Abstract and Keywords
Within the matrix of Greek rituals, scholars have tended to group ‘life-change’ rituals into a special, separate category, because they are thought to mark or reflect a change in status of the participant. Within this working typology of life-change rituals, another distinction can be drawn between rituals performed within family groups and age-specific rituals, also divisional by gender, in which adolescent boys or girls are segregated from their families for a period of time, often living together in groups separated from the community. Rituals marking birth, marriage, and death belong to the former category and will be discussed first, focusing mostly on evidence from Classical Athens, the only context for which we have any significant evidence for all of these stages. The second section of this chapter will treat adolescent group activities, with a particular focus on the evidence for boys’ activities in Crete and Sparta and girls at Brauron.
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