This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Where did the name “Caesarean section” come from?

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Map of the Roman Empire from CE 117
Map of the Roman Empire from CE 117

The name of the operation – Caesarean section – is connected with Rome, where the law prohibited the burial of a pregnant woman without taking her fetus out of her womb.

The name derives from the word caedere, which means “cut/prune”. Pliny the Elder tells us that Julius Caesar was born this way. However, it is not true as Caesar’s mother died in 54 BCE, what is 10 years before her son’s death.

In ancient Rome, caesarean section was performed only on pregnant women who died and was sanctioned by law (lex regia of Numa Pompilius). In the result of Caesarean section came to the world: Publius Cornelius Scipio (African) – the famous winner from Zama or Manius Manilius – Roman commander in the Third Punic War.

  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Poczet cesarzy rzymskich, Warszawa 2004

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: