chapter  25
8 Pages

MIDWIVES

MIDWIVES Among ancient peoples-Heavenly midwives among the Chaldeans-The Goddess Mylitta-The cult of Astarte-Greek-lranian-The moon as an assistant in birth-South Slavic birth goddesses-The Mandarin goddess Rucha-The Mother of God as an assistant in birth-The Jericho-Rose at birth-The history of midwives-Midwives among the Hebrews-Hellenish_ Roman and Byzantine midwifery-Midwives in the Arabian era-Igl1oral1ct! of the oriental midwives-Their bad reputation-Earlier position of birth help in Constantinople-Reforms under Sultan Abdul Medschid-The Viennese Dame Messani-Present conditions in Turkey-Names of midwives-

Importance of midwives in Bagdad_

The ancient peoples of the Orient assigned to various gods the roles of midwives. Among the Chaldeans the Goddess Thalat was the invisible assistant of those giving birth. Mylitta, the Goddess ~f fertility, the Assyrian-Babylonian Astarte, was simultaneously queen of the heavens and queen of the night, heavenly virgin and goddess of those who have conceived and are giving birth; religious prostitution took place in Babylon in her honor. The honoring of the Babylonian Astarte was borne from the Euphrates and the Tigris to Phoenicia, and it spread throughout all Syria; here also the cult was tied up with religious prostitution. The Phoenician Astarte, who gives birth to all, then came to the islands near Asia Minor and attained a great respect as Aphrodite. In Phrygia they honm" Cybele, the allegorized earth. At the time of Solomon the cuL of Aschera, whieh is identical with that of Astarte, was popular. The Ancient Arabs named the moon Goddess Al JIahat of Herodot Alilath or Alytta the goddess of fertility and birth.