Scribonia Attice: Ancient Roman Midwife

In Ostia-Antica, the port city of imperial Rome, in 140 c.e a midwife named Scribonia Attice built a monument in the necropolis of Isola Sacra. On it are two terracotta reliefs illustrating her and her husband’s professions, midwife and surgeon. In the center is a marble plaque that reads (translated from Latin):

“May this monument be protected against intentional evil! Scribonia Attice has built this for herself and for Marcus Ulpuis Amerimnus, her husband, for Scribonia Callityche, her mother, for Diocles and for her freedman with their descendants, with the exception of Panaratus and Proscdocia. The monument can’t be inherited by strangers.”¬†

Scribonia Attice

I wonder what did Panaratus and Proscdocia did to piss her off? ūüė¨

The monument was originally intended to inter urns but as burial fashions changed it was modified for inhumation, and it originally had two benches inside. ¬†Archaeologists note that in the necropolis this tomb, named tomb 100, sits lower than the rest possibly due to a sinkhole under the spot, but it’s still holding up well for being nearly 2000 years old.¬†

To learn more visit Ostia-Antica.org 


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About Aradia Wyndham

Proficient nerd on most things baby/ culture/ history/book related. Disability advocate. Has a penchant for photography, languages, and panics when low on chocolate rations. Will embarrass self in any social situation to point out or pet other people's dogs. Habitual stumbler and tea drinker. People watcher, pizza slayer.