Children and Childhood in Roman Italy

Rawson, Beryl
Date published: 
July 2005

Images of children in Roman society abound: an infant's first bath, learning to walk, playing with pets and toys, going to school, and - all too often - dying prematurely. The child was prominent in private houses and public space in the teeming, cosmopolitan city of ancient Rome and other towns of Italy. Such a vivid picture does not recur until the twentieth century. This study builds on the dynamic work on the Roman family that has been developing in recent decades. Its focus on the period between the first century BCE and the early third century CE provides a context for new work being done on early Christian societies, especially in Rome.