Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Disabilities and the Disabled in the Roman World
A Social and Cultural History

  • Date Published: June 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316615010


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Almost fifteen per cent of the world's population today experiences some form of mental or physical disability and society tries to accommodate their needs. But what was the situation in the Roman world? Was there a concept of disability? How were the disabled treated? How did they manage in their daily lives? What answers did medical doctors, philosophers and patristic writers give for their problems? This, the first monograph on the subject in English, explores the medical and material contexts for disability in the ancient world, and discusses the chances of survival for those who were born with a handicap. It covers the various sorts of disability: mental problems, blindness, deafness and deaf-muteness, speech impairment and mobility impairment, and includes discussions of famous instances of disability from the ancient world, such as the madness of Emperor Caligula, the stuttering of Emperor Claudius and the blindness of Homer.

    • The first scholarly study of the subject in English
    • Comprehensively engages with literary sources, legal texts, epigraphy and papyrology, as well as with material evidence such as iconography
    • Adopts an explicitly comparative approach which constantly seeks dialogue with new approaches and studies concerning other periods
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316615010
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Conception, birth and the 'crucial' first days
    2. Mental and intellectual disabilities: sane or insane?
    3. Blindness: 'a fate worse than death'
    4. Deaf, mute and deaf-mute: a silent story
    5. Speech defects: stammering history
    6. Mobility impairments: history of pain and toil

  • Author

    Christian Laes, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
    Christian Laes is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the University of Antwerp, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampere. He specialises in the socio-cultural history of the Roman and late antique worlds. His previous books include Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within (Cambridge, 2011) and Youth in the Roman Empire: The Young and the Restless Years? (Cambridge, 2014).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.