This study is the first to focus on the subject of children and human life
course in Fronto's correspondence. lt deals with sections in Fronco's letters
concerning wet-nurses and breastfeeding, pedagogues, child beating, youthful
(mis)behaviour, affective relationships between master and pupil, pueri senes
and old age - interesting passages hardly noticed by social hiscorians or insufficiently treated in the commentary by M.P.J. van den Hout. In the fourth
paragraph, I elucidate passages testifying to the warm and close relationship
between Fronto and the young children of Marcus Aurelius' imperial family.
Both these texts and the letters about Fronto's grandchildren (elaborated
upon in the fifth paragraph) reveal a petting attitude towards children, a way
of thinking which is parallelled in various other sources, especially in epigraphical
poetry. In the conclusion, I ask whether Fronto's way of looking at
children is to be linked wich a changed attitude in the Antonine second century.
I am, however, rather reluctant to posit such a change in the mencal attitude.