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Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences

Vuolanto Ville

Lecturer in History

PhD, Title of a docent in general history

Office hours on Tuesdays 10am to 11am, or by appointment (ville.vuolanto (at)

As a family historian and ancient historian, specialized in Late Antiquity and Early Christianity, I am especially interested in the history of childhood, in continuity strategies for immortality, as well as in more theoretical aspects in studying and writing history. Presently I study children's socialization, agency and spheres of interaction in Roman Egypt in a research project with Dr. April Pudsey (Manchester Metropolitan University), based on a systematic survey of all material pertaining to the city and nome of Oxyrhynchos. Presently I am seeking for financiation to start another research project, titled as History of Hope. Meaningfulness in Daily Life in the Roman World. I also collaborate with a research project at the University of Oslo, "Tiny Voices From the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe".

I live in Tampere with my wife Pia and our two children. Cherishing a family life and reaching for wide reading leaves unfortunately little time for trekking and badminton.

Recent publications

  • ‘Experience, agency, and the children in the past: the case of Roman childhood.’ In Children and Everyday Life in the Roman and Late Antique World, edited by Christian Laes and Ville Vuolanto. London and New York: Routledge 2017, 11–24.
  • ‘Being a niece or nephew: children‘s social environment in Roman Oxyrhynchos.’ (with April Pudsey) In Children and Everyday Life in the Roman and Late Antique World, edited by Christian Laes and Ville Vuolanto. London and New York: Routledge 2017, 79–96.
  • Children and Everyday Life in the Roman and Late Antique World (ed. with Christian Laes). London and New York: Routledge 2017.
  • ‘Child and Parent in Roman Law’, in C. Ando, P. J. du Plessis and K. Tuori (eds), Oxford Handbook for Roman Law and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016, 487-497.
  • ‘Parenting in Late Antiquity: Gendered Roles in Ideology and Everyday Life’, Patristica Nordica Annuaria 31 (2016), 33–51.
  • ‘Household and Family Dynamics in Late Antique Southern Gaul’ (with Christian Laes), in S. Hübner and G. Nathan (eds), Mediterranean Families in Antiquity: Households, Extended Families, and Domestic Space. Malden (NJ) and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 2016, 258-282.
  • Children and Asceticism in Late Antiquity. Continuity, Family Dynamics and the Rise of Christianity. Ashgate 2015.
  • Children and Family in Late Antiquity. Life, Death and Interaction (ed. with  C. Laes & K. Mustakallio), Peeters 2015.
  • The Construction of Elite Childhood and Youth in Fourth- and Fifth Century Antioch. In C. Laes, K. Mustakallio & V. Vuolanto (eds), Children and Family in Late Antiquity. Life, Death and Interaction. Peeters 2015, 309-324.
  • Children in the Ancient World and the Early Middle Ages (8th cent. BCE – 8th cent. CE). 7th ed. IFIKK, University of Oslo 2015 (Online here).
  • Children in the Roman World: Cultural and Social Perspectives. A Review Article. Arctos 48 (2014), 435-450.
  • Fjerne fedre, sterke mødre? Foreldre-barn –forhold I senromerske overklassefamilier. Arr. Idéhistorisk tidsskrift  2014 (2), 13-21.
  • Family Relations and the Socialisation of Children in the Autobiographical Narratives of Late Antiquity, in L. Brubaker and S. Tougher, Approaches to the Byzantine Family. Ashgate: Aldershot 2013, 41-68.
  • Religious Participation in Ancient and Medieval Societies. Rituals, Interaction and Identity (ed., with Sari Katajala-Peltomaa). Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae 2013.
  • Religious Practices and Social Interaction in the Ancient and Medieval World (with Sari Katajala-Peltomaa), in S. Katajala-Peltomaa and V. Vuolanto (eds),  Religious Participation in Ancient and Medieval Societies. Rituals, Interaction and Identity. Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae 2013, 11-24
  • Elite Children, Socialization, and Agency in The Late Roman World, in J. Evans Grubbs, T. Parkin, and R. Bell (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013, 580-599.
  • Lapsuus ja arki antiikissa ja keskiajalla (with Sari Katajala-Peltomaa). Helsinki: Gaudeamus 2013. (A 300 pages monograph on children's everyday life in ancient and medieval world). 
  • A Self-made Living Saint? Authority and the Two Families of Theodoret of Cyrrhus. In J.S. Ott & T. Vedriš (eds) Saintly bishops and bishops' saints. Zagreb: Hagiotheca 2012, 49-65.
  • Children and Agency: Religion as Socialisation in Late Antiquity and the Late Medieval West (with Sari Katajala-Peltomaa). Childhood in the Past 4 (1) (2011), 79-99
  • Infant Abandonment and the Christianization of Medieval Europe. In K. Mustakallio and C. Laes (eds)The Dark Side of Childhood in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages Oxford: Oxbow, 2011, 3-19.

Presentations (selection on on-going work)

  • 'Child Slaves in Roman Egypt' (with April Pudsey). Slavery in Late Antiquity. XXIV Finnish Symposium on Late Antiquity, Tvärminne, 12.11.2016.
  • 'Childhood spaces in Roman Oxyrhynchos' (with April Pudsey) European Association of Urban Historians Congress, Helsinki, 25.8.2016
  • 'Gymnasium and Identity: Youth and Adolescence in Oxyrhynchos' (with April Pudsey) 28th International Congress of Papyrology, Barcelona, 5.8.2016.
  • 'Agency and the Children in the Past: the Case of Roman Egypt' (with April Pudsey) The VII Conference on Childhood Studies. Childhood in Everyday Life. Turku. 7.6.2016.
  • 'Elite Children of Late Antiquity – The Problem of Peer Cultures'. Mates, Mischief and Make-Believe. Children’s Peer Cultures, Past and Present; Manchester 4.4.2016. (invited)
  • 'Everyday Life of Children in Late Antiquity. Play, Work and Vulnerability'. Kolloquium "Neues aus der Alten Geschichte"; Basel  12.4. (invited)
  • Children's Experiences and Living Environments in Roman Egypt'. Life and Death in Ancient Egypt. The Norwegian Egyptological Society 10th Anniversary seminar. 17.10.2015. Oslo, Norway.
  • Children on the Road in the Roman Egypt (with April Pudsey). On the Road: Travels, Pilgrimages and Social Interaction. Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VI. 6.8.2015. Tampere, Finland.
  • Singleness as a Continuity Strategy. Ascetics Between the Earthly and Heavenly Family.  Singles and Single Life in Antiquity. 30.5.2015. Rome, Italy (Invited).
  • Women as Supervisors of the Minors in the Roman Empire'. Women, Power and Agency in Antiquity. 7th Arachne Conference. 22.10.2014. Tampere, Finland.
  • Children's Experience and Environment: the Case of Aunts and Uncles in Roman Oxyrhynchus. Children and Everyday Life in the Roman World. Oslo 22.5.2014, with April Pudsey.
  • Child and Parent in Roman Law. Oxford Handbook of Roman law and Society -Conference. Edinburgh, UK, 13.6.2014.
  • Uncovering Childhood in Late Antique Sources: Methodological Consideration. Approaches To The Roman Family. Institute of Classical Studies, Ancient History Seminar 28.11. 2013. London, UK, with Reidar Aasgaard.
  • Household and Family Dynamics in Late Antique Southern Gaul. The Mediterranean family from antiquity to early modern times 14.06.2012. Rostock, Germany, with Christian Laes.
  • Autobiography and the Construction of Elite Childhood in Fourth Century Antioch. Roman Family VI. Limits and Borders of Childhood and Family. 18.5.2012 Rome, Italy
  • Elite children, socialization and agency in the late Roman world. Childhood and Education in the Classical World. 4.8.2011. Manchester, UK. (invited)
  • Grandmothers and Familial Power in Roman Egypt. Oikos – Familia:The family in the ancient Greco-Roman society. Framing the discipline in the 21st century. Göteborg 7.11.2009.
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