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.

None of sex was spared in act of infanticide

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman relief showing a woman and a child
Roman relief showing a woman and a child

Scientists emphasize in “Journal of Archaeological Science” from 2015 that female children did not account for the vast majority of infanticide victims. It was customary to think that at birth, the Romans spared the male offspring more often due to the obvious gender imbalance at the time.

Scientists say that the remains found belong to children who were killed shortly after birth. If death would affect newborns naturally, the bodies would then belong to premature babies, babies just after birth, and those who died weeks later. It is also suspected that a large number of remains gathered in one place may indicate the existence of a brothel in this place, and the children gave birth to prostitutes.

Infanticide under the Romans was an accepted practice that allowed the number of family members to be controlled before effective contraception appeared. While such a practice may seem cruel to us, it was once considered normal. Babies shortly after birth were not considered fully human. They acquired their humanity only a few days after birth, when they were given the name, and then, when the first teeth appeared that allowed them to eat food.


IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: