Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within

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9780521722292: Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within

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.

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Book Description:

This book uses a wide range of written and archaeological sources to explore the lives of the 'forgotten' children of ancient Rome: from child emperors to children in the slums, from young magistrates to little artisans, peasants and mineworkers. It also illuminates the similarities and differences between children's lives then and their lives today.

About the Author:

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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