Analysis of Sarah I. Johnston’s “Charming Children: The Use of the Child in Ancient Divination”

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Essay #: 054187
Total text length is 4,843 characters (approximately 3.3 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Critical analysis of Johnston, Sarah Iles . “Charming Children: The Use of the Child in Ancient Divination.”
Arethusa
34:1 (2001): 97- 117.
In this paper Sarah I. Johnston provides an interesting analysis of how societies in antiquity viewed children. The main thesis of her essay, from the point of view of perception of children in antiquity, is that children in the ancient Mediterranean have been viewed and approached as “unimaginative and closed to outside influences” (Johnston, 111) and, due to the lack of imagination, the children were perceived as trustworthy. Johnston argues that this perception of children lead to their use as mediums in ancient divination rites. Johnston builds her argument around analysis of children’s’ role as...
The end:
.....ysis is not well defined. In the introduction Johnston mentions, “beginning in the first century B.C.E., we hear about the use of children in mediumistic divinatory processes” (98). However, it is not clear what the historical time span she is actually covering.
Keeping in mind the above shortcomings, Johnston article is still informative. Her arguments and thesis illustrate very well how we can learn about social perceptions of children in ancient world by looking at social practices of the period and how the two are interconnects. Also, looking at modern theories can help develop deeper understanding of both.
Works Cited:
Johnston, Sarah
Iles
. “Charming Children: The Use of the Child in Ancient Divination.”
Arethusa
34:1 (2001): 97- 117.