Motherhood and Early Childhood in Ancient Egypt: Culture, Religion, and Medicine

Pre-Order   Ships 22 October 2024
21,000+ Reviews has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world


A richly nuanced analysis of how ancient Egyptian society regarded and dealt with pregnancy, mothers, birth, and children

In ancient Egypt, a woman’s primary role was that of mother, and as such she ensured her place within both her household and her community. And so, gods, doctor-magicians, as well as ghosts were all called upon to help the woman become pregnant.

Pregnancy was not without risks, and the many tests, prescriptions, and spells that have survived to this day help us to understand obstetrics as it was practiced in those distant times. Once the woman had eluded the ill will of Seth—who was held responsible for miscarriages—and had reached her term, she was faced with the much awaited and yet also feared moment of birth. The successful delivery of a child into the world was seen as a gift of the gods, but it did not mean that the parent’s worries were over. Indeed, it has been estimated that a third of all children did not reach the age of five years despite the combined efforts of parents and doctor-magicians to protect them.

Amandine Marshall draws upon a wealth of sources, including texts, images, iconography, artefacts, and children’s bodies themselves, as well as medicine, anthropology, and ethnography, to examine these issues and more, and in doing so sheds unprecedented light on the experience of maternity and early childhood in ancient Egypt.

Product Details

American University in Cairo Press
Publish Date

Earn By Promoting Books

Earn money by sharing your favourite books through our Affiliate programme.

Become an Affiliate
We use cookies and similar methods to recognize visitors and remember their preferences. We also use them to help detect unauthorized access or activity that violate our terms of service, as well as to analyze site traffic and performance for our own site improvement efforts. To learn more about these methods, including how to disable them view our Cookie Policy.