chapter  16
18 Pages

Everyday lives of children in ninth-century Byzantine monasteries

Introduction The presence of children in monastic settings is well attested in the medieval monasteries of the Byzantine Empire. Information about the monastic children has come down to us especially from the hagiographical texts. Some of these biographies tell of parents who pledged their offspring to monasteries as a sign of gratitude for their birth or survival in early childhood. Other accounts record cases of children who joined a monastic community together with the entire family; others were entrusted to specific monasteries or convents in which a family member, most often an uncle or an aunt, already lived. Finally, orphaned or abandoned children were sheltered in monasteries or convents where they were brought up and educated.