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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses visualizations of children and childhood in the commemorative arts of Roman Italy over more than three centuries (first century BC to late second century CE). During this period children, both nonmythical children and those in mythological disguise appear recurrently on various memorial types commissioned by private persons. The focus of this chapter is exclusively on representations of nonmythical children in pre-Christian funerary iconography, contextualized in their time and social setting. The body of evidence discussed includes child commemoration on reliefs, funerary altars, and sarcophagi. The chapter presents a general view of how Roman children looked, how they were dressed, differences in gender and status between children and of the expectations of children’s future roles, and how the perceived social roles of Roman children changed over time.

Keywords: Ara Pacis, child, commemorative art, conclamatio, funerary reliefs, funerary altars, iconography, pre-Christian, memorial, Roman Italy, sarcophagi

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