Votive offering showing a mother breastfeeding a child, Roman, 300 BCE-100 CE
Votive offerings were given to the gods either in the hope of a cure or as thanks for one and were made in the shape of the afflicted body part. This terracotta figure shows a mother breast feeding her child. The figure may have been given in thanks for the safe delivery of a child. A large number of the votive offerings in the Wellcome collection are in the shape of reproductive organs, reflecting a society that placed great emphasis on fertility but which also ran great risks in pregnancy and childbirth.
Related Themes and Topics
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Glossary: breast feeding
The process of synthesising milk from the breasts, usually a child from its mother.
The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.
Glossary: votive offering
Objects or monuments donated by an individual for a public place or shrine. The object is usually given in gratitude for deliverance from distress.