Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

Summer 8-26-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Susan I Rotroff


The object of this study is to examine the iconography of childhood preserved on Attic funerary monuments of the Imperial age. During the Classical period, the Greeks became the first ancient culture to depict children realistically and, over the course of several centuries, they maintained an ability to render the gestures and bearing of the child naturally. The Imperial grave monuments of Roman Athens continue this tradition of naturalistic portrayal, frequently quoting the style and iconography from standing examples of the city's celebrated sculptural past. Of the 577 extant Imperial reliefs, roughly 84 depict infants, children and youths. This series, dating from the late 1st century BCE through the 3rd century CE, provides the material basis for my dissertation. Through an examination of iconography, I will explore the place of children in that provincial Attic culture and the aspirations of adults articulated through their children. In this, my dissertation will fit into the larger debate over childhood in the West.


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