Like a child, this book has been developing for many years. Its life began in the doctoral research I undertook at University College London, which resulted in the writing of a thesis, ‘Studies on the Iconography of Divine and Heroic Children in Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painting of the Fifth Century bc’ (1992).1 While my original intention as a postgraduate student had been to treat representations of mortal, as well as superhuman, childhood, the subject proved too large for the purposes of a PhD thesis. Since the surviving ancient Greek literary sources provide far more information about the experiences and exploits of divine and heroic children than they do about the lives of mortal offspring, and since we are therefore more readily equipped to ‘read’, or decode, the images of mythological children preserved in the material record, I decided to limit my doctoral research to an analysis of the numerous superhuman children depicted on Athenian red figure pottery. Now, however, two decades later I am revisiting my original aim to examine the representation of mortal children and childhood in ancient Athenian art. Happily, in those intervening years important developments have taken place, not only in the culture-specific study of ancient Greek children, but also in terms of an emerging theoretical approach to the archaeology of childhood, and in the diachronic and cross-cultural study of the wider history of childhood. As a result, this book on the iconography and social history of Athenian children constitutes a far better-informed and richer offering than I could have contributed to scholarship had its gestation period been a shorter one. In view of this claim, it seems appropriate and desirable to begin this volume with a review of work already undertaken on the archaeology and history of ancient Greek children and childhood, and to contextualise the current undertaking in the still emerging wider discipline of ancient childhood studies, both historical and archaeological.