In ancient times, the disabled were often looked upon as cursed or punished by the gods. They were treated as outcasts and often left to fend for themselves. The treatment of disabled people varied across civilizations and cultures throughout history.
In Ancient Egypt, people with disabilities were considered a burden on society and their families. Disabled children were often left to die in the desert or abandoned to the mercy of the gods. However, there are also some indications that Egyptians tried to help disabled people by providing them with prosthetic limbs.
The Greeks had a more complex view of disability. They saw it as a natural phenomenon and believed that disabled people had been dealt an unlucky hand by the gods.
Nonetheless, they still discriminated against them in many ways. For example, they excluded disabled athletes from participating in the Olympic Games.
The Romans viewed disability as a source of shame and embarrassment for families. They believed that it was caused by bad luck or divine punishment. Disabled children were often abandoned at birth, left to die on hillsides or at temples dedicated to gods.
During the Middle Ages, disability was seen as a sign of sinfulness or witchcraft. People with disabilities were often accused of being possessed by demons and subjected to exorcisms or other forms of torture.
In Renaissance Europe, attitudes towards disability began to change slightly. Some artists began depicting disabled figures in their art, which helped to humanize them somewhat in the eyes of society.
The Industrial Revolution
With the rise of industrialization came new forms of work that required fewer physical abilities. This meant that some disabled people could find employment in factories and other types of manual labor.
Today, people with disabilities have more rights and opportunities than ever before. There are laws in place that protect them from discrimination and ensure that they have access to education and employment. However, there is still a long way to go before they are fully integrated into society.
In conclusion, the treatment of disabled people has varied greatly throughout history. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect. By understanding the history of disability, we can work towards a more inclusive future.