Sardinians Probably Had the Worst Mother’s Day Ever: Aelian, 4.1

“The custom in Sardinia was that the children of parents who had grown old would kill them by beating them with clubs and then bury them, because they believed that it was shameful to go on living when someone was very old once the body, overcome by the toils of old age, would start failing in many ways. The Sardinians also had the following law: there were trials for indolence—it was necessary for a man who lived without an occupation to be tried and to give proof in court showing the means by which he lived.”

Νόμος ἐστὶ Σαρδῷος, τοὺς ἤδη γεγηρακότας τῶν πατέρων οἱ παῖδες ῥοπάλοις τύπτοντες ἀνῄρουν καὶ ἔθαπτον, αἰσχρὸν ἡγούμενοι τὸν λίαν ὑπέργηρων ὄντα ζῆν ἔτι, ὡς πολλὰ ἁμαρτάνοντος τοῦ σώματος τοῦ διὰ τὸ γῆρας πεπονηκότος. τῶν δὲ αὐτῶν ἐστι νόμος τοιοῦτος. ἀργίας ἦσαν δίκαι, καὶ τὸν εἰκῆ ζῶντα ἔδει κρίνεσθαι καὶ διδόναι τὰς εὐθύνας ἀποδεικνύντα ὁπόθεν ζῇ.

3 thoughts on “Sardinians Probably Had the Worst Mother’s Day Ever: Aelian, 4.1

  1. IS this one of those “Ants mining gold” moments in ancient history, or did the Sardinians really do these things? I guess that’s one way to deal with old age and infirmity and to ensure everyone is working-though I wonder what the penalty would be.

    1. Dear Professor, this is an Ants mining gold tale, but I wonder what it was about Sardinians that made Aelian tell that story. Maybe it was like your dad with Sicilians?

      1. I will never forget him telling me he was telling people at work that they were Sicels….

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