There is little evidence to enable us to reconstruct what it felt like to be a child in the Roman world. We do, however, have ample evidence about the feelings and expectations that adults had for children over the centuries between the end of the Roman republic and late antiquity.Thomas Wiedemann draws on this evidence to describe a range of attitudes towards children in the classical period, identifying three areas where greater individuality was assigned to children: through political office-holding; through education; and, for Christians, through membership of the Church in baptism. These developments in both pagan and Christian practices reflect wider social changes in the Roman world during the first four centuries of the Christian era. Of obvious value to classicists, Adults and Children in the Roman Empire, first published in 1989, is also indispensable for anthropologists, and well as those interested in ecclesiastical and social history.
Adults and Children in the Roman Empire