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Look Inside Children in the Roman Empire

Children in the Roman Empire
Outsiders Within

$30.99 (C)

  • Author: Christian Laes, Free University of Brussels, University of Antwerp
  • Date Published: September 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107671225

$ 30.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Roman children often seem to be absent from the ancient sources. How did they spend their first years of life? Did they manage to find their way among the various educators, often slaves, who surrounded them from an early age? Was Roman education characterised by loving care or harsh discipline? What was it like to be a slave child? Were paedophilia and child labour accepted and considered 'normal'? This book focuses on all 'forgotten' Roman children: from child emperors to children in the slums of Rome, from young magistrates to little artisans, peasants and mineworkers. The author has managed to trace them down in a wide range of sources: literature and inscriptions, papyri, archaeological finds and ancient iconography. In Roman society, children were considered outsiders. But at the same time they carried within them all the hopes and expectations of the older generation, who wanted them to become full-fledged Romans.

    • Offers a broad view of both the reality of children's lives and the concepts of childhood in the Roman Empire
    • Includes specific case studies and real-life examples
    • Makes use of a wide range of sources: literature, papyri, inscriptions and legal documents, archaeology and osteology, as well as comparative material from demography and anthropology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "If you want to know all there is to know about children in classical (primarily non-Christian) Rome, Laes's learned, sensitive, and elegantly written book is the place to go."
    David Konstan, Common Knowledge

    "Laes has masterfully presented not only the social meaning of childhood in Roman antiquity, but also the grim realities of children’s lives."
    Ann-Cathrin Harders, The Journal of Roman Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107671225
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Methodological introduction
    1. How did children live? The demography, ecology and psychosocial reality of life in Roman antiquity
    2. Early childhood (0–7 years)
    3. Roman children at school (approximately 7-15 years)
    4. Roman children at work
    5. Paedophilia and paederasty
    Concluding remarks

  • Author

    Christian Laes, Free University of Brussels, University of Antwerp
    Christian Laes is an Assistant Professor of Latin and Ancient History at the Universities of Brussels and Antwerp. He has published widely on the experience of life in Roman times and late antiquity, and more specifically on the subjects of childhood and youth. To date he has published four books as well as some twenty international contributions on the subject.

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