Lost and Foundlings

From: aelarsen@facstaff.wisc.edu
Date: Tue 07 Mar 2000 - 15:52:58 EET

>From: "Karin Goihl & Daniel Fahey" <goihlk@zedat.fu-berlin.de>
>Subject: infanticide

>I wouldn't look for infanticide among Praxians, but rather in the cities of
>In the ancient real world people in cities would often "expose" children.
>There were quite enuf people already and even more children was not needed.
>Babies didn't always have to be weak or sickly to be exposed either. Anyone
>could frequent the dumps to look for babies to raise as future slaves.

        Another common place to leave children was the marketplace, where
someone was guaranteed to find the child. Most such infants seem to have
been enslaved. It was a common theme/fear in ancient literature to meet a
slave who is secretly a character's abandoned child. Oedipus is something
of a variation on this theme. Incest features as a prominent threat in
these stories. Several of Shakespeare's plays employ variations on this

Andrew E. Larsen


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