- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Becoming Human: From the Embryo to the Newborn Child
- The Demography of Infancy and Early Childhood in the Ancient World
- Babies in the Well: Archeological Evidence for Newborn Disposal in Hellenistic Greece
- Infant Exposure and Infanticide
- The Child Patient of the Hippocratics: Early Pediatrics?
- Raising a Disabled Child
- Children in Archaic and Classical Greek Art: A Survey
- Children as Learners and Producers in Early Greece
- Shifting Gender: Age and Social Status as Modifiers of Childhood Gender in Ancient Athens
- Children in Athenian Religion
- Play, Pathos, and Precocity: The Three P’s of Greek Literary Childhood
- Children in Latin Epic
- The Socialization of Roman Children
- Slave and Lower-Class Roman Children
- Children and Childhood in Roman Commemorative Art
- Toys, Dolls, and the Material Culture of Childhood
- Roman Children and the Law
- Education in Plato’s <i>Laws</i>
- Boys, Girls, Family, and the State at Sparta
- Engendering the Scroll: Girls’ and Women’s Literacy in Classical Greece
- Educating the Youth: The Athenian Ephebeia in the Early Hellenistic Era
- The Ancient Child in School
- Children in Ptolemaic Egypt: What the Papyri Say
- Children in Roman Egypt
- Adoption and Fosterage in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
- Pictorial Paideia: Children in the Synagogue
- Children and “the Child” in Early Christianity
- Elite Children, Socialization, and Agency in the Late Roman World
- Remembering Children in the Roman Catacombs
- Stages of Infancy in Roman Amphora Burial
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter looks at the themes and motifs typically associated with children throughout Greek literature, arguing that they give us an indication of the way children and childhood are conceived of in Greek culture rather than a picture of social reality. The chapter uses three examples as paradigmatic (Apollo compared to a child knocking down a sandcastle in Iliad 15; Astyanax in the Iliad; and Pindar’s treatment of Achilles’ childhood in Nemean 3). Three motifs commonly associated with children and childhood in Greek literature—play, pathos, and precocity—are examined, and their connections to other important motifs, such as choral dancing, laughter, parental care and indulgence, the natural world, exposure, and survival are discussed. These create a general conception of childhood as, ideally, a carefree time of life characterized by laughter, play, and whimsicality, in which children are expected to be carefully tended and protected.
Louise Pratt, Professor of Classics, Emory University (USA).
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