Member Profile | FocusFeatures.com
The ABCs of Babies
Posted May 13, 2010 to photo album "The ABCs of Babies"
Babies may be universal, but the way that society and culture has viewed the little darlings has changed through history.
Slide 8: I is for Infanticide
In pre-modern cultures, like in the worlds of ancient Rome and Greece, unwanted babies (usually those infants whom the family lacked resources to support), were commonly left outside to die from exposure. In 1 B.C., a Roman citizen wrote to his wife: “I am still in Alexandria. ... I beg and plead with you to take care of our little child, and as soon as we receive wages, I will send them to you. In the meantime, if (good fortune to you!) you give birth, if it is a boy, let it live; if it is a girl, expose it.” In Japan, infanticide was practiced into the early 20th century by smothering the baby with wet paper. Both Christianity and Judaism prohibited infanticide through exposure. However, In Europe, infanticide was practiced with impunity throughout much of the Middle Ages. And in the 17th century, laws were passed to curtail the most common form of infanticide.