, at Athens). The chapters in Huebner and Ratzan 2009 explore the effects of the father’s absence or distance and the measures Greeks and Romans took to replace him.

                                                                                                                              • Hallett, J. P. Fathers and Daughters in Roman Society: Women and the Elite Family. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                Argues that the influence of and respect for women among the Roman elite originated in “filiafocality,” the special relationship between father and daughter. This enhanced her status in the eyes of her brothers and gave her the confidence to play a significant role in the lives of her sons.

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                                                                                                                                • Huebner, S. R., and D. M. Ratzan, eds. Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511575594Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Low life expectancy and late marriage for men guaranteed that many Greek and Roman children were fatherless; social practices made many virtual orphans. After a useful introduction by the editors, chapters set out the demographic environment and explore the lot of orphans or virtual orphans in life (Greece, the eastern Roman Empire, Roman Egypt) and literature (the Homeric epics, the poetry of Sulpicia). Others carry out case studies (Sulla) and assess the roles of surrogate fathers.

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                                                                                                                                  • Strauss, B. S. Fathers and Sons in Athens: Ideology and Society in the Era of the Peloponnesian War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.4324/9780203324769Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Wide-ranging account of father-son relations in classical Athens with attractive suggestions (often based on readings of plays by Aristophanes and Euripides) as to how these shaped Athenian perceptions of and responses to political developments from about 450 to 380 BCE. The ascendancy of the son, Pericles’ adventurous ward Alcibiades, was succeeded by “the return of the father,” the reinforcement of (allegedly) traditional norms of respect for established leaders and institutions.

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                                                                                                                                    Mothers

                                                                                                                                    The pride of place given to the father’s position may suggest that there is little to say about mothers, and in fact, there was relatively little written about them until recently. But their roles varied surprisingly: Roman mothers were partners and allies in private and public life (Dixon 1988); some Greek men devalued women’s role in reproduction and even in the act of giving birth, ascribing agency to the fetus instead (Demand 1994); only mothers in south Italy are regularly shown breastfeeding (Bonfante 1997); hostility to stepmothers was the norm but the grounds differed for Greeks and Romans (Watson 1995). Petersen and Salzman-Mitchell 2012 is the most comprehensive of a number of recent publications on the Greek and Roman worlds, with ten chapters covering ideas of motherhood from the Hippocratic corpus to Flavian epic, the impact of real mothers like Cleopatra and the women of the Roman imperial family from the Julio-Claudians to the Antonines, and breastfeeding in literature from Homer to the Augustan age. Budin and Turfa 2016, weighing in at 1,074 pages, is larger, but includes chapters on motherhood in Mesopotamia, pharaonic Egypt, Cyprus, Etruria, the Bronze Age Aegean, and among the Hittites as well as concise surveys of Athens and Rome. Augoustakis 2010 and McAuley 2016, though ambitious theoretically, limit themselves to Roman literature.

                                                                                                                                    • Augoustakis, A. Motherhood and the Other: Fashioning Female Power in Flavian Epic. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199584413.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Informed by the psychoanalytic theories of Julia Krusteva, Augoustakis examines the (Roman and foreign) female characters of Statius’ Thebaid and Silius Italicus’ Punica, bringing out the poets’ use of gender polarities (“the fatherland”/“Mother Earth”) to problematize ideas of Romanness. For example: is Regulus right or wrong to abandon his wife and sons when he chooses to return to captivity in Carthage?

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                                                                                                                                      • Bonfante, L. “Nursing Mothers in Classical Art.” In Naked Truths: Women, Sexuality and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology. Edited by A. O. Koloski-Ostrow and C. Lyons, 174–196. London and New York: Routledge, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                        Depictions of nursing mothers are very rare in mainland Greece and uncommon in Roman art as well; most examples come from Etruria, south Italy, and Sicily. This stems from differences in social and religious ideas about mothers and the magical properties of breastfeeding.

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                                                                                                                                        • Budin, S., and J. M. Turfa, eds. Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

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                                                                                                                                          The Mother of All Books (MOAB) on motherhood, this vast collection includes short overviews of classical Athens (Hong) and Rome (Larsson Lovén). Hong covers slave and metic mothers as well as citizens (rich and poor, urban and rural). Cult activities reinforced close connections between mothers and daughters. Idealized though it was, mothers’ role in producing and rearing children could involve anxiety and conflict. Among Romans, sources credit mothers of the elite, teenagers though they often were, with influence in making political alliances and forming political leaders. They displayed independence in arranging daughters’ marriages and might remain close to them throughout their lives.

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                                                                                                                                          • Dasen, V. Le sourire d’Omphale: Maternité et petite enfance dans l’antiquité. Rennes, France: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                            A series of studies, most published between 2001 and 2014, which adds up to a coherent whole. Discussing in turn the pregnant mother, the fetus, and the (not-dissimilar) newborn, Dasen draws on her unrivaled expertise in iconography and material culture to reach persuasive conclusions: midwives, not the paterfamilias, demonstrated the viability of Roman neonates; Omphale was a female Heracles, triumphing over the pains of childbirth (and serving as a model for women who claimed to comprehend and control their own bodies); teething was a time of special peril for children.

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                                                                                                                                            • Demand, N. Birth, Death and Motherhood in Classical Greece. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                              Still the standard English-language work on classical Greek motherhood, though it foregrounds indications of misogyny at the expense of other tendencies. (Demand offers a valuable account of Hippocratic writings which provide a medical rationale for early marriage and childbirth while slighting Athenian legislation guaranteeing equal standing for mothers and fathers in establishing citizenship.) Denigration of women’s biological role in reproduction in favor of praising pederasty as a means of socializing male citizens led to a lack of interest in young children and a failure to develop pediatric medicine.

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                                                                                                                                              • Dixon, S. The Roman Mother. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                Viewing motherhood as a social construct, Dixon argues that Roman mothers’ roles were more like fathers’ than was true in (say) 1950s sit-coms. Mothers too disciplined and taught. However, their position was based on custom, not rooted (as fathers’) in the law; and deep mourning for a child was thought to be distinctively maternal.

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                                                                                                                                                • McAuley, M. Reproducing Rome: Motherhood in Virgil, Ovid, Seneca and Statius. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

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                                                                                                                                                  Billed as a “supplement” to Augoustakis 2010 and reliant like it on Freudian approaches, McAuley’s book treats (mainly) Aeneid; Metamorphoses; Seneca’s Consolatio to his mother Helvia and tragedies Medea, Phaedra and Troades; Thebaid and Achilleid. Interpretations are often adventurous: Dido is a symbolic mother; Alcmena’s birth labor is comparable to Hercules’ deeds; as Theseus’ stepmother, Medea shapes the audience’s response to Phaedra; Thebaid follows behind Aeneid like a mourning mother.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Petersen, L. H., and P. Salzman-Mitchell, eds. Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                    Ten studies, arranged chronologically, exploiting the evidence of material culture (for maternity garments in ancient Greece), cult (for the transition from Greek girl to bride), and literature (for mothers in Athenian tragedy, the image of breastfeeding, sexualized mothers in Latin love elegy). While many chapters stress the manipulation of motherhood by male political leaders and writers, others discover unexpected indications of solidarity and influence: the bonds between prostitute mothers and daughters, the impact of the women of the imperial family on the public monuments of Rome.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Watson, P. A. Ancient Stepmothers: Myth, Misogyny and Reality. Leiden, The Netherlands, and New York: Brill, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                      A thorough study of the representations of stepmothers in myth and of their roles in real life, mainly classical Athens and Rome of the 1st centuries BCE and CE. Greek stepmothers are conventionally lustful, Roman ones more likely to be shown as murderous; though divorce and early death produced many stepmothers, there is not enough evidence to determine whether these misogynistic stereotypes match reality.

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                                                                                                                                                      Surrogates, Childminders, Fosterers

                                                                                                                                                      Some Greek and Roman children were formally adopted. In general, however, the motive for adopters was to secure themselves an heir rather than to care for unwanted or parentless children; they therefore preferred older adoptees who had survived the perils of childhood and perhaps given some evidence of their character. Abandoned children who were rescued were not formally adopted but raised as slaves (see Abandonment, Exposure, Infanticide). However, more informal relations between children and surrogate parents (often slave childminders) were both common and important. Schulze 1998 is a comprehensive overview of the evidence for male and female slave childminders from both Greece and Rome, especially in art. Vilatte concentrates on literary sources for Greece, including myths of gods nursed by animals. Karydas 1998 delves more deeply into the nurse in early Greek poetry. Bradley 1994 and Dixon 1999 treat the reliance of Roman parents on childminders. Both remark on the close and affectionate relations which were expected to result. Bradley thinks that parental distancing partly motivated this practice; Dixon is wary of importing contemporary assumptions of family structures and parenting.

                                                                                                                                                      • Bradley, K. R. “The Nurse and the Child at Rome: Duty, Affect and Socialisation.” Thamyris 1 (1994): 137–156.

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                                                                                                                                                        Drawing largely on the instructions of medical writers, this article details the many duties nurses (many of them slaves) performed for and with Roman infants, for whom they were often the primary caregivers among the elite. Reliance on nurses is taken as a strategy of parental detachment from children who were likely to die; but it was also expected that real ties of intimacy and affection would grow up between nurses and their charges.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Dixon, S. “The Circulation of Children in Roman Society.” In Adoption et fosterage. Edited by M. Corbier, 217–230. Paris: de Boccard, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                          Though the Romans did not normally adopt children formally, death and divorce often required that a range of more or less informal arrangements were regularly employed to ensure their care. This circulation of children and reallocation of family roles should not be evaluated through modern Western expectations of family life.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Karydas, H. P. Eurykleia and Her Successors: Female Figures of Authority in Greek Poetics. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                            A comprehensive account of the representation of the nurse as an influence on her charges (especially after they reached adulthood) in Greek poetry from Homer to Euripides. Karydas stresses nurses’ command of rhetoric, but perhaps understates the extent to which their advice proved disastrous.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Schulze, H. Ammen und Pädagogen: Sklavinnen und Sklaven als Erzieher in der Antike Kunst und Gesellschaft. Mainz am Rhein, Germany: Philipp von Zabern, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                              Rapid survey of literary and above all iconographic representations of female nurses and male paedagogi in Greek and Roman art of all kinds from the 5th century BCE to Late Antiquity, with a catalogue, many illustrations, and an English summary. These slaves had a unique situation of trust within the household, often drawn on by poets for their purposes; their roles reflect broader social ideas about gender.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Vilatte, S. “La nourrice grecque: Une question d’histoire sociale et religieuse.” L’Antiquité classique 60 (1991): 5–28.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.3406/antiq.1991.2303Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                In literary sources, mothers breast-feed, nurse wean, and begin the process of education, and are then replaced by paedagogi. These slave childminders recall the animals who care for gods in some myths. For both gods and mortals, rearing requires more than one adult.

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                                                                                                                                                                Abandonment, Exposure, Infanticide

                                                                                                                                                                Long a much-debated subject: Oldenziel 1987 supplies a critical survey of one hundred years of scholarship on Greece up until the mid 1980s. Patterson 1985 is a level-headed summary of more recent views with a welcome resistance to generalization. Ingalls 2002 rejects one motive often adduced for the exposure of girls. Harris 1994 is the most accessible discussion on the Roman evidence (and the evidence for the later Greek world). Corbier fleshes out the important distinction between exposure and abandonment and (like Harris) the important economic role played by foundlings who were raised as slaves. Mothers’ role is an important issue in Scott 1999 cited under Children in the Archaeological Record.

                                                                                                                                                                • Corbier, M. “Child Exposure and Abandonment.” In Childhood, Class and Kin in the Roman World. Edited by S. Dixon, 52–73. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Stresses the distinction between child abandonment (as practiced in medieval and Early Modern Europe) and exposure of children, outlining Roman means of recognizing children, especially the crucial role of the father, and the fate of exposed babies who were rescued or recovered by their own parents.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Harris, W. V. “Child Exposure in the Roman Empire.” Journal of Roman Studies 84 (1994): 1–22.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/300867Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Exposure of newborns, more often girls, was widespread in the Roman world and compatible with the likely demographic regime. Most died, though substantial numbers survived to become slaves. Poverty was always a prime motive for exposure. Disapproval of the practice was growing even before it was outlawed by Christian emperors.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Ingalls, W. “Demography and Dowries: Perspectives on Female Infanticide in Classical Greece.” Phoenix 56 (2002): 246–254.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/1192599Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Demographic conditions make it unlikely that the infanticide of daughters was common in ancient Greece and there is no evidence in Athenian sources for one motive which has been proposed: concern about the financial burden of dowries.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Oldenziel, R. “The Historiography of Infanticide in Antiquity: A Literature Stillborn.” In Sexual Asymmetry: Studies in Ancient Society. Edited by J. Blok and P. Mason, 87–107. Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A review of one hundred years of scholarship on the exposure of children in Greece and Rome, foregrounding the ideological preconceptions and preoccupations which have driven debates and obscured what we can derive from our sources.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Patterson, C. B. “‘Not Worth the Rearing’: The Causes of Infant Exposure in Ancient Greece.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 115 (1985): 103–123.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/284192Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          An admirably balanced account, stressing that exposure of children was a significant phenomenon even if efforts to quantify it are fruitless. Though it was always an individual decision, patterns emerge: defective and illegitimate children were most likely to be exposed. But we should not assume that girls were more at risk than boys and sources express a variety of views on the economic benefits and burdens of children.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Birth and Infancy

                                                                                                                                                                          Köves-Zulauf 1990 is very much a book for specialists in Roman religion; not all appreciated it (see J. Linderski, American Journal of Philology 113 [1990] 303–304). Dasen 2009 covers as much more quickly and clearly from the perspective of social history. (The equivalent Athenian practices are handled in Golden 2015, cited under General Overviews: Greece.) Hanson 1994 has different aims, to identify male and female contributions to childbirthing in both Greece and Rome. See also Dasen 2004, cited under General Overviews, and Dasen 2015, cited under Mothers.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Dasen, V. “Roman Birth Rites of Passage Revisited.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 22 (2009): 199–214.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S1047759400020663Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Rituals from birth to naming on the dies lustricus, at eight or nine days, aimed to make newborns, ambivalent in status, fully human. They bear some resemblance to (other) rites of passage. But archaeological evidence shows that the newborn’s liminality might last for up to six months.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Hanson, A. E. “A Division of Labor: Roles for Men in Greek and Roman Births.” Thamyris 1 (1994): 157–202.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that men arranged for the equipment and medicines needed in childbirth (fathers supplying the birthing-stool from their own household resources) but reappeared only after birth (and after afterbirth). However, male physicians would intervene to help or replace midwives if there were complications.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Köves-Zulauf, T. Römische Geburtsriten. Munich: Beck, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Long, dense, and learned studies of three birth rituals at Rome. The first rejects the (widespread) belief that the Latin phrase tollere liberos refers to the literal raising by a father of a baby from the ground as a sign of acceptance into the household. The third connects ritual laughter at the Lupercalia, a festival with associations to both fertility and rites of passage, with an infant’s first laugh.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Adolescence and Coming of Age

                                                                                                                                                                                A subject with both ritual and socio-legal dimensions. Brelich 1969 is the most extensive treatment of Greek rituals of initiation into the community, especially for boys. Cole 1984, clear and compact, permits us to compare rites for boys and girls. Leitao 2003 explores one important ritual action. Robertson 2000 reviews the rules for entering into the political community of men at Athens, stressing the role of the subjective judgment of a boy’s maturity on the part of mature members of his deme. Such a judgment is a crucial part of formal coming of age at Rome too, though there it was exercised by the paterfamilias (Dolansky 2008). Kleijwegt 1991 is more concerned to show that young men contributed to the community before their formal maturity as well as after.

                                                                                                                                                                                • Brelich, A. Paides e Parthenoi. Rome: Edizioni dell’ Ateneo, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  An extended and often ingenious expression of the view that many Spartan cult and cultural institutions and, in a more attenuated state, those of other Greek cities represent the survival of a system of initiation for young people into the community, introduced sometime after the destruction of the palace societies of the Bronze Age.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cole, S. G. “The Social Function of Rituals of Maturation: The Koureion and the Arkteia.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 55 (1984): 233–244.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    A perceptive account of coming-of-age rituals for Greek boys and girls and of how their public nature reinforced distinctions in gender roles.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dolansky, F. “Togam virile sumere: Coming of Age in the Roman World.” In Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture. Edited by J. Edmondson and A. Keith, 47–70. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      When a Roman boy exchanged his bulla (amulet) and purple-hemmed toga praetexta for the unmarked toga virilis at fifteen or sixteen, he came of age. The process began with a series of rituals in the home and concluded, at Rome, at the forum and the Capitol, civic spaces with great religious and political importance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kleijwegt, M. Ancient Youth: The Ambiguity of Youth and the Absence of Adolescence in Greco-Roman Society. Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Collects evidence from inscriptions and elsewhere to assert that ancient youth, unlike modern adolescence, extended well into the twenties, prepared young men in particular to take on the social roles suited to their status, and was relatively free of intergenerational tension and turmoil.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Leitao, D. D. “Adolescent Hair-Growing and Hair-Cutting Rituals in Ancient Greece: A Sociological Approach.” In Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives: New Critical Perspectives. Edited by D. B. Dodd and C. A. Faraone, 109–129. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Outlines what is known about Greek boys’ hairstyles and hair-cutting rituals, arguing that the rituals and their timing were generally private, family matters which allowed a good deal of room for individual choice. Offerings of cuttings were usually made either to heroes or heroines—these resemble funereal hair-cutting—or to river gods.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Robertson, B. G. “The Scrutiny of New Citizens at Athens.” In Law and Social Status in Classical Athens. Edited by V. J. Hunter and J. Edmondson, 149–174. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            A full and insightful discussion of the Athenian dokimasia, the scrutiny required before a boy was admitted into the citizen body. The physical maturity of the boy’s body played no less important a role than his chronological age (usually seventeen or eighteen).

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Children and Slavery

                                                                                                                                                                                            Adult male citizens dominated Greek and Roman societies; the gulf that separated them from others obscured distinctions between subordinate groups. Publications on art and childminders (see Children in Greek Art, Children in Roman Art, Surrogates, Childminders, Fosterers) identify real and conceptual relationships between children and slaves. Golden 1985 examines a lexicographical link in Greek, Herrmann-Otto 1994 the household environment in which many slaves were born and raised at Rome. (See here too Saller 1994, cited under Family: Rome, on differences in the discipline thought fitting for slaves and free children.) Heinen 2012 collects a number of conference papers on slave children. Keegan 2013 handles evidence for a particular group of slaves at Rome.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Golden, M. “Pais, ‘child’ and ‘slave.’” L’Antiquité classique 54 (1985): 91–104.

                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.3406/antiq.1985.2143Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that the regular use of the same ancient Greek term for “child” and “slave” (as well as for the junior partner in a male homosexual pair) stems from the subordinate social status they shared.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Heinen, H., ed. Kindersklaven—Sklavenkinder: Schiksale zwischen Zuneigung und Ausbeutung in der Antike und im interkulturellen Vergleich. Beiträge zur Tagung des Akademievorhabens Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei (Mainz, 14. Oktober 2008). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2012.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Originating in a 2008 conference, contributions cover the history of scholarship on child slavery in Antiquity (Heinen), Greek slave families (Schmitz), free and slave child labor at Athens (Fischer), child prostitutes in archaic and classical Greece (Thomas), the bonds between slave mothers and their children (Weiler) and between free and slave children in the Roman household (Herrmann-Otto), the training and economic roles of Roman slave children (Binsfeld and Busch, Gamauf).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Herrmann-Otto, E. Ex Ancilla Natus: Untersuchungen zu den “hausgeborenen” Sklaven und Sklavinnen im Westen des römischen Kaiserreiches. Stuttgart: Steiner, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Voluminous study of children born to slave mothers in households of the Roman west, especially the emperor’s, with a complete list of the sources. Of particular interest is the discussion of the training these slave children got in larger establishments at least—often for jobs requiring their masters’ trust—and the affection tombstones announce for those who died young.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Keegan, P. “Reading the ‘Pages’ of the Domus Caesaris: Pueri delicati, Slave Education and the Graffiti of the Palatine Paedagogium.” In Roman Slavery and Roman Material Culture. Edited by M. George, 69–98. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examination of the graffiti of a building (likely) used for training young slaves of the imperial and other elite families from the 1st century to the 3rd, outlining their roles in domestic (and sexual) service.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Children in Religion and Cult

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The involvement of children in Greek religion above all continues to attract a good deal of attention, in good measure because of its prominent part in socialization. Müller 1990 handles the Greek evidence through the classical period. Seifert 2011 is restricted to Athenian family and phratry rituals of the same period; Dillon 2002 makes more use of images, sometimes reaching novel conclusions, and takes in all of Classical Greece but girls’ activities only. Hadzisteliou Price 1978 is a comprehensive survey of deities connected with nursing, Pache 2004 of infants and (some) older children who were worshipped as heroes. Mantle 2002 is a short, accessible survey of the Roman evidence for children’s participation in cult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dillon, M. Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion. London and New York: Routledge, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      An informative and well-illustrated study of the significant part played by (mostly adolescent) girls and women, citizens, foreigners and slaves, in Greek religion. Girls’ significant participation in public cults raises the question of their political involvement, broadly defined, in the life of the community.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hadzisteliou Price, T. Kourotrophos. Cults and Representations of the Greek Nursing Deities. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        An exhaustive account of the images and worship of nursing deities, who appeared in many different guises throughout the Greek world, organized by iconographical type, by geographical region, and by deity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mantle, I. C. “The Roles of Children in Roman Religion.” Greece and Rome 49 (2002): 85–106.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/gr/49.1.85Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A survey of the evidence for the roles of children outside the imperial family in Roman state religion from the 3rd century BCE to the 4th century CE, noting in particular the participation of groups of boys and girls in special occasions for ritual and their service as assistants (camilli, camillae) to priests and others responsible for sacrifices.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Müller, C. Kindheit und Jugend in der griechischen Frühzeit: Eine Studie zur pädagogischen Bedeutung von Riten und Kulten. Giessen, Germany: Focus, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            An illustrated account of representations of children in Greek literature and art from the Dark Ages to the Classical period, paying particular attention to their participation in (mainly Athenian) rites and festivals and the roles these played in their socialization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pache, C. O. Baby and Child Heroes in Ancient Greece. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Survey of evidence for the myths and cults of the children of Medea and of Heracles, Linus and Demophon, Pelops, and (especially) Opheltes-Archemorus and Melicertes-Palaemon, children who derive hero status from their untimely deaths rather than deeds in life (like adult heroes). Common motifs include the dangers which threaten young children, guilt and atonement for their deaths, and the resultant foundation of festival competitions and cults involving elements of mourning and initiation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Seifert, M. Dazugehörigen: Kinder in Kulten und Festen im Oikos und Phratrie: Bildanalysen zu attischen Sozialisationsstufen des 6. bis 4. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                A carefully organized study of the integration of children and adolescents into the classical Athenian community through participation in the religious activities of the family and the phratry. Influenced by semiotics and based on the examination of the depictions of children on vases and votive reliefs (some illustrated).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Children’s Labor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Children’s work is discussed in a number of the publications listed above, especially Bradley 1991 (cited under Family: Rome); Laes 2011; Laes, et al. 2015 (cited under General Overviews: Rome); and Heinen 2012 (cited under Children and Slavery). These three items provide full treatment of special cases: children on stage (Sifakis 1979), in a foundry (Jordan 2000), and as mediums in divination (Johnston 2001). The (slave or foreign) foundry worker has left a unique account of his experience. McEvoy 2013 treats the most special case of all, the children who ruled as emperors in the Roman west of the 3rd and 4th centuries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Johnston, S. I. “Charming Children: The Use of the Child in Ancient Divination.” Arethusa 34 (2001): 97–117.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/are.2001.0004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Examines the use of children as mediums by private seers and fortunetellers, a practice attested from the Hellenistic period but likely known earlier. Children were suitable because of their availability, their reputation for truthfulness, and (paradoxically) their suggestibility.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Jordan, D. R. “A Personal Letter Found in the Athenian Agora.” Hesperia 69 (2000): 91–103.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/148366Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    First publication of a lead letter, written by a slave or free foreign youth working in a foundry and complaining of his mistreatment. A unique first-person statement from a child in classical Athens.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McEvoy, M. A. Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West, AD 367-455. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664818.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Child-emperors, restricted to ceremonial and religious roles, allowed others to exercise power in their names. This helped establish the idea that the emperor was a figurehead—and proved problematic when boy emperors sought to influence events as adults.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sifakis, G. M. “Children in Greek Tragedy.” Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies of the University of London 26 (1979): 67–80.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-5370.1979.tb00498.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Both speaking and mute roles of children in Athenian tragedies of the classical period were played by boys.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Children’s Games, Toys, Pets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are good accounts in general books such as Wiedemann 1989 (cited under General Overviews: Rome), Neils and Oakley 2003, and Beaumont 2012 (the last two, both cited under Children in Greek Art, with excellent illustrations). Mühlbauer and Miller 1988 (also illustrated) sees interesting ties between Greek children’s toys and cult. Bradley 1998 goes further than other scholars in thinking about the importance of pets in the socialization of Roman children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bradley, K. R. “The Sentimental Education of the Roman Child: The Role of Pet-Keeping.” Latomus 57 (1998): 523–557.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Texts, inscriptions, and images from about 200 BCE to 200 CE indicate the regularity and importance of pets (especially dogs, horses, birds) to Roman children. Apart from their emotional value, pets might also provide models of behavior, as cocks did of courage.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mühlbauer, K. R., and T. Miller. “Spielzeug und Kult: Zur religiösen und kultischen Bedeutung von Kinderspielzeug in der griechischen Antike.” American Journal of Ancient History 13 (1988) [1996–1997]: 154–169.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A short but profusely illustrated essay arguing that many Greek toys were connected with religion, either because they were originally cult objects or because they continued to be used in both spheres of activity. This reflects the bond between children and the gods to whose protection they were entrusted.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Children’s Physical Development, Health, and Medicine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hummel 1999 is an excellent introduction to and collection of sources on children in later Greek medicine, Bertier 1996 a thorough analysis of much of the same material. Bolton 2016 deals with one important source, the late-1st-century/2nd-century physician Soranus. Dasen 2003 and Bradley 2005 widen the scope of the discussion to include popular strategies aimed at ensuring children’s health in Greece and Rome. (See also some of the chapters in Laes, et al. 2015, cited under General Overviews: Rome.) Bradley 2001 and Thomas 2010 take up other kinds of scientific expertise—on the interpretation of dreams and children’s speech—and in each case find evidence for keen interest in and close observation of children.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bertier, J. “La médecine des enfants dans l’époque impériale.” Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 2.37.3 (1996): 2147–2227.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A substantial review—eighty large pages—of pediatrics in the Roman Empire. Sections cover the sources, the child’s physiology, illnesses and treatments, the role of medicine in childrearing, influence and reception.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bolton, L. “Patience for the Little Patient: The Infant in Soranus’ Gynaecia.” In Homo Patiens—Approaches to the Patient in the Ancient World. Edited by G. Petridou and C. Thumiger, 265–284. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2016.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soranus’ Gynaecia, a treatise on women’s health, is characterized by remarkable compassion and concern for infants. Moreover, he may have been the first Greek to write so extensively on childcare.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bradley, K. R. “Children and Dreams.” In Childhood, Class and Kin in the Roman World. Edited by S. Dixon, 43–51. London and New York: Routledge, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The dreambook of Artemidorus, a Greek living in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, places a great significance on dreams about children (and on children’s dreams) and a high value on children themselves, especially on boys. But it also expresses anxiety about the burden they may impose. It provides precious insight into attitudes of people outside the elite.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bradley, K. R. “The Roman Child in Sickness and Health.” In The Roman Family in the Empire: Rome, Italy and Beyond. Edited by M. George, 67–92. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268412.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Medical and other writers noted children’s susceptibility to symptoms such as coughs, fevers, and sores and thought infections such as cholera and dysentery targeted them in particular. Appeals to healing gods and the use of protective devices demonstrate parents’ concern for children’s frailty as well as their awareness of the inadequacies of doctors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dasen, V. “Les amulettes d’enfants dans le monde gréco-romain.” Latomus 62 (2003): 275–289.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A brief but well-illustrated overview of the widespread ancient practice of placing amulets of precious metal and many other substances around children’s necks, primarily to ward off the evil eye and other dangers. Brings out regional variations, such as the Roman practice of using the bulla aurea to identify a freeborn child.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hummel, C. Das Kind und seine Krankheiten in der griechische Medizin: Von Aretaios bis Johannes Aktuarios (1. bis 14. Jahrhundert). Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A handy collection of passages related to children in medical writers from Aretaeus to Paul of Aegina (and beyond), including brief introductions to each author and his works (as well as to relevant portions of the Hippocratic Corpus), theories on the stages of childhood and their physiological markers, and children’s illnesses and diseases and their treatments.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomas, O. “Ancient Greek Awareness of Child Language Acquisition.” Glotta 86 (2010): 185–223.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.13109/glot.2010.86.14.185Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Drawing on modern studies of children’s acquisition of language, this well-informed article discusses relevant ancient theories, identifies stages of linguistic development in our extant texts, and analyzes one literary work in which a child’s language is prominent, the Homeric Hymn to Hermes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Children’s Food and Feeding

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Garnsey 1991 and Holman 1997 look at doctors’ recommendations on the feeding of children and their implementation by parents. Intentions were good, results less so. Bradley 1998 asks a different question: Did Roman children partake in family dinners?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bradley, K. R. “The Roman Family at Dinner.” In Meals in a Social Context: Aspects of the Communal Meal in the Hellenistic and Roman World. Edited by I. Nielsen and H. Sigismund Nielsen, 36–55. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Roman elite family did not customarily dine together; women and children must often have eaten separately or by themselves as the paterfamilias chose to form and reinforce bonds with more distant kin, clients, peers, and political allies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Garnsey, P. “Child Rearing in Ancient Italy.” In The Family in Italy from Antiquity to the Present. Edited by D. I. Kertzer and R. P. Saller, 48–65. New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Roman parents refused their newborns colostrum, used wet-nurses, fed them unhealthy and inadequate food at weaning. These are not symptoms of cruelty or indifference: on the contrary, they were following the best scientific and medical advice of the time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Holman, S. R. “Modeled as Wax: Formation and Feeding of the Ancient Newborn.” Helios 24 (1997): 77–95.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Accessible introduction to the ideas of the medical writers Soranus (2nd century CE) and Oribasius (4th century CE) on swaddling and feeding infants, arguing that the baby, like wax, was soft and malleable and needed to be shaped inside and out in order to develop healthily in body and in character.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Education of Boys

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Beyond the elementary stage (at least), Greek and Roman education in schools outside the home was an opportunity generally reserved for boys. Marrou 1956, though sometimes outmoded, is an enduring work of humane scholarship, learned in detail and informed with a deep sense of the ongoing value of ancient educational ideals. Beck 1964 is a sound and straightforward account of classical Greek education with a focus on the most famous teachers. Bonner 1977 does much the same service for Roman education, where the evidence allows more scope for the discussion of teaching methods, aids, and environments. Such practicalities are at the center of Cribiore 2001, which remains rooted in the evidence for Greco-Roman Egypt at the same time as it shows its wider applicability. Morgan 1998 should be read along with the review by R. Cribiore, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1999.05.22.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Beck, F. A. G. Greek Education 450–350 BC. London: Methuen, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Solid survey of Greek education in the classical period, most concerned with the ideas of major figures such as Plato, Xenophon, Isocrates, and Aristotle, but also making good use of the evidence of Athenian painted pottery.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bonner, S. Education in Ancient Rome: From the Elder Cato to the Younger Pliny. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reliable, detailed, and fully documented, with useful illustrations of material evidence (wax tablets, abacuses). Covers the history of Roman education from the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE, conditions and methods of teachers, curriculum.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cribiore, R. Gymnastics of the Mind: Greek Education in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This book stresses the nuts and bolts of education—class sizes and divisions, the sites of schooling, materials and methods, roles of women and parents—as revealed by papyri rather than educators’ theories. Literary sources from elsewhere in the Greek world are taken to generally corroborate the picture presented here; but there were variations everywhere, the results of chance (for example, the availability of teachers) and local circumstances.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marrou, H.-I. A History of Education in Antiquity. Translated by G. Lamb. London: Sheed and Ward, 1956.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        English translation (sometimes misleading) of Histoire de l’éducation dans l’Antiquité. First published in 1948. Lively and learned, still the most comprehensive account of ancient education, though inevitably out of date in places. Written by an eminent authority on Augustine and early Christianity who was especially sympathetic to the ideals and achievements of Hellenistic Greek education and its adoption by the Romans.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Morgan, T. Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ranging from elementary handwriting exercises to the fragments of Hellenistic educational theory, this book emphasizes the competitive nature of later Greek and Roman education and the reliance on excerpts and (in the Greek world above all) on moralistic tags and proverbs. There was a core curriculum that could be supplemented according to a teacher’s tastes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Socialization of Girls

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Greek boys were educated in schools. For girls, socialization took place to a greater extent in ritual contexts, through song and dance in choruses and participation in cult and festival activities which modeled and honored their future roles. Calame 1997 is the standard work; the English version includes changes initiated by the author but not the second part of the French original and its full and influential discussion of Alcman’s Partheneia. Brulé 1987 covers the cult curriculum of girls at Athens, Sourvinou-Inwood 1988 the controversial evidence (especially on vases) for one important part of it, paying attention to details of dress and physical development above all. Costume (of Roman girls) is also the concern of Olson 2008. While Sourvinou-Inwood insists on a rigorous scheme for the portrayal of young Athenian arktoi, Olson thinks Roman girls had a good deal of leeway in their choice of dress and accessories in everyday life. Caldwell 2015, the first comprehensive account of Roman girlhood, is less willing to attribute them with control over their choices. They could, however, earn credit for virtus, normally a masculine quality, if they defended their chastity with vigor. Moraw and Kieburg 2014 collects studies on girlhood in prehistory, the Ancient Near East, the Bronze Age Mediterranean, Late Antiquity and the early medieval period as well as fifteen (in German and English, with abstracts in both languages) on Greece and Italy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Brulé, P. La fille d’Athènes: La religion des filles à Athènes à l’époque classique; mythes, cultes et société. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beginning from a famous passage in Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata, Brulé examines a number of religious roles of elite Athenian girls in the classical period and explains them as stages of entry into the community. The women’s work they carry out in this ritual progression is valorized by its performance for divinities at public festivals.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Calame, C. Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece: Their Morphology, Religious Role and Social Functions. Translated by D. Collins and J. Orion. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              English translation of Les choeurs de jeunes filles en Grèce archaïque. I: Morphologie, fonction religieuse et sociale. First published in 1977. An authoritative study of choruses of girls in ancient Greece and the poetry that they sang. Asks who danced and led the choruses and in which religious and other rituals they participated and concludes that the choruses were meant to prepare girls for their adult gender roles, but included a homoerotic element.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Caldwell, L. Roman Girlhood and the Fashioning of Femininity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The only book-length discussion of girlhood, the early teen years especially, among the Roman elite, valuable despite some unsophisticated readings of the literary evidence. Though our (male) sources differ on many issues (the value of book learning, the desirability of early marriage), and rhetorical exercises flout or ignore legal norms, they agree in placing a high value on the dangers posed by girls’ sexuality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Moraw, S., and A. Kieburg, eds. Mädchen im Altertum/Girls in Antiquity. Münster, Germany, and New York: Waxmann, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A pioneering collection, with chapters focusing on issues of definition, on girls’ roles in religious cults and festivals, on their depiction in art. Moraw’s (English) introduction sticks closely to the arguments contributors make—and don’t: she notes the lack of a chapter on girls in the sex industry. Indeed, the emphasis is on the elite, though Athenian slaves are the subject of one chapter (Räuchle).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Olson, K. “The Appearance of the Young Roman Girl.” In Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture. Edited by J. Edmondson and A. Keith, 139–157. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Though literary sources offer information on the costume of Roman girls, much of this is rare or belied in the artistic record: it is prescriptive rather than a reliable description of what girls really wore. In fact, there was a lot of variety and choice available to girls of the elite in respect to dress, jewelry, and styles of hair and they were not as visually distinct from adults as is usually thought.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sourvinou-Inwood, C. Studies in Girls’ Transitions: Aspects of the Arkteia and Age Representation in Attic Iconography. Athens, Greece: Kardamitsa, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A rigorous and methodologically innovative study of the vases called krateriskoi, concluding that they correspond with textual sources setting the ages when (select) Athenian girls participated as “bears” in the ritual of the Arkteia as from five to ten. At ten, Athenian girls began the transformation into womanhood which was completed by marriage.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Children and Sexual Relations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No one knew the evidence for classical Athens better than Sir Kenneth Dover. Dover 1978 deploys its many facets to explain the conventions of Greek homosexuality, especially the roles and responses of young adolescent eromenoi. Buffière 1980 pursues the subject into later Antiquity. Both are chiefly occupied with relations of free men and boys. With Laes 2003 we are in a different world, the Roman household and the young slave delicia/deliciae who were favored parts of it and (often) favorite partners of its head. Martens 2015 argues that Christian prohibitions of pederasty only gradually took effect in Late Antiquity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Buffière, F. Eros adolescent: La pédérastie dans la Grèce antique. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1980.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Large-scale sympathetic study of Greek pederasty, especially useful for its treatment of post-classical poets, philosophers, and institutions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dover, K. J. Greek Homosexuality. London: Duckworth, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Path-breaking and widely influential account of (mostly male) homosexuality in Greece between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE, making particular use of the images on Athenian vases. Dover stresses the conventional expectations for the adolescent eromenos (passive, subordinate) and his older partner, the erastes (active, dominant).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Laes, C. “Desperately Different? Delicia Children in the Roman Household.” In Early Christian Families in Context. Edited by D. Balch and C. Osiek, 298–326. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Making full use of inscriptions as well as of literary evidence, this thorough study examines the roles of delicia/deliciae, slave and ex-slave children brought into elite Roman households as playmates, pets, companions, entertainers, and sexual partners, and offers a number of psychological, anthropological, and sociological approaches to understanding them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Martens, J. W. “‘I Renounce the Sexual Abuse of Boys’: Renegotiating the Boundaries of Sexual Behaviour in Late Antiquity by Jews and Christians.” In Children and Family in Late Antiquity: Life, Death and Interaction. Edited by C. Laes, K. Mustakallio, and V. Vuolanto, 169–211. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reviews pagan, Jewish, and Christian arguments against pederasty. While age was not an issue, boys were at risk of effeminacy. In the end, the Christian conviction (taken over from Judaism) that sexuality in itself militated against purity and holiness proved the most powerful influence in curtailing the practice.

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