File Name: constructions of childhood in ancient greece and italy .zip
This volume represents the state of the art in Greco-Roman childhood studies and offers valuable resources to scholars of the ancient family, household, and lifecycle. Though the contributions cover a time-span ranging from the Minoan period through late antiquity, they are united by several shared methodological and theoretical presuppositions. In contrast to an earlier generation of childhood scholars, 2 the contributors agree that the perception of childhood as a unique stage of human social development is not a recent cultural invention.
The degree of integration of children into adult society also varies by culture, and several papers accordingly assert that literary and visual representations of children must be understood as part of coherent, localized cultural patterns rather than a premodern norm.
Several papers discuss the barriers to the goal of reconstructing the lives of ancient children. Pratt reads the parent-child relationship as an essential theme of the Iliad , one idealized in the affecting interaction between Hector and his son Astyanax. Numerous passages show parents, both human and animal, caring for their children and grieving at their loss. Lawton examines the representation of the stages of childhood development on Attic votive reliefs.
While babies are represented on votive reliefs as pre-social, toddlers have already begun to participate in worship with their families, and prepubescent children perform specific ritual actions such as raising their right hands or roasting meat.
Younger children are portrayed as having a more restricted vocabulary of gesture, and boys are more communicative than girls in their gestures. The gestures of younger boys are more similar to those of women, while those of older youths are more similar to those of the men they will become. Determining the relative ages of children, however, can become difficult when artists follow restrictive compositional schemata and do not provide adequate individuating detail.
Chapin compares the physical proportions of individual figures in the Bronze Age frescoes from Akrotiri by placing grids over them. This device enables her to assign particular figures to discrete several stages of childhood development: thus the Boxing Boys appear to be between 6 and 10 years old, the Fisherboys between 12 and 14, and so on. Educational curricula, both ancient and modern, present another typical way of marking the developmental stages of childhood.
The mosaics depict the maturation of Kimbros, a young Roman man, along with other characters such as his pedagogue Ph e ilios, his didaskalos Marianos, his grammatikos Alexandros, several of his fellow students, as well as personifications such as Philia and Paideia. Alberici and Harlow return to this letter of Jerome in their discussion of the rhetoric of Christian virginity. As the different curricula plotted out for Kimbros and Paula suggest, heavily gendered social and representational conventions governed passage through an ancient childhood.
Rehak examines the religious activities of girls from a variety of Minoan and Mycenean sites. Cohen discusses the impact of gender on visual representations of mythological scenes of abduction. Though her age varied slightly, the literary tradition made clear that the youthful Helen was considered too young to marry her year old abductor Theseus. There was no similar problem, however, in portraying Chrysippos as very young in scenes of his abduction by Laios. Ethnic affiliations and social status further complicate the visual representation of childhood.
Uzzi observes distinctions between the representation of Roman and non-Roman children in the official art of the Roman empire. Roman children commonly appear with their fathers but are rarely portrayed in the company of their mothers. Non-Roman children, however, most often appear in scenes of submission to Roman military forces, where they are shown torn away from helpless mothers or handed over by defeated fathers.
Ammerman examines terracottas from Paestum that indicate the blending of different artistic traditions within a multiethnic population. Grossman observes that when slaves are included in depictions of family groups on classical Attic funerary monuments, they are more likely to be female and prepubescent.
Huskinson draws distinctions between Roman funerary reliefs and more individualized funerary altars with portraits of children. The assertion of civic status is an essential goal in the reliefs erected by freedmen, and so in all but one case only a single child is represented as a token rather than as an accurate account of family composition.
Several papers discuss children or childlike figures as visual symbols. Smith examines the appearances of the character Komos on red-figure vases. He appears as a satyr in the company of Dionysus but as a human boy on vases that may reflect the Choes ritual, an important transition in the lives of Athenian boys. Once associated with the elite symposium, Komos became a figure of democratic ritual aimed in part at ensuring the survival of young boys.
In other contexts, the spirits of dead children were invoked by curse tablets whose authors attempted to influence the outcomes of chariot races.
Sorabella examines the development of the figure of the Sleeping Eros from a cunning god into a more realistic human child. Differing conceptions of the status of the child in society appear to have affected burial practices. Becker finds that an important transition took place around the age of 5 and a half at Etruscan Tarquinia up until the early seventh century: children below this age were buried under the eaves of the house, but older children were buried in cemeteries also occupied by adults.
Lagia surveys Athenian cemeteries from the Late Archaic through the early Roman period and concludes that the burial of infants and young children prior to the early Roman period depended on individual familial choice. The adoption of Roman customs, however, led to greater rates of burial of the youngest members of the family. Timothy J. Constantin A. Marinescu, Sarah E. Phyllis B. Lisa A. Anne P. The exhibition catalog is published as: Jennifer Neils and John H.
The exhibition website is accessible here. Skip to content. BMCR Hesperia Supplement Ada Cohen , Jeremy B. Rutter , Constructions of childhood in ancient Greece and Italy. Hesperia supplement ; Review by Neil W.
Rutter, eds. Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy. Hesperia Supplement ISBN At over hefty Hesperia-size pages, this collection is hard to pick up but better hard to put down too. Well illustrated and edited, its seven sections and twenty chapters listed below make a substantial contribution to the history of childhood in the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to late antiquity.
This volume represents the state of the art in Greco-Roman childhood studies and offers valuable resources to scholars of the ancient family, household, and lifecycle. Though the contributions cover a time-span ranging from the Minoan period through late antiquity, they are united by several shared methodological and theoretical presuppositions. In contrast to an earlier generation of childhood scholars, 2 the contributors agree that the perception of childhood as a unique stage of human social development is not a recent cultural invention. The degree of integration of children into adult society also varies by culture, and several papers accordingly assert that literary and visual representations of children must be understood as part of coherent, localized cultural patterns rather than a premodern norm. Several papers discuss the barriers to the goal of reconstructing the lives of ancient children.
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