Increasing Fertility in the Roman Late Republic and Early Empire

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Title: Increasing Fertility in the Roman Late Republic and Early Empire
Author: Sullivan, Vanessa
Advisors: Helen Perros, Committee Member
John Riddle, Committee Member
S. Thomas Parker, Committee Chair
Abstract: During the late Republic and early Empire, many Roman citizens emphasized their personal fertility and were concerned with increasing the citizen birthrate. The continuation of individual families, as well as the security of the Roman state and economy relied upon the existence of a stable population. Literary, medical, documentary and legal sources show a variety of political and social means that were employed by men and women of all classes to promote fertility. These means included legislation as well as an emphasis on the non-use of abortion. Medicine also played a role in increasing conception rates, through the involvement of physicians and reliance upon folk medicine. This research shows the critical importance of motherhood to Roman society during this period, and raises questions about the impact that the desire for fertility had upon Roman society.
Date: 2009-04-07
Degree: MA
Discipline: History

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