Childhood in History: Perceptions of Children in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Childhood in History

Perceptions of Children in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, 1st Edition

Edited by Reidar Aasgaard, Cornelia Horn


384 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472468925
pub: 2017-07-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315571133
pub: 2017-07-20
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Inquiring into childhood is one of the most appropriate ways to address the perennial and essential question of what it is that makes human beings – each of us – human. In Childhood in History: Perceptions of Children in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, Aasgaard, Horn, and Cojocaru bring together the groundbreaking work of nineteen leading scholars in order to advance interdisciplinary historical research into ideas about children and childhood in the premodern history of European civilization. The volume gathers rich insights from fields as varied as pedagogy and medicine, and literature and history. Drawing on a range of sources in genres that extend from philosophical, theological, and educational treatises to law, art, and poetry, from hagiography and autobiography to school lessons and sagas, these studies aim to bring together these diverse fields and source materials, and to allow the development of new conversations. This book will have fulfilled its unifying and explicit goal if it provides an impetus to further research in social and intellectual history, and if it prompts both researchers and the interested wider public to ask new questions about the experiences of children, and to listen to their voices.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Reidar Aasgaard and Cornelia Horn, with Oana Maria Cojocaru

  3. Roots of character and flowers of virtues: a philosophy of childhood in Plato’s Republic
  4. Malin Grahn-Wilder

  5. Aristotle on children and childhood
  6. Hallvard J. Fossheim

  7. Roman conceptions of childhood: the modes of family commemoration and academic prescription
  8. W. Martin Bloomer

  9. Greco-Roman pediatrics
  10. Patricia Baker

  11. Ancient Jewish traditions: Moses’ infancy and the remaking of biblical Miriam in Antiquity
  12. Hagith Sivan

  13. Slave children in the first-century Jesus movement
  14. Marianne Bjelland Kartzow

  15. Aspects of childhood in second- and third-century Christianity: the case of Clement of Alexandria
  16. Henny Fiskå Hägg

  17. Children and childhood in Neoplatonism
  18. Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson

  19. Childhood in 400 CE: Jerome, John Chrysostom, and Augustine on children and their formation
  20. Reidar Aasgaard

  21. Children in Oriental Christian and Greek hagiography from the early Byzantine world (ca. 400–800 CE)
  22. Cornelia Horn

  23. "Pour out the blood and remove the evil from him": The creation of a ritual of birth (‘aqīqa) in Islam in the eighth century
  24. Mohammed Hocine Benkheira

  25. Conceptions of children and youth in Carolingian capitularies
  26. Valerie L. Garver

  27. Children and youth in monastic life: Western Europe 400–1250
  28. Brian Patrick McGuire

  29. Childhood in middle and late Byzantium: ninth to fifteenth centuries
  30. Alice-Mary Talbot

  31. New Perspectives on parent-child relations in early Europe: Jewish legal views from the High Middle Ages
  32. Israel Z. Gilat

  33. Voci puerili: children in Dante’s Divine Comedy
  34. Unn Falkeid

  35. Viking childhood
  36. Ármann Jakobsson

  37. Reactions to the death of infants and children in premodern Muslim societies: children in Mar‘i Ibn Yusuf’s plague and consolation treatises
  38. Avner Giladi

  39. Perceptions of children in medieval England

Nicholas Orme

About the Editor

Reidar Aasgaard is professor of intellectual history at the University of Oslo, Norway. He has published numerous books and articles on the New Testament, early Christianity, Christian Apocrypha, Augustine, and children and the family in antiquity. He is director of the research project "Tiny Voices from the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe".

Cornelia Horn is full professor of Christian Oriental studies at the Martin-Luther-University in Halle, Germany. She has published extensively in the fields of religion, literature, history, and society in the Mediterranean world, focusing in particular on women, children, extracanonical traditions, interreligious relations, and Syriac and Arabic Christianity.

Oana Maria Cojocaru earned her PhD degree in intellectual history (Byzantine studies) at the University of Oslo, Norway. Her doctoral thesis, which is part of the research project "Tiny Voices from the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe", deals with representations of children and childhood in medieval Byzantine hagiography.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval