New PDF release: Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth

By Peter V. Taberner

ISBN-10: 146846700X

ISBN-13: 9781468467000

ISBN-10: 1468467026

ISBN-13: 9781468467024

The making plans and writing of this e-book has taken relatively longer than I had initially meant; what begun as a modest literary venture for 2 second-year scientific scholars has improved over 8 years to develop into a whole e-book. the subject material lent itself all too simply to a sen­ sationalist process but, however, a strictly medical procedure may most likely have led to a lifeless dry textual content of little curiosity to the overall reader. i've got for this reason tried to bridge the space and make the e-book intelligible and unique to the non-special­ ist, yet while making sure that it really is factually right and competently researched for the scientist or clinician. i've got constantly been inspired through Sir J .G. Frazer's creation to his vintage e-book The Golden Bough during which he apologizes for the truth that an editorial initially meant basically to provide an explanation for the foundations of succession to the priesthood of Diana at Aricia had elevated, over a interval of thirty years, to 12 volumes. the current paintings can't faux to such heady degrees of educational excellence.

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Additional resources for Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth

Example text

Magic was the precursor of both science and religion, and its potency in primitive and some not-so-primitive societies should not be underestimated. In the past, fertility was the all-pervading influence on life, whether in terms of human fertility or the fertility of animals and crops grown for food. The short life expectancy and high infant mortality rate necessitated a high birth rate in order to maintain a strong tribe or community. The fertility of the fields and the domestic animals meant the difference between survival and starvation.

As a result, much ancient magic sought to ingratiate Man with Nature and thereby ensure his survival. The magician or sorcerer in such a community therefore played an important role and was not merely a peripheral figure. We would now refer to the people who consulted these magicians or witches as pagans, in the sense of their being heathen or unenlightened, but it is worth remembering that the word pagan derives originally from the Latin, pagani, the country folk, and as such originally had no religious connotations.

Turning from the corporeal to the celestial, the moon has always had a very important influence in magic and superstition. Many people still feel themselves affected to some extent by a full moon, and it holds romantic as well as aberrant associations. The word lunatic is derived from the Latin luna, the moon, in the sense of one who is controlled by the moon. Sexual offenders in particular often claim to be influenced by the cycles of the moon. The coincidence of the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle of women would not have been lost on ancient magicians, and menstrual fluid always had great magical significance in early superstitious societies.

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Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth by Peter V. Taberner

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