Published: 2016-10-22

Ancient origins of caesarean section and contextual rendition of Krishna’s birth

Sharadendu Bali, Maneshwar Singh Utaal


A Caesarean section is defined as “the surgical termination of pregnancy or delivery by operative opening of the uterus”. Caesarean sections ancestory can be traced back to the ancient (Graeco-Roman) world. Though there is very little information still extant about practices of this kind in antiquity, there are many folktales and popular stories from all over the world that tell of people being born in this fashion. Indian religious books describe the birth of Buddha through his mother’s right flank. Brahma was believed to be born through the umbilicus of his mother. Sage Sushruta, a founder of ancient Hindu medicine mentions the importance of performing a post-mortem caesarean section in his medical treatise “Sushruta Samhita”. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that knowledge and practice of this type of procedure was practiced in ancient Greece, ancient Rome and even ancient India. It is these early practices, from this part of the world, which are thought to have formed the foundations for what is known today in the modern Western medicine as the “caesarean section”. Therefore it is paramount to explore the practices and trace the history of this nature in the in more detail. 


Caesarean section, Sushruta Samhita, Birth of Krishna

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