For over 10,000 years people have argued this simple question. It seems simple right? But is it really? Is it when a boy can lift a gun or a sword? How about when he starts puberty? Maybe when he gets hair under his arms or even chest? In the present day we have seen boys as young as six become heroes doing what a man should have done. We have seen them as young as five kill another human, accidentally or not, the deed was done.
In the days of knights and chivalry, a boy was a boy, but trained to be a man at the behest of the rich or powerful at the tender age of six. By the old age of ten he, if he were lucky, could become an apprentice and learn a trade for future years, and learn about sex at the same time in return for food and water.
In the days of Rome however there was no clear age when a boy became a man. We have statues of boys with swords, who had just chopped off another man’s head. ‘Heroes’ say the Romans and Greeks. Yet at home they played with the other children. We know with Spartans many children died because of teaching them war, long before they knew what puberty was.
So in Rome, children were kept children as long as possible. That was not an easy job for a mother that cared, and even the aristocracy had problems, because their children were given more knowledge, they seemed to mature much faster, even if their bodies did not.
If you have read ‘Grapes of Rome‘ that is fine, it is time to revisit the Rome of story books. If you haven’t then you are missing something. It’s free, your comments and suggestions are welcome. Some sexual situations and strong violence.