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Dining Posture in Ancient RomeBodies, Values, and Status$
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Matthew B. Roller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691178004

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691178004.001.0001

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Dining Children: Posture, Pedagogy, and Coming-of-Age

Dining Children: Posture, Pedagogy, and Coming-of-Age

(p.157) Chapter Three Dining Children: Posture, Pedagogy, and Coming-of-Age
Dining Posture in Ancient Rome

Matthew B. Roller

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the analysis of freeborn children's posture in the context of Roman (and Graeco-Roman) dining. It aims to understand children's dining posture more broadly, along with the meanings associated with the various practices. Free children are marked for status and privilege by their convivial posture, just as free adults and slaves are. The “handbook” view is that, if such children were present at all among the adults, they sat, and that males only began to recline upon assuming the toga virilis. This view finds corroboration in other adult roles that freeborn youths are supposed to have assumed along with the toga virilis: the beginnings of military service; enrollment as citizens in the tabularium; the dedication of the bulla to the household Lar; the formal entry of young aristocrats into public life.

Keywords:   freeborn children, Roman dining, dining posture, free adults, slaves, toga virilis, tabularium, military service

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