This monograph on the history and development of the operation of cesarean section was originally written as a thesis for an M.D. degree at the University of Edinburgh. Professor Miles persuaded Dr. Young to enlarge it and to publish the manuscript in book form. The result is a complete story of abdominal delivery beginning in antiquity and extending to the present. A thorough search of the literature failed to discover the exact origin of the operation. The authentic history of cesarean section is divided into three periods; prior to 1500, from 1500 to 1876 and from 1876 to the present time. Prior to 1500 abdominal delivery was seldom performed and then solely for the postmortem delivery of the living child. From 1500 to 1876 sporadic operations were reported, chiefly on the continent of Europe, but recoveries were so few that the procedure was not recognized by the profession at large.