AIA Lecture: “Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World” (Prof. Maureen Carroll, AIA Norton Lecturer, University of Sheffield)

The study of birth, infancy, and earliest childhood in the Roman world is a newly emerging field, and this lecture presents some of the most recent developments in this exciting area of research. The first year in the life was packed full of challenges, achievements, and milestones that helped shape the child’s physical and social development. In Roman society, birthdays were celebrated by young and old, but the marking of the first birthday, in particular, will have been an important event in an era of high infant mortality, a celebration which perhaps thirty percent of Roman children may not have lived to see. By integrating the information provided by archaeology, art, literature, history, and science, we are able to recognise the physical and emotional investment by the Roman family and society in the health, well-being, and future of the very young, from newborn to toddler.