Children and public space in early Imperial Rome

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The history of the ancient city has focussed on the material remains and conceptions of society and of the economic role of cities. Often, what we see in these works are plans, reconstruction drawings, and a discussion that causes the people of a city to become invisible with clear limitations to the development of the relationship between space and society. What seems to be missing are ideas around the nature of the population of cities that go beyond estimating the number of that population. Work on demography has placed an emphasis on showing that the percentage of the population under the age of eighteen may have been as high as fifty percent, with the elderly representing a much smaller percentage – certainly less than ten percent. Interestingly, the percentage of adults between the ages of eighteen and sixty is estimated to be very similar to that of today. Seeing the ancient city in this demographic context causes us to contemplate: what did children do within the urban environment, and how do we fit this section of the population into our conception of ancient urbanism? There is also the more challenging question of: how did the city provide a means for children to become adults?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking the Roman city
Subtitle of host publicationthe spatial turn and the archaeology of Roman Italy
EditorsDunia Filippi
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351115421
ISBN (Print)9780815361794, 9781032161877
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameStudies in Roman Space and Urbanism


  • Rome (Empire)
  • Childhood
  • Public space
  • Roman history


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