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Clio Med. 1995;27:291-307.

Paidopoiïa: metaphors for conception, abortion, and gestation in the Hippocratic Corpus.

Abstract

My paper investigates the metaphors employed by Hippocratic treatises on embryology and gynecology for conception, abortion, and gestation, as the means for bringing unseen happenings before the eye of the mind. Fruitful intercourse was pictured as a mixing of seed of both parents; the seed represented parents' bodily state at coition. Abortion was seen as destroying and dislodging the seed, a procedure writers of embryology located among the 'flow-outs' of the first seven days after coition and among slave prostitutes. Gestation was a baking of the fetus in the oven of the womb. These metaphors were also manipulated by contemporary authors outside medicine.

PMID:
7705049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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