chapter  10
15 Pages

URBAN SPACE AND THE PRODUCTION OF ADULT CITIZENS

The previous chapter discussed the conception of time and the arrangement of space at Pompeii. Our concern in this chapter is also with temporality, in particular the transformation of the child into a citizen and the distinctive learning of the city, and the role of the spatial structure of the city in the learning of Roman citizenship. Age distinguished the way in which people utilised the city: for example, children did not bathe in the same way as adults (Celsus 1.3.32; Galen, De Sanitate Tuenda 1.10) because of a belief regarding the role of heat in their constitution based on the Hippocratic conception of the humours. Children were constructed as different from adults due to their age, and became a particular type of adult, a iuvenis or youth, on the assumption of the toga virilis in their mid-teens. Later, in their early to mid-twenties this phase or stage of life was seen to have passed and they were viewed as adults with few of the traits mapped on to their childhood remaining (see Harlow and Laurence 2002 for discussion). Youth was a transitional stage and can be understood as a time in which the young were free (from the constraints associated with childhood) to experience the city, and became subject to the city as a force in their own development (see Persius, Satires 5.30-8). In other words, at this time of life they experienced and were shaped by the institutional structure of the city and its spatial form. What we are concerned with in this chapter is how that spatial structure (and alteration to it over time) may have facilitated or hindered the development of a youth’s sense of citizenship and/or urbanitas.