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Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past

Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past
Author: Jenifer Neils - John H. Oakley
ISBN 13: 9780300099607
ISBN 10: 300099606
Edition: 1St Edition
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2003-09-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
List Price: $55.00

What was childhood like in ancient Greece? What activities and games did Greek children embrace? How were they schooled and what religious and ceremonial rites of passage were key to their development? These fascinating questions and many more are answered in this groundbreaking book-the first English-language study to feature and discuss imagery and artifacts relating to childhood in ancient Greece. Coming of Age in Ancient Greece shows that the Greeks were the first culture to represent children and their activities naturalistically in their art. Here we learn about depictions of children in myth as well as life, from infancy to adolescence. This beautifully illustrated book features such archaeological artifacts as toys and gaming pieces alongside images of them in use by children on ancient vases, coins, terracotta figurines, bronze and stone sculpture, and marble grave monuments. Essays by eminent scholars in the fields of Greek social history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, and art history discuss a wide range of topics, including the burgeoning role of childhood studies in interdisciplinary studies; the status of children in Greek culture; the evolution of attitudes toward children from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period as documented by literature and art; the relationships of fathers and sons and mothers and daughters; and the roles of cult practice and death in a child's existence. This delightful book illuminates what is most universal and specific about childhood in ancient Greece and examines childhood's effects on Greek life and culture, the foundation on which Western civilization has been based.

Author Biography: Jenifer Neils is Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University. John H. Oakley is chair of the department of classical studies, Chancellor Professor, and Forrest D. Murden Jr. Professor at the College of William and Mary.

This book is the catalogue for an exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (August 23 to December 14, 2003); the Onassis Cultural Center, New York (January 18 to April 1, 2004); the Cincinnati Art Museum (May 1 to August 1, 2004); and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (September 14 to December 5, 2004). Published in association with the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College

Library Journal

If women's roles were rarely discussed in Greek manuscripts, Greek children were pretty well invisible. As this book explains, what we know about childhood in ancient Greece comes primarily from snippets of information "scattered throughout Greek history, poetry, tragedy and comedy." Greek artists, however, did depict children realistically on vases and in figurines and sculptures. This book, which accompanies a traveling exhibit mounted for Dartmouth's Hood Museum by Neils (art history, Case Western Reserve Univ.) and Oakley (classical studies, Coll. of William & Mary), offers commentaries by scholars of literature, archaeology, Greek history, and more on a wide variety of topics. Essays discuss general attitudes toward and activities of children, the relationships between mothers and daughters and fathers and sons, children's place in religious practice, and children and death. The 200 black-and-white and 150 color images show a variety of archaeological artifacts, including toys, bronze and stone sculptures, vases, and terra cotta figurines. A critical source for childhood studies, this book is also recommended for classics and art history collections.-Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.