Infants between biological and social birth in Antiquity : a phenomenon of the longue durée
Faculty of Arts. History
Historia: Zeitschrift für alte Geschichte: revue d'histoire ancienne. - Wiesbaden
, p. 364-383
University of Antwerp
This paper deals with the intermediate period between biological and social birth, the moment the neonate was accepted into the community. The phenomenon will be studied from the early Greek period to the early Middle Ages, with due attention to the Jewish and Christian tradition. I cite all the relevant primary sources. Also, the subject will be tackled from the point of view of sociocultural history, paying attention to the actual process of decision making. As such, I hope to shed new light on such vital issues as ancient concepts of normality, the individual's feelings and public response to mourning, the right of life as a moral or a juridical concept, the impact of Christianity and the endurance of tradition, and legislation versus decision making.