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Stephen Hodkinson and Antony Spawforth

The Spartan public upbringing (never in fact so-called in surviving writers of the 5th and 4th cents. bce). Its reconstruction is bedevilled by poor and conflicting sources and modern debate over how far the reconstituted ‘customs (ethē) of *Lycurgus (2)’ of Roman Sparta reflect continuity with the Classical past. The Classical upbringing seems to have been a public system running parallel (Ducat, below) to any private arrangements for the more conventional education of young Spartans and incorporating archaic elements, especially ones based on *initiation. It was supervised by the paidonomos (‘boy-herdsman’), and embraced males aged 7–29. Only the immediate heirs to the kingships (see agiads; eurypontids) were exempt. There were three general stages, the paides (boys), paidiskoi (bigger boys), and hēbōntes (young men), probably representing ages 7–13, 14–19, and 20–29; among the paidiskoi (for sure), individual year-classes were separately named. The paides were trained in austerity, obedience, and mock battles by older youths within subdivisions of age-mates called variously in the sources ilai or agelai, sometimes with their own internal leadership, sometimes led by older youths.


Saskia Hin

People’s life courses are shaped by the complex interactions of contextual factors, of individual behavior, and of opportunities and constraints operating at the macro level. Demography studies these processes with a focus on particular transitions in the life course: birth, leaving home, marriage, and other transitions in civil status (divorce, remarriage, and transitions into widowhood), the birth and survival of offspring, migration, and finally the end of the life cycle—death.

Initial work on the ancient world focussed primarily on macro-level data, trying to establish overall trends in population development on the basis of census figures and other population estimates. This approach has received further impetus with the advent of survey demography (see Population Trends). More recently, attention has turned to single events in the life course. Core demographic studies have attempted to establish patterns and rates of marriage, fertility, migration, and mortality. Others have taken a complementary approach with a stronger focus on qualitative data. These support investigation of sociological, cultural, and economic aspects of demographic phenomena. The remainder of this article focusses on a concise evaluation of current understanding of marriage, fertility, migration, mortality, and population trends in the ancient Greco-Roman world.


Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth

Ephēboi originally meant boys who had reached the age of puberty, and was one of several terms for age classes; but in 4th-cent. bce Athens it came to have a special paramilitary sense, boys who in their eighteenth year had entered a two-year period of military training. In the first year they underwent, in barracks in Piraeus, training by paidotribai (physical trainers) and technical weaponry instructors, all under the general supervision of a kosmētēs and of ten (later twelve) sōphronistai, one from each of the tribes (*phylai). In the second year they served at the frontier posts of Attica as peripoloi. They may have had ritual duties.Despite the military amateurism of which Thucydides (2) makes Pericles (1) boast in the surprising ch. 2. 39, it is unlikely that there was no system of training before the 4th cent., and traces of the later ‘oath of the ephebes’ (RO no. 88) have been detected in e.g. *Thucydides (2) and *Sophocles (1).


Theodore John Cadoux and P. J. Rhodes

Associations of hetairoi (‘comrades’). In some, perhaps most, *Cretan cities the citizens were grouped in hetaireiai as part of the military system; each had its table in the city's andreion (‘men's mess’: cf. the messes, *syssitia, at *Sparta). There is some evidence for the use of the words hetairos and hetaireia by associations of a wholly private character, as professional guilds. However, the hetaireiai best known to us are associations in Athens, particularly of young, upper-class men, which combined a social function with a political: the furtherance of the ambitions of their leading members, and mutual assistance in the lawcourts and at elections. They are sometimes called synōmosiai, ‘sworn groups’, from the oaths of loyalty which might be required. The mutilation of the *herms in 415 bce was said to be the work of a hetaireia to which *Andocides belonged; and the informal political activity which led to the oligarchic regimes of the *Four Hundred in 411 and the *Thirty Tyrants in 404 was conducted in part through the hetaireiai.


Kelly L. Wrenhaven

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.