- 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
With the rise of Christianity came an enhanced focus on the lives and pursuits of children. Thus, material drawn from early Christian texts, especially homilies and hagiographical writings, allows us to construct a fuller picture of late antique childhood. Because children could be fully initiated into this new religion, they were also eligible to hold minor offices and to enter monastic communities. Accompanying these concrete practices was a developing concept of the child. This notion was strongly ambivalent. On one hand, children were praised as ideal disciples who possessed ascetic virtues “by nature.” On the other, they were invoked as figures of unrestrained passion and worldly concern: the epitome of a lack of virtue. Early Christian authors mobilized both sets of associations to convey their understanding of basic human nature and to shame their listeners into moral renovation.
Blake Leyerle, Associate Professor of Early Christianity, University of Notre Dame (USA).
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