The various phases of life and their manifestations in theory and social reality constitute a well-established area of research in the fields of western medieval studies and ancient history. In this respect the Byzantine East has been widely neglected. This volume will focus on the Byzantine experience of adolescence, which may be defined as the biological transition from childhood to adulthood as well as the social and psychological experience of leaving the care of parents, guardians and family groups and the gradual integration into adult society. The contributions gathered therein treat seven subtopics that correspond to crucial questions in the cunent research on adolescence: the legal status of adolescents; the mechanisms of transition from childhood to adolescence; the socialisation and gradual integration into adult society; adolescents in Byzantine art; psychological aspects of adolescence from medieval to modern times; illnesses of adolescents; adolescents in the western medieval world.The focus is on the Middle and Late Byzantine Period, where historical, hagiographical,legal and medical sources offer rich material for an investigation of these aspects. The book contributes to a better understanding of all these questions and to show future trajectories for research.
Despoina Ariantzi, University of Vienna, Austria.