Bad History, Hippocrates, hysteria, internet

Quote/unquote: basic errors in using the internet for doing history

Just occasionally, even I am shocked at how people don't bother to look at the basics when using a web page as evidence for their arguments: who wrote this? when did they write it? what's their evidence? are they using that evidence properly? This happened today. I was engaging in one of those chats on Twitter… Continue reading Quote/unquote: basic errors in using the internet for doing history

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Bad History, Galen, Hippocrates, hysteria, sex, womb

Hysteria from Hippocrates

(updated 19 July 2018 - and, thanks to Minji Lee of Rice University, subsequently available in Korean here) Please can we just get something out of the way once and for all? The disease of 'hysteria' was neither described nor named by Hippocrates. I know The Sun says it was, but it's wrong. And it's… Continue reading Hysteria from Hippocrates

alternative medicine, Bad History, doctors, Hippocrates, remedies, sex, womb

I can forgive Gwyneth for the jade eggs and mugwort, but not for this rubbish about Hippocrates…

Like many people, I find the claims of Gwyneth Paltrow's 'modern lifestyle brand' Goop pretty irritating. I was sufficiently cross about the claims for the benefits of vagina steaming that I wrote something for The Conversation about it. And I loved Dr Jen Gunter's blog post about jade eggs and in particular the way Gunter gently… Continue reading I can forgive Gwyneth for the jade eggs and mugwort, but not for this rubbish about Hippocrates…

Bad History, doctors, drugs, Hippocrates, menstruation, pregnancy, sex, womb

IUD or not IUD? Did the Hippocratics invent the first intrauterine device?

"Around 400 B.C., writers from the Hippocrates school discussed a contraceptive similar to the intrauterine device (IUD) of today. This particular apparatus was a hollow tube filled with mutton-fat..." Really??

beards, birth, death, doctors, Hippocrates, love, menstruation, pregnancy, womb

Gendered flesh, prolapse and sex change: the case of Phaethousa

‘Her body was masculinized (τό τε σῶμα ἠνδρώθη)’. This is one aspect of the description of Phaethousa of Abdera, who features in one of the Hippocratic ‘case histories’ from probably the fourth century BC. When her husband leaves, or goes into exile, this previously fecund woman stops menstruating and experiences a range of symptoms, including… Continue reading Gendered flesh, prolapse and sex change: the case of Phaethousa