The riddle of the Sphinx was about the ages of man. This seminar will explore coming into youth, adulthood, and old age in the ancient world, through literary and historical sources, and through recent studies of private life in antiquity. For both Greeks and Romans, coming of age was also about making various moves between private and public spheres, and we will consider as well the public personae of certain key historical figures and notions of a fully formed character. People come of age; so too do historical cultures. “Late antiquity” corresponded with new emphases and perspectives on age which we will investigate through some of the prolific writers of the period (e.g., Augustine and Jerome). Finally we will consider the “pleasure of ruins,” the lure of antiquity’s coming of age and the modern fascination with traipsing over its decrepit remains.