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.Read more
- 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
Reviews & endorsements
'Superb.' The Times Literary SupplementSee more reviews
'Very useful as a reference work … it touches on nearly every question one might have about Roman childhood.' London Review of Books
'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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- 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
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
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