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Gaius Paulinus Maximus

Infantcide common in Roman Empire

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Infanticide, the killing of unwanted babies, was common throughout the Roman Empire and other parts of the ancient world, according to a new study.

 

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science, explains that "until recently, (infanticide) was a practice that was widely tolerated in human societies around the world. Prior to modern methods of contraception, it was one of the few ways of limiting family size that was both safe for the mother and effective."

 

Based on archaeological finds, the practice appears to have been particularly widespread in the Roman Empire.

 

"I think it was tolerated in the Roman world rather than something that was completely acceptable, but it's hard to be sure," lead author Simon Mays told Discovery News.

 

http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/infanticide-roman-empire-110505.html

 

 

 

 

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Infanticide, the killing of unwanted babies, was common throughout the Roman Empire and other parts of the ancient world, according to a new study.

 

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science, explains that "until recently, (infanticide) was a practice that was widely tolerated in human societies around the world. Prior to modern methods of contraception, it was one of the few ways of limiting family size that was both safe for the mother and effective."

 

Based on archaeological finds, the practice appears to have been particularly widespread in the Roman Empire.

 

"I think it was tolerated in the Roman world rather than something that was completely acceptable, but it's hard to be sure," lead author Simon Mays told Discovery News.

 

http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/infanticide-roman-empire-110505.html

 

No surprise. The ancient world was no paradise.

 

It is important to keep things in perspective. Infant mortality was high. There were no immunizations, antibiotics, IV's, ventilators, intensive care units, etc. Infants with congenital anomalies that survive today only with medical intervention would not stand a chance in the ancient world. We should distinguish what they called "exposure" or allowing them to die, from deliberate killing. It was survival of the fittest.

 

This practice seems less abhorrent than the deliberate sacrifice of healthy children to the Canaanite God Baal, as practiced by the Carthaginians.

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Well, if you are sure an infant will die day within days, why nurture it for days and develop a bond that is bound to end in sadness.

 

Also - if you have an infant that is clearly showing signs of being mal-formed or suffering from mental deficiency - then it makes sense to kill the infant.

 

While I may go for smothering to make the death quickly rather than exposure, I think it was an efficient practice allowing the parents to move on. I know they never named their children for what - a week or so ? Perhaps to ensure they were growing and thriving before becoming officially part of the family.

 

Not necessary survival of the fittest, but survival of the whole community to not waste resources on a lost cause.

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This practice seems less abhorrent than the deliberate sacrifice of healthy children to the Canaanite God Baal, as practiced by the Carthaginians.

 

I should point out that this has been discussed on several other threads (notablyCarthaginian Sacrifices and

Carthaginian Child Sacrifice theories debunked again)

where it has been extensively discussed and shown that although this is a widely held belief there is increasing evidence calling it into question as a rare let alone common practice amongst the Carthaginians.

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Guest ParatrooperLirelou

This is funny because the Spartans always get the knock and labeled as cruel for infanticide well in fact the Romans and other Greek city states(and pretty much every civilization in the ancient world) are equally as guilty for infanticide and did it on about the same scale as the Spartans.

 

Spartans always get the criticism well in fact everybody(including the Romans who were called the most civilized and most sophisticated civilization in the ancient world) else was doing it. Double standards

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