A photo from open sources
It turns out infanticide in ancient Rome was quite common. At the very foundation of the history of the Eternal City lies a well-known legend about two children, Romulus and Roma, whom ordered to kill their own father Amulius, throwing a basket with the kids in water. According to ancient texts, the Romans referred to infanticide as a common practice and an effective way to control population size. English explorer Simon Maze considers that the purpose of infanticide practiced at that time was also destruction of genetic deformities of newborns. “No matter how wild it seemed to us the very thought of killing defenseless babies today, in ancient Rome, this cruel in essence process was easy enough. In addition, young children were not considered full-fledged people until their teeth erupted, and they could not eat solid food on your own, “says the scientist. However, the study found near the city of Humbledon (England) children’s bones, whose age dates from the time of the rule of Rome in Britain, gives we have the opportunity to take a fresh look at this brutal custom. Among ancient Roman buildings, next to which are found children’s burial site, the so-called lupanarium was found – a brothel that time. After a series of analyzes, scientists concluded that the prostitutes killed their babies almost immediately after birth, since all buried children were about the same age. A similar find during the excavation of ancient Roman terms is already previously found by Israeli scientists. The latest analyzes, including DNA tests showed that out of 25 children buried near lupanaria, six died a natural death within a few weeks after birth, the rest were killed. Most likely without funds contraception, women of that time were forced to get rid of their children in this way. However, scientists were interested in the fact significant statistical differences in sex ratio found remains. The fact is that the ability to establish sexual Skeleton affiliation appeared only relatively recently, with development of methods for radiocarbon analysis and study of the structure DNA After applying these methods, it was found that in Hambleden burial 23 skeletons out of 25 had female genital signs. Based on this conclusion, it is logical to assume that the Romans practiced selective infanticide. Additional indirect evidence of this thesis are found in Italy letters from one of the Roman legionaries to his pregnant wife, in whom a soldier asks his spouse to leave in case of the birth of a girl child and educate him. Apparently, at the birth of girls in Roman families often had the choice of leaving the child or killing. Then how the birth of a male infant was preferred and such no questions. “Now that we can use DNA analysis to understand whether the killed babies boys or girls, we begin to revise the generally accepted assumptions of infanticide in the Roman world “- says Christina Killgrow, a bioarchaeologist at West Florida University. Has become obvious that the ancient Romans used infanticide in that number and as a way to adjust gender demography in favor the predominance of men.