Original Research

Poisoning in ancient Rome

F. P. Retief, L. Cilliers
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 19, No 1 | a736 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v19i1.736 | © 2000 F. P. Retief, L. Cilliers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 July 2000 | Published: 15 July 2000

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F. P. Retief,, South Africa
L. Cilliers,, South Africa

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Recorded instances of poisoning in ancient Rome were studied. The firs t such event was in 33l BC when, concurrent with a serious epidemic, 170 women were formed guilty of mass poisoning. Historians reported a subsequent increase in deliberate poisoning, which appeared to reach an alarming peak during the Julio-Claudian dynasty and the reign of Nero in particular.


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