Children in Antiquity
Perspectives and Experiences of Childhood in the Ancient Mediterranean
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This collection employs a multi-disciplinary approach treating ancient childhood in a holistic manner according to diachronic, regional and thematic perspectives. This multi-disciplinary approach encompasses Classical Studies, Egyptology, ancient history and the broad spectrum of archaeology, including iconography and forensic science.
With a chronological range of the Bronze Age to Byzantium and regional coverage of Egypt, Greece, and Italy this is the largest survey of childhood yet undertaken for the ancient world. Within this chronological and regional framework both the social construction of childhood and the child’s life experience are explored through the key topics of the definition of childhood, daily life, religion and ritual, death, and the information provided by bioarchaeology. No other volume to date provides such a comprehensive, systematic and cross-cultural study of childhood in the ancient Mediterranean world. In particular, its focus on the identification of society-specific definitions of childhood and the incorporation of the bioarchaeological perspective makes this work a unique and innovative study.
Children in Antiquity provides an invaluable and unrivalled resource for anyone working on all aspects of the lives and deaths of children in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Table of Contents
Investigating the ancient Mediterranean ‘childscape’
Lesley A. Beaumont, Matthew Dillon and Nicola Harrington
PART I: What is a child?
1. The ancient Egyptian conception of children and childhood
2. What is a child in Aegean prehistory?
Anne P. Chapin
3. Ideological constructions of childhood in Bronze and Early Iron Age Italy: Personhood between marginality and social inclusion
4. Defining childhood and youth. A regional approach to Archaic and Classical Greece: the case of Athens and Sparta
Lesley A. Beaumont
5. The child in Etruscan Italy
6. Children and the Hellenistic period
7. Roman childhood revisited
8. From birth to rebirth: Perceptions of childhood in Greco-Roman Egypt
Lissette M. Jiménez
9. Looking for children in Late Antiquity
10. From village to monastery: finding children in the Coptic record from Egypt
PART II: Daily Life
11. The child’s experience of daily life in ancient Egypt
12. Changing states: Daily life of children in Mycenaean and Early Iron Age Greece
13. Children in early Rome and Latium
Sanna Lipkin and Eero Jarva
14. Being a child in Archaic and Classical Greece
Robert S.J. Garland
15. The daily life of Etruscan babies and children. Larissa Bonfante
16. Being a child in the Hellenistic world. A subject out of proportion?
17. Different lives: Children’s daily experiences in the Roman world
18. Children as instruments of policy in Hadrian’s Egypt
19. Daily life of children in Late Antiquity – Play, work and vulnerability
PART III: Religion and Ritual
20. "Child in the nest": Children in Pharaonic Egyptian religion and rituals
21. Children and Aegean Bronze Age religion
22. Initiating children into Italian Bronze and Early Iron Age ritual, religion and cosmology
Erik van Rossenberg
23. Children in Archaic and Classical Greek religion: Active and passive ritual agencyMatthew Dillon
24. Children in Etruscan religion and ritual
Jean MacIntosh Turfa
25. Children’s roles in Hellenistic religion
26. Children in Roman religion and ritual
27. Children, Religion and Ritual in Greco-Roman Egypt
28. The child in Late Antique religion and ritual
PART IV: Death
29. Child, infant and foetal burials in the Egyptian archaeological record: Exploring cultural capacities from the Predynastic to Middle Kingdom Periods (ca.4400-1650 BC)
Ronika K. Power
30. "Do not say ‘I am young to be taken’": Children and death in ancient Egypt – Second Intermediate Period to the Late Period
31. Children and death in Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Greece
32. Children, death and society in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Sicily
33. Children and death in Archaic and Classical Greece
34. Infancy and childhood in funerary contexts of Early Iron Age Middle Tyrrhenian Italy: a comparative approach
Francesca Fulminante and Simon Stoddart
35. Child death in the Hellenistic world
36. Death of a Roman child
37. Death of a child: demographic and preparation trends of juvenile burials in the Graeco-Roman Fayoum
Kerry Muhlestein and R. Paul Evans
38. Infant mortality, Michael Psellos, and the Byzantine demon Gillo
PART V: Bioarchaeology
39. The bioarchaeology of children in Greco-Roman antiquity
Kathryn E. Marklein and Sherry C. Fox
40. Infancy and childhood in Roman Egypt: Bioarchaeological perspectives
Sandra M. Wheeler, Lana Williams and Tosha L. Dupras
41. "The greatest of treasures": Advances in the bioarchaeology of Byzantine children
Lesley A. Beaumont is Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Her many publications on children in classical antiquity include Childhood in ancient Athens: Iconography and Social History (Routledge 2012). She co-organised the 2015 international conference on ‘Children in Antiquity’ at the University of Sydney and co-curated the accompanying Nicholson Museum exhibition.
Matthew Dillon is Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia. He has written extensively on Greek religion and society.
Nicola Harrington is an Egyptologist who received her DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis formed the basis of her monograph Living with the dead: ancestor worship and mortuary cult in ancient Egypt. Her research interests include religion, childhood, and mental illness in antiquity.
"I applaud the editors of this volume! They have successfully put a spotlight on the importance of studying the roles children played in the ancient world. Through this new lens, they show that innovative observations can be made concerning ancient religion, funerary practices, the family, women and gender, and the value systems of ancient societies. In addition to covering a range of Mediterranean time periods and cultures, the editors provide us with essays that investigate a single time period from different angles; the reader will thereby be able to acquire the most holistic understanding of the subject possible. Perhaps most precious of all, these essays show that studying children can offer rather moving glimpses of the lived emotions of ancient individuals." - Susan Lupack, Macquarie University, Australia
“Childhood in Antiquity is the most broadly based study of ancient Mediterranean children to date, employing the most diverse set of sources to understand them. It is the most chronologically and geographically diverse set of essays about children from the ancient Mediterranean, and is a very useful and broad contribution to the study of ancient children.” - John H. Oakley, The College of William and Mary, USA
"This informative volume, immersive in range and depth, represents a stellar effort to synthesize and advance our knowledge of ancient childhood in the eastern Mediterranean. Its emphasis on variability in the experience, conceptualization, and representation of childhood, its cross-cultural perspectives, and its attention to both certainties and gaps in our understanding are salutary. Lucid and engaging, all essays offer glimpses into distinct but interrelated sets of issues and will stimulate scholarly interest and further research." - Ada Cohen, Dartmouth College, USA