Coming of Age in Ancient Greece - Neils, Jenifer; Oakley, John H.; Hart, Katherine; Beaumont, Lesley A.; Foley, Helene; Golden, Mark; Korbin, Jill; Rutter, Jeremy; Shapiro, H. A. - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

Published in association with the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College  

Coming of Age in Ancient Greece

Images of Childhood from the Classical Past

  • Jenifer Neils and John H. Oakley; With contributions by Katherine Hart, Lesley A. Beaumont, Helene Foley, Mark Golden, Jill Korbin, Jeremy Rutter, and H. A. Shapiro
      REVIEWS             PREVIEW             CONTENTS             EXCERPTS      

Out of Print.

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.

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.