In medieval society the idea of childhood did not exist; this is not to suggest that children were neglected, forsaken or despised. The idea of childhood is not to be confused with affection for children; it corresponds to an awareness of the particular nature of childhood, that particular nature which distinguishes the child from he adult, even the young adult. . . . That is why, as soon as the child could live without the constant solicitude of his mother, his nanny or his cradle- rocker, he belonged to adult society.