Female Erotic Dreams and Female Seed in Ancient Greek Medicine

Valeria Andō


This paper analyses passages of the Hippocratic Corpus, of Aristotle and Galen about oneirogmōs , spermatic emission during sleep, referring specifically to women. Into the Hippocratic texts there is only one gynaecological case among many cases about males: for them this nocturnal emission is symptom of dangerous illness and De genitura  gives a causal explanation of such phaenomenon. Instead, in Aristotle and Galen erotic dream is evidence for or against emission of female seed and female contribution to generation. As the argument of Historia animalium  book X shows clear theoretical differences from that of De generatione animalium , the topic of erotic dream also concerns issues of authenticity.


Key words: Greek medicine Female erotic dreams Female contribution to


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