Rome and the Collapse of the Trustee Family

Rome and the Collapse of the Trustee Family - EUH 2000...

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EUH 2000 Prompt for Essay In the chapter, “Rome and the Collapse of the Trustee Family” are there any parallels between the concerns of the Romans had about the childhood, the Family, and concerns that we discussed today? Length of Paper: 2 pages Due Date: October 28
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1 ( i itilur i I \l I. <)/•' CHILDHOOD ' 'id <l .. . • • • ' ini« I o find new depths of meaning. The Jews ihil mi l („., .>»*» •,(.(•. illative philosophers by this kind of study, hu l lltr v 'ln l IH W i >nic scholars. And the respect that was accorded l he w • I.IMM -. , . u cspect greater than that due to one's own father, 'heir smallest pupils a status which today's child nnnl'1 envy. Four Rome and the Collapse of the Trustee Family j^ n Athens, as we have seen, the state was the center of everyday life for free men. The home managed only the necessities of life so that men could concern themselves with something higher,' with human perfection as they conceived it. In Rome things were different. That state grew up around the family and the clan and consciously depended on them to raise the kind of children necessary to Rome's survival and power. The authority of the Roman family included even the right to execute its own members. Primitive Roman religion, which cen-
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3 8 • THE RISE AND FALL OF CHILDHOOD tered on the "genius" or spirit of the family, was very much like ancestor worship. But Rome had a long history, and family and state eventually found themselves at odds with each other. In the end, the growth of the state's authority had thoroughly undermined contemporary family structure, as states have often done since. Rome's story offers us an example of this seemingly inevitable process and of some efforts to avoid this form of social dissolution. In the years of the Roman Republic, before the Christian era, Roman education was meant to produce those character traits that would make the ideal family man. Children were taught primarily to be good to their families. To revere the gods, one's parents, and the laws of the state were the primary lessons for Roman boys. Cicero described the goal of their child rearing as "self-control, combined with dutiful affection to parents, and kindliness to kindred." Mothers were obviously important to such training as this: Stories of the nation's heroes often give their mothers recognition for their part in building character. Plutarch recorded how the mother of the Gracchus brothers, for instance, coped with 12 children after being left a widow: Cornelia, taking upon herself all the care of the household and the education of her children, approved herself so discreet a matron, H O alleilionate a mother, and so constant and noble- spirited a widow, that Tiberias seemed to all men to have done nothing unreasonable in choosing to die for such a woman; who, when King Ptolemy himself preferred her his crown, and would have married her, refused it, and chose rather to live a widow. In this state she continued, and lost all her children, except one daughter, who was married to Scipio the younger,
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course EUH 2000 taught by Professor Klepper during the Fall '11 term at Santa Fe College.

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Rome and the Collapse of the Trustee Family - EUH 2000...

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