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Friday, 25 June 2010


A curious tale from the BBC. Archaeological remains in England show a mass grave of around 97 new-born infants from a Roman building, believed to be a brothel. To modern ears a heartbreaking tale is heard, where lacking contraception Roman prostitutes practised infanticide on a widespread scale.

"Archaeological records suggest infants were not considered to be "full" human beings until about the age of two, said Dr Eyers [of Chiltern Archaeology].

Children any younger than that age were not buried in cemeteries. As a result, infant burials tended to be at domestic sites in the Roman era."

There is a brutal and tragic logic to this, painful as it is to comprehend. Indeed in many subsistence societies through history, infanticide is considered a necessary practice where deformities occur - a small community may not be able to provide adequate care without destroying the group itself.

Is the horror in modern emotions rooted in luxury and development rather than any sense of eternal morality? I would not go back to such dark practices but it takes a dispassionate eye to learn from the past.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our emotions can lead us in many directions if we are not careful but the wise one of us will learn to control it so that it works for us in our journey to self-development.