Academic Year 2021/2022 - 2° Year - Curriculum Educatore nei servizi per l'infanzia
Teaching Staff: Cristina SORACI
Credit Value: 6
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The aim of the course is​

  • to discover the daily life of the child in the Roman world: from conception to birth, from the first days of life to nutrition issues, from the places, times and ways of education to the ludic issues, from relational aspects to premature death;
  • to provide an overview of the ancient sources on the subject, through the analysis of literary, historical, juridical, epigraphic texts and by the aid of archaeological remains (handworks, burial monuments, statues, bas-reliefs, etc…);
  • to analyze the child's place in the family and society, in a diachronic perspective that allows to show the traces of an evolution of thought;
  • to provide tools for the study and processing of historical data.

Course Structure

Frontal and interactive lessons

Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Detailed Course Content

  • The sources on childhood in the Roman world;
  • pregnancy and abortion;
  • birth and early moments of life;
  • the abandonment of children;
  • the feeding;
  • the premature death;
  • the games;
  • family education;
  • the elementary school;
  • the grammar and literature school;
  • education in Augustus’ time;
  • the child and the city;
  • legal inability of the child;
  • the Augustan law on children;
  • children in Christian thought.

Textbook Information

  1. J.-P. Néraudau, Il bambino nella cultura romana, in Storia dell’infanzia, I, Dall’Antichità al Seicento, a cura di E. Becchi e D. Julia, Laterza, Roma Bari 1996, pp. 30-60.
  2. G. Pedrucci, Maternità e allattamenti nel mondo greco e romano. Un percorso fra scienza delle religioni e studi sulla maternità, Roma 2018, pp. 92-110 e 234-249.
  3. F. Elia, L’alienatio liberorum in età imperiale: problemi sociali e interventi normativi, «QC», IV-V, 1992-93, pp. 361-402.
  4. C. Soraci, Iulia Florentina e il culto dei martiri catanesi, in Paesaggi del sacro tra memoria, storia e tradizione: attività di educazione permanente, a cura di B. Caruso e M.T. Di Blasi, Assessorato dei beni culturali e dell’identità siciliana - Dipartimento dei beni culturali e dell’identità siciliana, Palermo 2018, 23-30.
  5. V. Caminneci, A proposito di un amuleto dall’Emporion agrigentino: l’evidenza archeologica della morte del lattante nell’antica Agrigento, in La presenza dei bambini nelle religioni del Mediterraneo antico. La vita e la morte, i rituali e i culti tra archeologia, antropologia e storia delle religioni, a cura di C. Terranova, Roma 2014, pp. 217-255.
  6. E. Salza Prina Ricotti, Giochi e giocattoli, Roma 1995, pp. 7-72.
  7. A.M. Reggiani, Educazione e scuola, Roma 1990.
  8. C. Soraci, Lettura e formazione nel mondo romano, in Libri per l’infanzia, lettura e processi formativi. Dal tempo dell’oralità al tempo dell’iperconnessione, a cura di L. Todaro, Roma 2020, 139-161.
  9. P. Porena, Il lavoro infantile, in A. Marcone (a cura di), Storia del lavoro in Italia. L’età romana. Liberi, semiliberi e schiavi in una società premoderna, Roma 2016, pp. 663-685.​

Students may choose to study, as an alternative to the texts indicated above, the following volumes in French or English:

J.-P. Néraudau, Être enfant à Rome, Paris 1984


B. Rawson, Children and childhood in Roman Italy, Oxford 2003


M. Carroll, Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World. 'A Fragment of Time', Oxford 2018.

It is also possible to study a part of these volumes in French or English instead of one or some texts (above, numbers 1-8) that deal with the corresponding themes: the methods of replacing a part of the recommended Italian texts with those in English or French must be arranged with the teacher.

Erasmus or worker students or second cycle degree’s students who chose this course may arrange more in-depth programs with the teacher.