Youth in the Roman Empire: The Young and the Restless Years?

Youth in the Roman Empire: The Young and the Restless Years?

by Christian Laes, Johan Strubbe


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Modern society has a negative view of youth as a period of storm and stress, but at the same time cherishes the idea of eternal youth. How does this compare with ancient Roman society? Did a phase of youth exist there with its own characteristics? How was youth appreciated? This book studies the lives and the image of youngsters (around 15–25 years of age) in the Latin West and the Greek East in the Roman period. Boys and girls of all social classes come to the fore; their lives, public and private, are sketched with the help of a range of textual and documentary sources, while the authors also employ the results of recent neuropsychological research. The result is a highly readable and wide-ranging account of how the crucial transition between childhood and adulthood operated in the Roman world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107626720
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 05/31/2017
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Christian Laes is Associate Professor of Latin and Ancient History at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the University of Antwerp. He has published five monographs and over fifty international contributions on social history, especially the human life course in Roman antiquity. Childhood, youth, old age, marriage and sexuality as well as disabilities are the main focuses of his scholarly work. His book Children in the Roman Empire was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

Johan Strubbe was formerly Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ancient History at Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands. In his research he has focused on the Greek epigraphy of Asia Minor, and published many articles on social and economic subjects; he has also published two corpora of Greek inscriptions. His second long-standing interest is in children and youth in ancient society and he has published several articles, for example on consolation decrees for youngsters and on public offices held by young people.

Table of Contents

1. Questioning the concept of youth; 2. Minority, majority: youth, divisions of the human life course and Roman law; 3. Terminology and characteristics of youth; 4. Rites of transition; 5. Youth and ancient medicine; 6. Youth and education: the rhetor and 'university'; 7. Associations of adolescent youths; 8. Youthful behaviour; 9. Youths in public offices; 10. Occupational training; 11. Marriage; 12. Youth and Christianity: continuity or change?; Conclusion.

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