By Peter V. Taberner
The making plans and writing of this ebook has taken quite longer than I had initially meant; what begun as a modest literary venture for 2 second-year clinical scholars has improved over 8 years to turn into an entire ebook. the subject material lent itself all too simply to a sen sationalist strategy but, however, a strictly medical method might most likely have ended in a lifeless dry textual content of little curiosity to the overall reader. i've got as a result tried to bridge the space and make the e-book intelligible and pleasing to the non-special ist, yet while making sure that it truly is factually right and correctly researched for the scientist or clinician. i've got regularly been inspired by means of Sir J .G. Frazer's advent to his vintage publication The Golden Bough during which he apologizes for the truth that a piece of writing initially meant simply to give an explanation for the foundations of succession to the priesthood of Diana at Aricia had extended, over a interval of thirty years, to 12 volumes. the current paintings can't fake to such heady degrees of educational excellence.
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Additional info for Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth
The idea that eating the generative organs of the obviously more potent beasts such as the stag, bull, or stallion as a means of transferring that animal's characteristics to the consumer has been practised in most human societies since prehistory. The early cave-dwelling hunters who drew representations of the hunt on the walls of their caves clearly believed that the hunters could gain the strength and ferocity of the animals they hunted by eating parts of their prey in special ritual ceremonies.
A girl who was menstruating for the first time could, by her glance, cause mirrors to tarnish, blunt steel, kill bees, corrode brass and rust iron, and it is remarkable that this catalogue of misfortune could ever have been believed. However, the same people who smile indulgently at these superstitions are probably not entirely averse to 'touching wood', 'throwing salt' or carefully avoiding walking under a ladder. With our present degree of enlightenment it is also easy to belittle the practice, common in Pliny's time, of burying a dog's genitalia in the foundations of a house to protect the household from enchantments.
Many lucky charms are strongly suggestive of the male member. Nowadays a single shark tooth on a necklace or, in America, the John the Conqueror root, is used as a lucky sex charm or mojo. Veterinary students, particularly the girls, appear to favour the os penis of the dog as a charm and this can be seen in use in Bristol today. From a historic point of view the mandrake root and the rhinoceros hom have provided the most potent sexual symbols and have thereby gained reputations as powerful aphrodisiacs.
Aphrodisiacs: The Science and the Myth by Peter V. Taberner