So this is the big question - were Roman surgeons capable of replicating modern Caesarian births where both mother and child are expected to have survive? The first successful modern Caesarian birth did not occur until 1881, however the conditions in which it occurred were little different to those that would have presented themselves two thousand years earlier - that is, it occurred in a private residence, it was completed with minimal anaesthetic and with only the most basic wound and instrument sterilisation. What's more, two years earlier, Ugandan villagers were observed completing successful Caesarian births in even more basic conditions. So all in all, there doesn't seem a lot standing in the way of ancient surgeons being able to do the same. Remember, with what would have been a fairly regular attendance to pregnant women who had died for any number of reasons, a Roman surgeon would have been familiar with the abdominal region, including where they should make incisions and what they would encounter beneath.
|A Roman era 'dialator'|