Roman Doll

Roman Doll, 2nd century CE, ivory, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.


Toys and particularly dolls are important artifacts of childhood. Although there are very few writings that describe how Roman children played with their toys, dolls have traditionally been useful tools to prepare girls for their future roles.

This doll was found in the sarcophagus of an eight year old Roman girl. She was likely from an affluent family because she had a tomb and the doll was made of ivory. There are several things to note that may indicate how the doll was used: joints in the arms and legs allowed movement of the limbs. This indicates that the play involved some movement if only posing. This doll’s hair resembles a style worn by Faustina the Elder who died in 141 CE suggesting the age of the doll. The ankle modeling suggests shoes, which indicates that the doll was dressed.


The third division of the Jewish canon, also called by the Hebrew name Ketuvim. The other two divisions are the Torah (Pentateuch) and Nevi'im (Prophets); together the three divisions create the acronym Tanakh, the Jewish term for the Hebrew Bible.

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