Percy, William A.
Dr. Percy is Senior Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He obtained his doctorate in History at Princeton University. A medievalist by virtue of his graduate training, Dr. Percy has also written extensively on society and sexuality in ancient Greece and Roman and in the western world. His major publications include: The Age of Recovery: The Fifteenth Century (with Jerah Johnson); the two-volume Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (as Associate Editor with Warren Johannsen and Wayne R. Dynes); and Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece.2003 0-7734-6665-7
This study provides a convenient review of the research done and various views held since the late 19th century on the age of marriage in ancient Roman society. It offers an hypothesis that explains the apparent discrepancy between the literary and epigraphic evidence. The age of marriage in Rome had important demographic implications. This study argues and demonstrates that, given the extremely high mortality rate in the Roman Empire, a very early age of marriage was desirable, especially for Roman girls, in order to ensure a reasonably stable population. This study will make a significant contribution to the area of Roman demography and social history.