chapter  20
14 Pages

How close can we get to ancient childhood? Methodological achievements and new advances

The aim of this book is to explore what it meant to be a child in the Roman and Late Antique world from the first century bce to the ninth century ce.1 In the preceding chapters, experts from a variety of fields of research on Antiquity have, each from their angle, made forays toward this aim. In the following, I shall discuss the results of these methodological expeditions into areas and sources both well and little known. What advances have been made? What challenges still remain? And is there potential for pushing these approaches further? I will do this in three steps, which hopefully can supplement one another. First, I reflect on what I consider some of the important methodological viewpoints and outcomes of the present volume. On the basis of this, I go on to ask what ‘getting close’ or ‘closer’ to ancient childhood may mean, and to what extent such a project is viable. Finally, I discuss some means that may help us to take matters even further.