Beryl Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Beryl RawsonChildren and Childhood in Roman Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.


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Ce livre fait partie de la bibliographie indicative pour la nouvelle question d’Histoire ancienne pour le CAPES et l’Agrégation disponible sur ce blog.

Un aperçu du livre est disponible sur Google Books ici.

  • Présentation de l’éditeur : 

Concepts of childhood and the treatment of children are often used as a barometer of society’s humanity, values, and priorities. Children and Childhood in Roman Italy argues that in Roman society children were, in principle and often in practice, welcome, valued and visible. There is no evidence directly from children themselves, but we can reconstruct attitudes to them, and their own experiences, from a wide variety of material – art and architecture, artefacts, funerary dedications, Roman law, literature, and public and private ritual. There are distinctively Roman aspects to the treatment of children and to children’s experiences. Education at many levels was important. The commemoration of children who died young has no parallel, in earlier or later societies, before the twentieth century.

This study builds on the dynamic work on the Roman family that has been developing in recent decades. Its focus on the period between the first century BCE and the early third century CE provides a context for new work being done on early Christian societies, especially in Rome.


  • Advances the subject much further than it has ever gone before
  • Offers a comprehensive survey of the evidence
  • Illuminates the contemporary debate concerning the upbringing of children
  • Shows that the assumption of a simple linear development – from repression to permissiveness – over the last twenty centuries is unjustified


« This book is a welcome addition to the shelves … on Roman childhood she [Rawson] is the recognized authority. » – Tom Hillard, Ancient History: Resources for Teachers

« This monograph will provide its readers with so many thought-provoking images and much enlightenment. » – Tom Hillard, Ancient History: Resources for Teachers

« … a rich and up-to-date synthesis of the available material. Roman family studies have in recent years become an extraordinarily productive research field, and Rawson herself has played a leading part in this development. The appearance of this comprehensive study … is to be warmly welcomed. » – John Rich, Times Literary Supplement

« … comprehensive and detailed social history. » – Antiquity

« …we have to admire the author’s knowledge and recognize that the book will become the reference book for the study of childhood in Roman Italy. » – Continuity and Change, Volume 21/1

« … immensely learned book … Rawson offers a spectacular array of information about every aspect of childhood … an invaluable source of information and ideas that will inform the study of Roman family life for years to come. » – The Journal of Classics Teaching

« This is a fine work of scholarship. Rawson employs impeccable methodology when dealing a variety of material: literary, documentary and visual. Sensitively written, in a lucid manner, the book is easily accessible to the interested, non-specialised reader. Rawson’s aim, to produce a book that will be of relevance outside of the discipline, has been achieved admirably; she succeeds in bringing the Roman family vividly to life. The work should have appeal for anyone interested in the social history of Rome or the place of the child within the family. With Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, Beryl Rawson has made yet another major contribution to the social history of Rome during the first three centuries. » – Gillian Bowen, Monash University

« Beryl Rawson’s book fills a major gap in scholarship. An impressive and thorough investigation of both literary and visual evidence on children and childhood in Roman Italy, it goes beyond that into a re-appraisal and re-telling of Roman history by looking at the role of children in the making of history. » – Andromache Karanika

« This is an excellent book that not only answers questions but breaks new ground and invites further research…this is a book that indeed opens up new horizons in the construction of childhood in the ancient world. » – Andromache Karanika


  • Sommaire 

Part 1.1: Representations
Part 2. The Life Course
2: Welcoming a New Child
3: Rearing
4: Ages and Stages
5: Education
6: Relationships
7: Public Life
8: Death, Burial, and Commemoration
Chronological Guide


Pour en savoir plus, voir notamment le site de l’éditeur.


Une réflexion sur “Beryl Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.

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