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お願いします (1) No one in the ancient world loved their children more than the Egyptians. The Greeks, who sometimes left unwanted infants (most often girls) outdoors to die, were shocked to discover the Egyptians did not. The Greek geographer Strabo believed the fact "that they bring up all the children that are born" to be the Egyptians' most admirable quality. In Egypt, children (even girls) were considered a blessing. Pregnant women were fussed over, envied, and admired. And right behind them, the fathers stood all puffed up with their fatherhood. Egyptian men were loving fathers―and proud of it! (2) The medical document called the Berlin Papyrus, contains directions for the oldest-known pregnancy test. The test involves watering cereals with urine, and has a bonus feature of predicting the sex of the unborn child. "The woman must moisten it with urine every day.... If he barley grows it means a male child. If the wheat grows it will mean a female child. If neither grows, she will not give birth." (3) When it was time to deliver, women went to special birth houses. For the upper class, the birth house might be a luxurious room built next to the temple. For the less wealthy, the birth house might be a special room on the roof of the house where cool winds blew. Squatting with each foot on a large brick, or sitting in a special birthing chair with a hole in the seat, a woman gave birth assisted by female neighbors. The women in labor repeated prayers to Amun, "make the heart of the deliverer strong, and keep alive the one that is coming."

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(1) 古代世界でエジプト人ほど、自分の子供たちを愛した人々はいませんでした。 ギリシア人は、時々、不要な幼児(しばしば女児)を屋外に放置して死なせましたが、彼らは、エジプト人が、そうしないのを知って衝撃を受けました。 ギリシアの地理学者ストラボンは、「彼らが、生まれたすべての子供たちを育てて」エジプト人にするという事実は、最も賞賛に値する特質であると思いました。エジプトでは、子供たち(女の子さえ)は、天の恵みと考えられました。 妊婦は、気遣われ、うらやまれ、賞賛されました。 そして、正に彼女たちの背後には、父親になることに得意満面の父親たちがいました。 エジプトの男性は、父親になることが大好きでした ― また、それを誇りに思っていました! (2) ベルリン・パピルスと呼ばれる医学文書には、知られている中で最も古い妊娠検査の指示が掲載されています。その検査は、尿で穀類を湿らせることを含みます、そして、まだ生まれていない子供の性別を予測するおまけの特徴があります。 「女性は、毎日、それ(穀類)を尿で湿らせなければなりません .... 大麦が成長するならば、それは男の子供を意味します。 小麦が成長するならば、それは女の子供を意味します。 どちらも成長しないならば、彼女は出産しません。」 (3) 出産する頃になると、女性は、特別な産屋(うぶや、出産所)に行きました。 上流階級にとって、産屋は、神殿の隣に建てられた豪華な部屋かもしれません。 それほどお金持ちでない人々にとっては、産屋は、涼しい風が吹く家の屋上にしつらえられた特別な部屋かもしれません。大きなレンガに片足ずつのせてしゃがむか、あるいは、座席に穴のある特別な分娩椅子に座って、女性は、同性の隣人に助けられて出産しました。 分娩中の女性は、アメン神に祈りを繰り返しました「妊婦の心を強くしたまえ、そして、生まれ来るものを生かしたまえ。」

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