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by Archaeology Newsroom

Breast-feeding virgins

By reason of the possibility of adopted children being suckled by their foster mother, an issue that has recenlty attracted international medical bibliography, two such cases are presented, one coming from Roman tradition and the other from the illumination of a Byzantine manuscript. Pero is the virgin who suckled her sentenced to death father. A miniature in a Psalter of the Pantocratoros Monastery on Mount Athos shows a virgin suckling a mythic unicorn. Hippocrates refers to a case of an eight years old girl who suckled and nursed her younger brother.

This article seeks to define the realistic qualities/dimensions of myths and to give a scientific interpretation of this peculiar phenomenon.