Abortion in Roman Britain?

It’s tempting to romanticize the ancients, but stories like this remind us why we should not. Archaeologists in central England have been reviewing a mass burial site of 97 infants on the property of a Roman villa, and have come to an awful conclusion:

Archaeologist Dr Jill Eyers said: “The only explanation you keep coming back to is that it’s got to be a brothel.”

With little or no effective contraception, unwanted pregnancies could have been common at Roman brothels, explained Dr Eyers, who works for Chiltern Archaeology.

The victims were all newborn infants in their 40th week of gestation. At least some of the bones have cut marks.

 

Avatar photo

By

Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

Join the conversation in our Telegram Chat! You can also find us on Facebook, MeWe, Twitter, and Gab.

MENU