Motherhood and Infancies in the Mediterranean in Antiquity [Paperback]

Margarita Sánchez Romero (Editor); Rosa Cid López (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789250381 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Childhood in the Past Monograph | Year of Publication: 2018 | Language: English 296p, H240 x W170 (mm)

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Motherhood and Infancies in the Mediterranean in Antiquity


Motherhood and childhood are social and cultural constructions that have their origins in prehistoric times and are visible through Greek and Roman discourses in Antiquity. This volume explores various images of maternity and infancy, and the identification of women and womanhood in prehistoric and classic societies. Aspects such as the crucial role of maintenance activities and care, the processes of socialization and learning, the impact of infant death, the figure of the mother queen, the religious discourses about motherhood, the rules on parental rights, the transgressions of traditional motherhood and the emotional aspects of the mother-child relation are analysed. The book covers the ancient Mediterranean area, from Mesopotamia to the Iberian Peninsula and from prehistoric communities to classic societies, with Mesopotamian, Phoenician and Iberian examples. A multidisciplinary approach is adopted, analysing material culture, representations and texts to gain a deeper understanding of the plurality of motherhood, and the diversity of women’s agency through history.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1. Motherhood and infancies: archaeological and historical approaches
Margarita Sánchez Romero and Rosa Ma Cid López
2. The child is dead: decision-making and emigration in Bronze Age Iberia
Paloma González Marcén
3. Learning to be ...: learning and socialisation in ceramic productions during Bronze Age in peninsular southeast Spain
Eva Alarcón García, Juan Jesús Padilla Fernández, Alejandra García García and Luis Arboledas Martínez
4. Beyond biology: the constructed nature of motherhood(s) in ancient Near Eastern sources and studies
Agnès Garcia-Ventura
5. Death in birth: pregnancy, maternal death and funerary practices in the Phoenician and Punic world
Ana Delgado Hervás and Aurora Rivera Hernández
6. Looking after dead infants: the materialisation of care in Sicilian child burials (10th–7th centuries BC)
Meritxell Ferrer
7. Creating beings: relations between children and animals in the Iron Age Western Mediterranean
Mireia López-Bertran
8. Maternities in Iberian societies. From day-to-day life to sacredness
Carmen Rueda Galán, Carmen Rísquez Cuenca and Ana B. Herránz Sánchez
9. Motherhood, gender and identity in the Athenian polis
M. Dolors Molas Font
10. Childhood and motherhood in Ancient Greece: an iconographic look
Susana Reboreda Morillo
11. The (ir)relevance of being a mother. A legal perspective on the relationship between mothers and children in ancient Greece
Laura Pepe
12. The Queen and her children: Royal motherhood in Hellenistic Greece
María Dolores Mirón Pérez
13. Mors immatura, childhood and maternal–fi lial relationships in the carmina epigraphica. Case studies from the Iberian Peninsula
Rosa María Cid López
14. Mater civitatis: forms of patronage, charity and foundations for children
Almudena Domínguez-Arranz
15. Mothers and sons in Plutarch’s Roman Parallel Lives. Auctoritas and maternal infl uence during the Roman Republic
Borja Méndez Santiago
16. Seruae, mothers and the mother–child bond in Roman Italy. The analysis of the epigraphic evidence
Carla Rubiera Cancelas
17. On the margins of motherhood: images of the puella docta and the lover-poet in the Latin love elegy
Rosa Mª Marina Sáez
18. Childhood and maintenance. Legal norms related to education and guardianship of minors, from Antoninus Pius to Justinian
María Isabel Núñez Paz
19. The relationship of Iulia Mamaea and Alexander Severus, a young imperator. A review through literary sources
Pedro David Conesa Navarro
20. Representations of women, motherhood and childhood in Spanish primary school textbooks
Silvia Medina Quintana
21. Women and children omitted in the teaching of history: causes and consequences
Antonia Garcia Luque

Reviews & Quotes

"This edited volume is a forceful demonstration that motherhood and mother-child relationships are relevant to virtually every aspect of society and everyday life… It is remarkable that most contributions are accessible even to scholars from outside the field."
Christoph Schmidhuber
Bryn Mawr Classical Review (24/06/2019)

"...these issues, for which there is abundant archaeological and literary documentation, had, however, passed unnoticed in traditional academic studies...Released from this silence, these stories can now be returned to the place that they deserve as indispensable agents in the creation and continuation of human life. [Translated from Spanish]"
MaríaFernández Portaencasa
Desperta Ferro (19/07/2019)

"…. the most thorough synthesis of childhood and perceptions of children in the ancient Mediterranean to date… This work will be a valuable source for bioarchaeologists and prove a fascinating read for those interested in the historical period more generally."
Claire M. Hodson

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