History events at the IHR

Tiny hands, tiny artefacts: did Roman children play with toys?

11 March 2014, 17:15 - 19:15

Event Type: Seminar


Dr Mary Harlow (University of  Leicester/University of Copenhagen)


Thinking about children in the past is tricky.  For Roman historians it is additionally difficult as no direct evidence of children's experiences of their own lives survive.  Most of our evidence comes from the writings of upper class men (fathers) or funerary monuments which conform to iconographic traditions.  There is, however, a lot of surviving material culture which arguably formed parts of children's lives.  This comes in the form of 'toys', miniature objects, dolls and other like objects.  This paper will discuss current ways of looking at such artefacts to think about how we might give children in the past some agency and consider the notion of childhood in the Roman period.

Venue: Room 103 (Senate House, first floor)

Senate House
Malet Street 
London WC1E 7HU 

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