Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 19, 2009 - FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS - 333 pages
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As the changes in the traditional family accelerated toward the end of the twentieth century, a great deal of attention came to focus on fathers, both modern and ancient. While academics and politicians alike singled out the conspicuous and growing absence of the modern father as a crucial factor affecting contemporary family and social dynamics, ancient historians and classicists have rarely explored ancient father-absence, despite the likelihood that nearly a third of all children in the ancient Mediterranean world were fatherless before they turned fifteen. The proportion of children raised by single mothers, relatives, step-parents, or others was thus at least as high in antiquity as it is today. This book assesses the wide-ranging impact high levels of chronic father-absence had on the cultures, politics, and families of the ancient world.

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About the author (2009)

David M. Ratzan holds degrees in Classics from Yale University and Clare College, Cambridge. He is currently finishing his doctoral work at Columbia University on the social and economic history of contract in Roman Egypt.

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