Birth

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Birth

Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:04 am

I remember earlier today that when I was reading the book "Pandora" by Anne Rice, she mentioned a part that when the character was born (I believe it was the Imperial Era), her father performed a ritual mourning because she was a girl and not a boy.

I was wondering, in regard to birth and newborns in the Roman world, if there was any ritual or rites that were performed in particular as attested to in Rice's book?
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:39 pm

Salve

Well I suppose that could be true since a girl meant that the family name stops with her unless a second child was born, who was a boy. In any way, I suppose the Romans did a similar ritual like the Greeks for every newborn child; a ritual was performed called a Amphidromia, a ritual to welcome the child into the world. On the 10th day, the Dekate ritual was held to give the baby its name.
When a child is born, this is accompanied by rituals. The first one being a ritual cry when it is born and a thank offering to the goddes(s) who have helped during the childbirth. This was what the Greeks did. Perhaps it was similar for the Romans, but I'm not sure.
vale

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Postby Publius Nonius Severus on Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:06 pm

I can't find any sources that involve a ritual similar to the one described in the book.

The only rituals or invocations involving birth of any type I can find are a reference in Plautus and others that a mother in labor would invoke Juno Lucina to help her deliver the baby. Also as noted by Orcus, the romans had a similar rite that on the eigth or ninth day depending on whether the child was a girl or boy, called the dies lustricus, the child was named and sacrifices and feasts were made.

By all accounts, such a "mourning" ritual would have been unencesary I think. If the father was unhappy about having a girl and was paterfamilias and did not want to rear the child, after birth he could ordered the child to be put to death by exposure.
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Baby Romans

Postby Aldus Marius on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:56 pm

Salvete, amici Romani!

I seem to recall there also being a practice of setting the newborn down on the floor; if the father picked it up, it was acknowledged as part of the family; if not, it was left on a stranger's doorstep or exposed. Does this ring any bells?

* teeters on the brink of something big *

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Postby Titus Iulius Nero on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:27 pm

Salve,

I seem to recall there also being a practice of setting the newborn down on the floor; if the father picked it up, it was acknowledged as part of the family; if not, it was left on a stranger's doorstep or exposed. Does this ring any bells?


It does sound familiar :D

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