- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Becoming Human: From the Embryo to the Newborn Child
- The Demography of Infancy and Early Childhood in the Ancient World
- Babies in the Well: Archeological Evidence for Newborn Disposal in Hellenistic Greece
- Infant Exposure and Infanticide
- The Child Patient of the Hippocratics: Early Pediatrics?
- Raising a Disabled Child
- Children in Archaic and Classical Greek Art: A Survey
- Children as Learners and Producers in Early Greece
- Shifting Gender: Age and Social Status as Modifiers of Childhood Gender in Ancient Athens
- Children in Athenian Religion
- Play, Pathos, and Precocity: The Three P’s of Greek Literary Childhood
- Children in Latin Epic
- The Socialization of Roman Children
- Slave and Lower-Class Roman Children
- Children and Childhood in Roman Commemorative Art
- Toys, Dolls, and the Material Culture of Childhood
- Roman Children and the Law
- Education in Plato’s <i>Laws</i>
- Boys, Girls, Family, and the State at Sparta
- Engendering the Scroll: Girls’ and Women’s Literacy in Classical Greece
- Educating the Youth: The Athenian Ephebeia in the Early Hellenistic Era
- The Ancient Child in School
- Children in Ptolemaic Egypt: What the Papyri Say
- Children in Roman Egypt
- Adoption and Fosterage in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
- Pictorial Paideia: Children in the Synagogue
- Children and “the Child” in Early Christianity
- Elite Children, Socialization, and Agency in the Late Roman World
- Remembering Children in the Roman Catacombs
- Stages of Infancy in Roman Amphora Burial
Abstract and Keywords
Since antiquity, speculations on the emergence of human life and the status of the embryo have prompted intense debates. How does fetal matter grow into a human being? When does it have a soul? Was it treated as a potential person or as just an extension of the mother’s body? No general agreement existed, but there was a plurality of viewpoints according to different medical, philosophical, and legal perspectives and to gender. Neither aborted nor newborn babies had their own right to life before social recognition by the father about one week after delivery. The absence of legal provision on infanticide until the third century CE is consistent with the uncertainties of the human status of the unborn displayed in ancient literature. Various written and iconographic sources, however, reflect the possible perception of the unborn child as a living being, worthy of divine protection, and directly addressed.
Véronique Dasen, Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Fribourg (Switzerland).
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