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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The realities of childhood in the Roman world have been difficult to access archaeologically, in part because Roman children lacked a distinctive material culture. The remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum have yielded a somewhat unique type of evidence for children’s lives: graffiti. The chapter will explore how the location and subject matter of the graffiti reveal the realities of children’s lives, including the activities they participated in, the things that interested them, and their relationships with caretakers and peers. The chapter will also look at public areas where children’s graffiti turn up, focusing in particular on Pompeii’s Grand Palaestra, an enclosed space associated with the city’s youth organization. Finally, trends in the subject matter of the children’s graffiti attest to some of the things children frequently encountered and that help particular interest for them.

Keywords: Roman, childhood, graffiti, Pompeii, Herculaneum

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