“My milk being good from both breasts”

Jennifer Cromwell In a Coptic letter from the 7th century CE, a wet nurse Maria expresses her grief and condolences over the death of a young girl (P.Amh. II 188 desc.; edition by Alain Delattre et al., 2018). “My heart grieved when I heard about my daughter, that she had died.” Maria then goes on to wishContinue reading ““My milk being good from both breasts””

Death in the Desert

Jennifer Cromwell Life in the ancient world, before the development of modern medicine, was hard. Child mortality rates were high, life-expectancy was much lower than it is today, and illnesses and injuries that are easily cured now were often fatal. Life out in the oases of the western desert must have been especially difficult. ForContinue reading “Death in the Desert”

An Abandoned Wife and Unpaid Alimony

Jennifer Cromwell It’s a story that resonates throughout the ages: a man abandons his wife and their children for another woman. The story could be of a woman abandoning her husband and kids, but the story on this 7th century AD papyrus is of a man who leaves his wife. His sick wife. And theirContinue reading “An Abandoned Wife and Unpaid Alimony”