Recent News: Papyrus documents from the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchos show that the city had a kind of youth organization where the children of relatively well-off families served apprenticeships and learned how to be good citizens.
"Only boys born to free-born citizens were entitled to be members of the town’s youth organization, which was called a ‘gymnasium’," according to Science Nordic. "These boys were the children of local Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Their families would necessarily have been quite prosperous, and have had an income that placed them in the ‘12 drachma (1) tax class’. It is uncertain how large a proportion of the population would have qualified, probably somewhere between 10 and 25 per cent ..."
(1) The drachma was an ancient Greek coin common in many parts of the Roman world. "Fractions and multiples of the drachma were minted by many states, most notably in Ptolemaic Egypt, which minted large coins in gold, silver and bronze," according to Wikipedia.
"Oxyrhynchos ... in the first five hundred years CE was a large town of more than 25,000 inhabitants," according to Science Nordic. "Oxyrhynchos had Egypt’s most important weaving industry, and was also the Roman administrative centre for the area [Mediterranean coast, western Delta, upper Egypt]. Researchers possess a great deal of documentation precisely from this area because archaeologists digging one hundred years ago discovered thousands of papyri in what had once been the town’s rubbish dumps."