Saturday, May 05, 2012

The 'pushy parent' syndrome in ancient Rome

What were the Romans really like? Different from us in many ways, but there is much that is familiar in Roman family life and in particular parenting.

In 94 AD young Quintus Sulpicius Maximus died.

A Roman lad who lived just 11 years, five months and 12 days, he had recently taken part in a grown-up poetry competition, a sort of Rome's Got Talent. He had composed and performed a long poem in Greek.

And, though he hadn't actually won, everyone agreed that he had done amazingly well for his age. The sad thing was that only a few months later he dropped down dead.

We know this because his tombstone still survives, put up by his grieving mum and dad. There's a little statue of him in the middle, dressed up in his toga, and his poem is carved all over the stone - so everyone would know how brilliant it was.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17701080