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ANAHITA  January 1999

ANAHITA January 1999

Subject:

Re: Midwives (aka Demeter still youthful in the Ode)

From:

Kev <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 31 Jan 1999 22:15:36 +0000

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

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TEXT/PLAIN (91 lines)

Fair point.  This response is exactly what I am getting at:
perhaps we should be careful about assumptions and examine what the
written evidence has to say.  I should very much hope that such a course
of action be taken before the evidence is dismissed.  It would be an
unfortunate error to immediately regarding anything _male_ as out of
touch with the life of women.  It may be surprisingly accurate.
I am sure that everyone on the list feels that it would be nice if more
female authors' works had survived, or if women artists' works were better
attested.

Come to think of it--might there be any midwives represented or at least
mentioned in the papyrus?  This would be a very fascinating point to me
personally.

I might suggest a few refinements to your comments, however:

> First of all, you have to imagine a world without the giant baby
> formula corporations. I.e. nursing was the *only* way that
> infants and young children were being fed.

Not necessarily.  One should perhaps consult both historical evidence and
more recent medical knowledge before making such a definite interjection.
Admittedly, it is a completely anecdotal example, but my own mother was
extremely allergic to milk as an infant (so my grandmother tells me) and
was primarily fed on water in which rice had been cooked.  Perhaps not
ideal, but she seems to have managed with minimal damage.

> Secondly, you can't make the assumption that pregnancy,
> childbirth and nursing was supervised or managed by male
> physicians.  This is before the AMA.  You may be better off
> looking into midwifery of the times
>
Again I agree, nor would I make such an assumption.  Although neither
should we assume such a prominent role by midwives (or perhaps we should
say midpersons--did eunuchs or male servants/attendants play a part). I
myself, in addition to many other things which I don't know, know
virtually nothing beyond Pliny about ancient medicine.

I am afraid that I am not quite sure what you are getting at with regards
to the AMA.  Did the AMA usher in an era of physician-domination in the
supervision/assistance of childbirth, or was this just the way in which
modern medical practise (in hindsight, not without some criticism) evolved
this century?  Surely the AMA did not have that big of an impact on
Europe.  Or did it?

> Liv Faret
>
> ----------------------------------------------------
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______________________________________________________________________________
Br Kevin Michael Freese MA (Lond) OSL
DPhil Student
University of Oxford

(UK) Christ Church, Oxford  OX1 1DP
(US) 515 East Logan Street, Moberly, MO  65270

(UK) 01865 276 150 (messages only)
(US) 660 263 8604

[log in to unmask]
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~chri0503

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