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date: 27 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter tracks children’s socialization process and their roles and responsibilities in family dynamics. How did children become members of the Greco-Roman elites of late antiquity? What were the limits of children’s agency in response to the activity and influence of parents and other socializing agents? The idea of performative childhood focuses the chapter on the activities of the children and their ways of adapting to changing environments, with emphasis on informal instruction, children’s own initiative, and stimulus given during the daily routines by the most intimate social circle, parents, household servants, and close kin. This social network based on cohabitation and kinship relations was ready to take care of them and to offer them comfort.

Keywords: Children, late antiquity, Christianity, socialization, agency, family, slaves, extended family, parents, education, play, storytelling

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