Department

History

Document Type

Paper

Publication Date

2008

Type (DCMI Terms)

text

Abstract

Abandoned babies are not the thing of the past, it still happens today. Every couple of months one can turn on the news, open the newspaper, or get online and find that someone else has left an infant in a restroom, or by the side of the road, or on someone’s doorstep. Despite the Safe Haven laws in most states new mothers still leave their children in public restrooms to be found by a stranger, or left to die. Leaving infants somewhere they can be found is something that started thousands of years ago. This paper will focus on infants that were abandoned in the first centuries B.C. and A.D. in ancient Rome with a practice known as infanticide, also called exposure. It occurred often in the ancient world and there were many reasons why it happened. Parents endangered their children in this way because they loved their children, the ones they raised as well as the ones they exposed.

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