Your Children

Antiquity was basically an oral, not a written culture, and much of what was written has been lost. Much is literary and rhetorical, depicting ideals rather than reality, and it also originated within a small elite at the top of society. Almost everything is written by men, and a disproportionate number of sources come from limited geographical areas, primarily centres such as Rome and Egypt. Obviously, these are serious challenges for the study of children; however, they are not insurmountable but can be met by conscientious and balanced work on the sources – especially archaeological finds.


In Atenica near Čačak in today’s Serbia, in grave 2, located in the periphery of the impressive tumulus I, the grave of a younger male person of aristocratic,...

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Taking into consideration the premodern birth and survival rates, the most underrepresented element in the archaeological record are the burials of infants and small children. However, among the...

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Children were also made objects of admiration, particularly by being idealized (as “pure”) or sentimentalized (“sweet” and “funny”). This can be seen as a positive evaluation of children,...

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