Julius Caesar and the Caesarean section

 

Gaius_Iulius_Caesar_(Vatican_Museum).jpgJulius Caesar was born on 13 July 100 BC and died on the Ides of March (15 March) of 44 BC.
He was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the end of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.
He was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, descending from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas. As regards his cognomen “Caesar”, Pliny the Elder explains it comes from an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section.                               In ancient Rome, C-section or Caesarean delivery was performed to remove a baby from the womb of a mother who died during childbirth, so that mother and baby could be buried separately
Therefore this  procedure does not derive its name from Julius Caesar himself, as it is false that he was the first baby born via Caesarean. He was not removed by an incision in his dead mother’s womb because his mother Aurelia did not die in childbirth, but survived to see her son to adulthood and acted as one of his political advisers. Some historians even believe that she survived him.

The word Caesarean derives from the Latin verb caedere, meaning to cut, and caesus, its part participle.

  • It is said that the first known woman to survive a C-section was the wife of a Swiss pig castrator in the late 16th century. When he noticed that his wife had been labouring unsuccessfully for several days, he made a cut in her stomach, took the baby out, and then sewed her up

 

31 thoughts on “Julius Caesar and the Caesarean section

  1. Sì, e forse la cosa gli procurò dei problemi per lq sua carriera politica. I romani diffidavano degli uomini belli. Questo scrissi sul mio blog in inglese:

    Caesar was very good-looking and narcissistic. He tried to hide his thinning hair. He plucked the hairs of his body and made use of the most exquisite perfumes. He liked his skin to be as perfect as that of a woman.

    He changed wife four times. He probably had an affair with the King of Bithynia Nicomedes IV, with Cleopatra queen of Egypt, with Eunoe queen of Mauritania. He perhaps slept with many of his soldiers.

    He chose himself extremely beautiful male slaves (same-sex love not being such a misdeed in Rome provided men took the active role).

    He cuckolded and was made a cuckold. He made love to Tertulla, the wife of Crassus; to Lollia, the wife of Gabinus; to Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpicius; even to Murcia, the wife of Pompey, to whom he later gave his beloved daughter Julia as a wife.

    He also had a life-long affair with Servilia, the sister of Cato the younger, his great enemy. Servilia was the mother of Marcus Brutus, one of Caesar’s murderers – and possibly Caesar’s son.

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  2. Le notizie le avevo tratte da Montaigne (che era precisissimo e aveva come sai tutti i classici antichi nella sua biblioteca) e da Suetonio.

    Tieni presente che questo era stato scritto all’interno di un post che criticava il dongiovannismo, come esempio e come “radici” del dongiovannismo italiano e latino.

    Let us consider – scrivevo – one of the most admired (and loved) Romans of all times, Julius Caesar. He had greatness in all he did, such a supreme soul, more rational than Alexander, abstemious, with intense intellect, courage, utmost strength and daring even in old age …

    And yet there is another side of Julius Caesar we might like less.

    He was totally addicted to sexual pleasure (only ambition in him was greater, argues Montaigne) and he endangered his career a few times because of this.

    E qui proseguivo con il testo già inserito qui. Concludendo:

    If these were the ways of the best man in Rome …

    Scusa, ti ho sommerso 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Il caro mitico Giulio! Ho visto un documentario che come tema trattava le conoscenze dei medici dell’antico Egitto, oltre ad una straordinara padronanza della chirurgie estetico funzionale , mi riferisco a vere e proprie protesi, alluce, talloni, naso , per alleviare partorenze troppo
    Dolorose o pericolose praticavano anche quello che conosciamo con il termine di parto cesareo. Non dimentichiamo che lo sviluppo della conoscenza medica, ma anche tutte le altre hanno subito un arresto di crescita grazie alla politica ignorante ed oscurantistica del fondamentalismo Cristiano.
    E comunque,a Cesare sei er meio .

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  4. Wow! I did not know the story of the Swiss pig castrator saving his wife. He was probably very worried about her because back then many women died in childbirth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was really frequent.
      As regards that woman I read that she then had five more children. However, some sources question the reliability of this story because they state that the first documented operation occurred a century later

      Like

  5. Fascinating! I am sure many people wondered about this. That tale about a pig butcher is also interesting – from the account it seems so common sense to do it, but the risks of it I imagine were immense back in the medieval time.

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