- 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
This chapter discusses the ancient practice of infant exposure via the abandonment of a newborn within the first week of life. Although often equated with infanticide (the outright killing of a newborn), exposure allowed the possibility of the infant’s survival and rescue by a third party. This chapter explores the motivations for exposure and the possible fates of a child who survived, using literary, legal, papyrological, and patristic sources. Exposure was accepted as a regrettable fact of life in the Greek and Roman world, although some philosophers and a number of Christian apologists spoke out against it. Ultimately, in late antiquity, imperial law enacted measures intended to discourage exposure and encourage the rescue of abandoned infants, although the extent to which these laws affected actual practice is unknown.
Judith Evans Grubbs, Betty Gage Holland Professor of Roman History, Emory University (USA).
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