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View Diary: Should VA's Gov. and AG be charged as accessories? (14 comments)

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  •  No writings? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kingsmeg, Sunspots

    In Imperial Rome?  Silphium was a major trade item.  Pictures of the plant are carved into iconic images from the province of Libya, where it was grown.  And writings abound.

    Pennyroyal was a major element of the Mysteries of Eleusis, and is documented by numerous references and asides.  Even Aristophanes makes a snide joke about it.

    A substantial lay-quality book on the history of herbal abortifacients and contraceptives came out in the late 1980's and was well-received by the academic press.  I think I read the review in the Chronicle of Higher Education, but it might have been Science.  Silphium and pennyroyal, as well as the speculations concerning ergot, I'm directly familiar with from my research in Hellenic and Hellenistic religion.

    •  Ah, when I think of "ancient" times, ... (0+ / 0-)

      I think of many thousands of years ago, not a time period as recent as you meant.  I retract the question.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:12:23 PM PDT

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    •  I owned a copy of that book, don't have it now (0+ / 0-)

      It was written by John someone...Contraception and Abortion in the Ancient World, I think.

      And you're right about the sylphium and pennyroyal.  Sylphium apparently was a very tall plant, a member of the fennel family.

      There are several plants that can be used for contraception.  However, the knowledge of those pretty much went up in smoke with the Witch-burnings of the middle ages and so-called renaissance.  Native American women also knew about the plants in this country that can be used for contraception and abortion.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Thu May 23, 2013 at 04:52:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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