Childhood and education: a view from the past



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4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION:

A VIEW FROM THE PAST

The Central Public Library of Sparti, 17-19 September 2010

Κεντρική Δημόσια Βιβλιοθήκη Σπάρτης, 17-19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

Organised by / Διοργάνωση:

The University of Nottingham and the Cultural Centre of Sparti

Το Πανεπιστήμιο του Νόττιγχαμ και το Πνευματικό Κέντρο Σπάρτης

In collaboration with / Σε συνεργασία με

  • The Centre for Spartan & Peloponnesian Studies, University of Nottingham/ Κέντρο Σπαρτιατικών & Πελοποννησιακών Σπουδών, Πανεπιστήμιο του Νόττιγχαμ

  • The Central Public Library of Sparti / Κεντρική Δημόσια Βιβλιοθήκη Σπάρτης

  • The Cultural House of Sparti / Πνευματική Εστία Σπάρτης

  • The Coumantareios Art Gallery – Branch of the National Gallery of Greece / Κουμαντάρειος Πινακοθήκη – Παράρτημα της Εθνικής Πινακοθήκης

  • Hellenic Ministry of Education - The General State Archives for Laconia / Υπουργείο Παιδείας- Γ.Α.Κ. Ν. Λακωνίας

PROGRAMME

Friday 17 September 2010

Παρασκευή 17 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010


18.00-18.30

Conference Registration

Εγγραφή Συνεδρίου

19.00-19.20

Opening of Conference

Έναρξη Συνεδρίου

19.20-20.00

Award Ceremony for Professor Stephen Hodkinson’s Honorary Citizenship of Sparta
Τελετή αναγόρευσης του καθηγητή Stephen Hodkinson σε επίτιμο Δημότη Σπαρτιατών


20.00-20.30

SSCIP Conference Keynote Address by

Εναρκτήρια Διάλεξη Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου από τον
Professor Jan Bremmer (University of Groningen)
The Initiation Rites of Spartan Girls’


21.00

Reception hosted by the Town Council of Sparti at the Menelaion Hotel
Δεξίωση στο «Ξενοδοχείο Μενελάϊον» υπό την αιγίδα του Δήμου Σπαρτιατών

Saturday 18 September 2010

Σάββατο 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010

Morning Session

Πρωινή Συνεδρία



09.00-09.20

Dr Mercourios Georgiadis (University of Nottingham & Open University of Cyprus), Child burials in southern Greece during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods


09.20-09.40

David Smith (University of Liverpool), ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Reconciling identities in life and death: The ‘social’ child in the Early Helladic Peloponnese, Greece


09.40-10.00

Dr Christina Aamont (Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Tourism), Children as acolytes in Mycenaean cult


10.00-10.20

Coffee/Tea Break


10.20-10.40

Dr Eileen Murphy (Queen’s University Belfast), Childhood Health at Medieval Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland


10.40-11.00

Dr Sally Crawford (The Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford), Spinning yarns and weaving futures: female and juvenile spaces in early Anglo-Saxon settlements


11.00-11.20

Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich), Girls’ education in San Francisco, 1776-1920: Class, immigration, ethnicity and “extended” school facilities


11.00-11.20

Discussion


11.20-12.00

Eleni Tzinieri (Director of the Central Public Library of Sparta), Presentation of the Educational Programmes organised by the Central Public Library of Sparti



12.00-13.00

Visit at the Coumantareios Gallery – Branch of the National Gallery of Greece


13.00-17.00


Lunch Break


Afternoon Session

Απογευματινή Συνεδρία


18.00-18.20

Metaxia Papapostolou, Dr Pantelis Konstantinakos, Professor Kostas Mountakis and Professor Kostas Georgiads (University of Peloponnese), The kinetic activities of children during religious ceremonies and rituals and their social role in archaic and classical Sparta

18.20-18.40

Professor Stephen Hodkinson (University of Nottingham), Some recent controversies in the education of Spartan boys


18.40-19.00

Dr Annalisa Paradiso (University of Basilicata) and Dr Chrysanthi Gallou (University of Nottingham), Thieves’ Academy: Learning how to become a thief and a cheater in ancient Sparta


19.00-19.20

Coffee/Tea Break


19.20-19.40

Dr James Roy (University of Nottingham), ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Education in classical Arkadia


19.40-20.00

Dr Konstantinos Mantas (Hellenic Ministry of Education), ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­From Sappho to St. Macrina and Hypatia: The changing patterns of women’s education in postclassical antiquity

20.00-20.20

Discussion


20.20-20.45
21.00

Final Remarks – Closing of SSCIP Conference
SSCIP Conference Dinner at the ‘Peinologeion Restaurant’


Sunday 19 September 2010

Κυριακή 19 Σεπτεμβρίου 2010
11.00 Opening of Art Exhibition “The Secret” by Giorgos Kontominas at the Cultural House of Sparti

Eγκαίνια Έκθεσης Ζωγραφικής με τίτλο “To Μυστικό” του Γιώργου Κοντομηνά στη Στέγη της Πνευματικής Εστίας της Σπάρτης

Abstracts


ABSTRACTS
Dr Christina Aamont (Hellenic Ministry of Education & Tourism), Children as acolytes in Mycenaean cult

The aim of this paper is to examine the participation of children in Mycenaean cult. The depiction of children in Mycenaean art in scenes of a cultic character seems to suggest that children may have had an active role in the performance of cult practices, perhaps as acolytes. In addition, it is plausible that this participation of children in cult aimed at training them as future priests and priestesses.



Dr Sally Crawford (University of Oxford), Spinning yarns and weaving futures: Female and juvenile spaces in early Anglo-Saxon settlements

The use of space within early Anglo-Saxon settlements is relatively little understood. In this paper, distributions of artefacts associated with weaving and spinning in excavated settlements will be discussed, and a case will be made that these areas may also be associated, through the archaeological evidence, with the presence of children and infants who were learning textile-making skills in and around textile-making areas.



Dr Mercourios Georgiadis (University of Nottingham & Open University of Cyprus), Child burials in Southern Greece during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods

This paper aims at presenting the role of children during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods through the burial practices. They provide useful information from various contexts in southern Greece on how local societies treated their children. For that reason a presentation of cemeteries according to the different chronological phases will be made. This allows a synchronous comparison between sites and an understanding of the social conditions of each period. Thus, the development of the beliefs and treatments towards children will become apparent. In this analysis the practices of adult burials will be compared and contrasted to the child ones, in order to highlight their significance in their local societies. The role of children seems to have an important social and symbolic role in the Mesolithic and Neolithic southern Greece.



Professor Stephen Hodkinson (University of Nottingham), Some recent controversies in the education of Spartan boys

The predominant modern image of the upbringing of Spartan boys envisages a publicly organised educational system, unique within the classical Greek world, dedicated primarily to military training. Over the last 15 years this image has come under increasing challenge in specialist works, perhaps not well-known outside the field of Spartan studies, which have questioned both the extent of state control over a boy’s upbringing and its military orientation. These new interpretations have been grounded in a more critical approach to the nature and quality of the ancient evidence and in a greater appreciation of how standard academic accounts of Spartan education have been influenced by the modern intellectual and political climate. Not unsurprisingly, these revisionist arguments have not gone unchallenged by proponents of the more traditional views; and the revisionists themselves far from unanimous on certain crucial questions. My paper will outline the main issues involved in current controversies and assess the current state of debates about the character of the education of Spartan boys.



Dr Konstantinos Mantas (Hellenic Ministry of Education), From Sappho and Diotima to St Macrina and Hypatia: The changing patterns in women’s education in postclassical antiquity

The ancient sources are silent on women in general and on women’s education in particular. It is well known that there was perhaps a kind of liberal education for the daughters of the aristocratic oikoi in some archaic city-states: the fragments of Sappho’s poetry are testimony to such a hypothesis. Also, we have some ambiguous sources referring to the education of the Spartan women. All these are well known topoi in the historiography of women’s education in antiquity. Nevertheless, the Greek world changed drastically in the Hellenistic era and even more in the Roman Imperial period. The city-states were transformed politically, socially and economically, due to the “globalization” brought about by the establishment of the Roman Empire. All these political and economical changes affected the position of women in the emerging “Graeco-Roman” world. A series of inscriptions of Hellenistic date, present us with the information that the citizens’ daughters in some cities of Asia Minor were enrolled in the local schools, albeit in the lower grades. Other inscriptions, of both Hellenistic and Roman date, praise women who excelled in poetry, music or, generally, in the liberal arts. All these sources are focused on female members of the social elite. We can deduce that, at least, some religious posts which were open to women, required that their incumbents were well versed in literature and music. There is also the problem of girls’ participation in athletics. I have analysed this topic in an earlier article of mine and I concluded that although girls participated in some athletic games, the fact that there were female gymnasiarchs does not prove that women were accepted in the gymnasium. Recent work by other researchers made me to, somehow, reconsider my then conclusions. In Rome itself girls attended school up to the age of twelve; after that age they were married off, so their further education was left in the hands of their husbands. In all probability, the same was true for Greek women, too. There were some exceptions, a few women were given an education similar to that of men. In most cases, they were members of families well -known for their long tradition in the pursuit of Knowledge. Most of the female doctors of the Roman era, seem to have belonged to this category. Sometimes, girls were given vocational education, they were trained as midwives, secretaries, copyists, but their status was low, they were slaves or freedwomen. Finally, the women of the Late Antiquity do not seem to differ radically on their educational profile compared to their sisters of earlier historical eras. The epigraphical and literary sources present us with the picture of some well educated ladies of the elite, but the emergence of Christianity changed the syllabus which was considered appropriate for women: The Homeric poetry, tragedies and comedies were thought of as too sexually explicit for girls, so a St. Macrina could have been well –versed in the Bible but not in the work of the “pagan” authors. In the 5th century, Hypatia seems to had been a really exceptional woman.

Dr Mary Clare Martin (University of Greenwich), Girls’ education in San Francisco, 1776-1920: Class, immigration, ethnicity and “extended” school facilities

While the gloomy picture of girls’ education in Europe and America has been partially revised, little has been written making cross-cultural as well as cross-class comparisons in the context of immigration and ethnic difference. This micro-study of San Francisco, initially part of Mexico, from the 1770s to the 1920s provides insights into the complex interactions of multiculturalism, cultural imperialism and ethnic difference, with particular reference to the experiences of girls. While, from 1776, Spanish missionaries worked to change the lifestyle, religion and training of the Ohlone Native Americans, by the 1850s, Spanish had become a minority language in the emergent public school system. Nevertheless, the importance of bilingualism was recognised to the extent that in the 1890s, materials for the parent-teacher association were produced in English and Spanish. By that date, novel means of incorporating new ethnic groups, including the Chinese, into the American body politic had been developed, including “free” kindergartens and clinics. As immigrants from small German villages and from Ireland established themselves in the new elite, they adopted a range of educational opportunities for their daughters. Some girls attended establishments which maintained links with their ethnic and religious roots, examples being convents attended by girls of Irish families who had arrived via the overland trek, or boarding with a German day school teacher in Baltimore. By the 1890s, older girls who attended academies and high schools, were writing self-confidently about their school experiences in magazines and other publications. This paper will highlight some of the main strategies used by different social and ethnic groups, either to maintain ethnic identity, or to promote assimilation. In particular, it will explore the role of “extended” facilities, or those which provided pre-school or out-of-school education and recreation, and their perceived function in fostering either assimilation, or ethnic identity.



Dr Eileen Murphy (Queen’s University Belfast), Childhood health at Medieval Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Excavations at the Medieval cemetery of Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal, Ireland, uncovered the skeletons of some 1300 individuals, 427 of which were those of non-adults. Children of all ages were present from premature babies to older teenagers and the assemblage represents one of the largest collections of non-adult remains to have been discovered in a consecrated burial ground in Ireland. Numerous palaeopathological lesions were identified, including developmental defects, infections and trauma as well as signs of malnutrition and physiological stress during childhood in the form of cribra orbitalia, enamel hypoplasia and possible evidence for scurvy. Two adult individuals displayed evidence for the rare developmental condition multiple osteochondromas which would have first manifested during young childhood. The analysis of the data is still ongoing and the paper will provide a first overview of the palaeopathological information derived from the population relating to diseases and conditions which would have affected children. The information will be scrutinised to see what it can shed concerning the health and day to day existence of these individuals. The findings will also be compared to those derived from other Irish Medieval cemeteries.



Metaxia Papapostolou, Dr Pantelis Konstantinakos, Professor Kostas Mountakis and Professor Kostas Georgiadis (University of Peloponnese), The kinetic activities of children during religious ceremonies and rituals and their social role in archaic and classical Sparta

All ancient Greek city-states held religious festivals and imitation rites with kinetic activities (dance, athletic contests) which contributed to the socialisation of the youth; in Sparta such activites were more frequent and more public. Through such activities, the Spartan society reached the highest level of social cohesion. In Sparta the rise in the higher ranks of society was accomplished through competition and performance in kinetic/athletic activities. Glory that was achieved through victory in the athletic events of local and Panhellenic character was a powerful criterion for the Spartan citizen’s appointment to high public offices.




Dr Annalisa Paradiso (University of Basilicata) and Dr Chrysanthi Gallou (University of Nottingham), Thieves’ Academy: Learning how to become a thief and a cheater in ancient Sparta

One of the most famous stories we have inherited from ancient Sparta is the tale of a Spartan boy who was eaten alive by a fox-cub while he was hiding it under its cloak and refused to reveal the theft. This anecdote alludes to one of, if not, the strangest and most difficult to explain, educational practices in ancient Greece: the fact that during their education Spartan boys were compelled to cheat and steal. In this paper we aim to re-assess the earlier research on cheating and theft in ancient Spartan education and to suggest that the sources related to this peculiar Spartan custom deserve further examination. The meaning of the practice may be examined in the context of the political/social rather than the military training of the Spartan paides.



Dr James Roy (University of Nottingham), Education in classical Arcadia

While there is evidence for highly educated individuals, both men and women in classical Arkadia (although some scholars have seen the region as backward), evidence for education generally in Arkadia is patchy and scarce except as regards training in music and dancing to music. Greeks generally valued music and dancing, but in Arkadia they were held in particular esteem and practised intensively. Training was reinforced by public occasions for performance. Music was held to promote moral character, and in addition songs were sung to commemorate local traditions. It is however possible to see that Arkadian taste in music evolved over time.



David Smith (University of Liverpool), Reconciling identities in life and death: The ‘social’ child in the Early Helladic Peloponnese

Childhood is a well-recognised compromise between individual physiological development and the cultural recognition of this development as marked by certain socio-cultural actions or access to previously restricted cultural behaviours. However, the ‘child’ in the Early Helladic Peloponnese is recognised only in death; there are no written records, no categories of cultural object that are unambiguously those of the child, and no examples of Early Helladic ‘art’ that might be unequivocally identified as the work of a sub-adult hand. Instead we recognise the ‘child’ only within a problematic dataset of regularly disturbed, and often sparsely furnished, burials. Nevertheless, children are represented within this context and even pre- and neo-natal fatalities appear to have formed a legitimate focus for communal funerary behaviour. This paper addresses the social importance of Early Helladic children in life by examining their manipulation in death, and how inter-site and inter-regional variation in the treatment of sub-adult dead might be understood to reflect differences in the degree to which they were ‘socialised’ by those communities in which they lived, however briefly.







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