Friday, December 4, 2009


Throughout the great Egyptian famine of 1201, many survived by slaughtering and eating children. A Cairo doctor named Abdi al-Latif left a detailed diary of the famine. Children were regularly kidnapped only to end up on someone's dining table and were often sold ready-roasted or boiled. Latif described how a woman was caught red-handed and was dragged before the authorities with a roasted child still hanging around her neck. Grave-robbers ate, and sold, the bodies they dug up. People who had been caught eating human flesh often tried to excuse themselves by claiming that they were only eating the remains of a close relative. At first the authorities made a determined effort to stamp out the practice by burning the culprits, but in time they Egyptians grew indifferent to cannibalism. The mania for eating children eventually spread to the rich, by which time it had become a fashion, rather than a necessity. Often two or three children at a time were thrown into a single cook-pot: on one occasion the authorities found ten assorted heads marinating in a selection of choice herbs and spices.

From The Giant Bathroom Reader

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Imagine how much better a child would act if they knew they could be roasted for dinner.

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