Caesarean Section

(Caesarean Surgery or Cesarean Surgery)

A surgical procedure which is not from Julius Caesar

The surgical procedure which some doctors use when a woman is in childbirth. It is used when the delivery of her child can not be done through the normal pelvic process.

The abdomen is incised or cut into, the loops of the bowel retracted, and the wall of the uterus cut open to disengage or to take the child from inside it.

There are some who believe that Gaius Julius Caesar was delivered by this method and that's why his name is associated with such a procedure.

Despite the etymological explanation that Caesar comes from the Latin phrase a caeso matris utere, or "from the mother's cut womb," there are those who challenge this concept as an inappropriate application.

It is known that Caesar's mother, Aurelia, lived to be seventy years old, and apparently had good health up to the time of her death.

Historically, caesarean sections in antiquity were a deadly experience. When the operation was used, the child was saved sometimes, but the mother inevitably died or was already dead.

"We know" that in antiquity this operation was never performed on the living mother. It took centuries for surgery to develop to the degree of safety as we know it.

Even now there is no guarantee that it will be 100% safe, but it was almost certainly guaranteed that no one could survive such a process until about the nineteenth century.

—Compiled from information based on
"Caesarean Section" in the Encyclopaedia Britannica;
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; Chicago; 1968; page 577.

FREE searches of words derived from Latin and Greek sources.
E-mail Form for comments or type in [email protected], if you prefer typing it into your e-mail address.