DE SECRETIS MULIERUM PDF

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Written in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth centuries, De Secretis Mulierum On the Secrets of Women became a highly popular text. De Secretis Mulierum is primarily a work of popularized natural philosophy. When a woman is having sexual intercourse with a man she releases her menses at the same time that the man releases sperm, and both seeds enter the vulva simultaneously and are mixed together, and then the woman conceives.

Conception is said to take place, therefore, when the two seeds are received in the womb in a place that nature has chosen. And after these seeds are received, the womb closes up like a purse on every side, so that nothing can fall out of it. After this happens, the woman no longer menstruates.

Problemata Aristotelis and Secretum Secretorum , highly popular works in the European Middle Ages, included similar passages of natural philosophy. What makes De Secretis Mulierum distinctive relative to popular natural philosophy is its focus on women. The author of De Secretis Mulierum was amazingly ignorant of female biology. He believed that women urinate through their vaginas. For example, in discussing impediments to conception, he declared:.

Sometimes it is caused by excessive fatness of the body because fat surrounding the opening of the womb constricts it and does not allow the male semen to enter. This can be seen in a woman whose kidneys are hidden and buried in fat on every side. If a woman of this sort receives semen during coitus, it cannot enter the womb, and so she ejects it with her urine. Thus if you examine her urine after coitus, you will be able to tell whether or not the semen is collected in the womb.

No woman reader of this text could take its knowledge authority seriously after meeting such ignorance. De Secretis Mulierum stimulated sensational claims. A medieval commentary on it added discussion of miraculous conception:. This has been attested to by experience. Bath-water conception is a generating event in the deeply transgressive Pseudo-Sirach , written in Hebrew probably in the early Islamic world. The medieval commentary on De Secretis Mulierum also added discussion of hermaphroditic generation from cat semen:.

If a cat ejaculated on some sage, and a man ate some of this sage, then cats would be generated in his stomach and would have to be expelled by vomiting. De Secretis Mulierum provided sensational entertainment under the cover of informing. For good evolutionary-biological reasons , men are particularly concerned to ascertain the sexual fidelity of women with whom they seek a long-term intimate relationship. Sometimes virgins are gravely corrupted so that their vagina is greatly enlarged because the male member is exceedingly large and inept.

This is the reason why when young women first lose their virginity they have pain in the vagina for a time, because it is being enlarged and disposed for coitus. Another reason for this pain is that there is a certain skin in the vagina and the bladder which is broken.

But the more they have sex, the more they become accustomed to it. The chapter on the exit of the fetus from the uterus discusses how women attempt to induce abortion and the grief that some women experience from having an abortion. The chapter includes sensational questions for discussion:.

Albertus Magnus, the purported author of De Secretis Mulierum , was an authority that Victor Frankenstein assiduously studied. The most important secrets of women are clarified in modern scholarly study of De Secretis Mulierum. Trumping medieval commentators claims about bath-water conceptions, a modern scholar declared:.

Both pseudo-Albert and the inquisitors build upon the misogyny, inherent in thirteenth-century scholasticism, that we saw already in Albertus Magnus. We can regard each of their treatises as moving progressively toward the ultimate consequences of such a mode of thinking — extermination of those who most embody the evil carnality that is so feared.

Pseudo-Albert fuses theological and scientific tenets and lays the groundwork for a new kind of misogynistic document. The Dominican authors then incorporate both the spirit and the letter of the Secrets into their virulent verbal attacks on the female gender, which forms the basis for a much more serious assault on women by the inquisitorial procedure itself.

De Secretis Mulierum itself offered men little insight into the most important secrets of women. But modern study of De Secretis Mulierum clearly reveals them. De Secretis Mulierum survives in known Latin manuscript copies. Three-fourths of those manuscripts were produced in the fifteenth century. Green p. Fifty editions of the work were printed in the fifteenth century and seventy editions in the sixteenth century.

Lemay p. Among the editions available online are one from and one from The most widely known are commonly called the Trotula. De Secretis Mulierum was more sensational and hence better positioned than the Trotula to be a popular text. Not surprisingly, surviving diseases of women literature is closely associated with De Secretis Mulierum. Green Lemay pp. The subsequent quote is from id. Calabre of Paris , a fourteenth-century woman physician, reportedly could make a vagina small again.

An atomistic view of individuals greatly affects modern scholarship and healthcare. Many women care greatly about being fertile and being sexually attractive to men. Moreover, gynocentric society has enacted legal structures that make being attractive to men and bearing children potentially highly profitable for women. The labeling of the text and Commentary B with respect to the first question is clearly mistaken. The diction of projected suspicion suggests lack of self-consciousness.

Caballero-Navas accepts the authoritative declarations that De Secretis Mulierum is misogynistic, but reports lack of misogyny in the Hebrew medical tradition. It pays scant attention to actual health outcomes. By the mid-nineteenth century, those figures had risen to 62 years and 50 years, respectively.

Leading international organizations today measure gender differences in life expectancy with indices that feature built-in anti-men gender inequality. The version shown apparently is from a Bologna, edition. Thanks to Wikimedia Commons. Turnhout: Porto. Caballero-Navas, Carmen. Green, Monica H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lemay, Helen Rodnite. Your email address will not be published.

For example, in discussing impediments to conception, he declared: Sometimes it is caused by excessive fatness of the body because fat surrounding the opening of the womb constricts it and does not allow the male semen to enter. A medieval commentary on it added discussion of miraculous conception: it often happens that a woman conceives if she is in a bath where a man ejaculated because the vulva strongly attracts the sperm, and the sperm at this point is vigorous and has not evaporated, so that it can produce a fetus.

The medieval commentary on De Secretis Mulierum also added discussion of hermaphroditic generation from cat semen: If a cat ejaculated on some sage, and a man ate some of this sage, then cats would be generated in his stomach and would have to be expelled by vomiting. The chapter includes sensational questions for discussion: if, when a man and woman are having sexual intercourse, a thunderbolt strikes, can the seed receive a new impression at the moment of ejaculation which would dispose it to be something other than its particular nature intends?

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Women's Secrets: A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus' de Secretis Mulierum with Commentaries

Written in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth centuries, De Secretis Mulierum On the Secrets of Women became a highly popular text. De Secretis Mulierum is primarily a work of popularized natural philosophy. When a woman is having sexual intercourse with a man she releases her menses at the same time that the man releases sperm, and both seeds enter the vulva simultaneously and are mixed together, and then the woman conceives. Conception is said to take place, therefore, when the two seeds are received in the womb in a place that nature has chosen. And after these seeds are received, the womb closes up like a purse on every side, so that nothing can fall out of it.

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Women's Secrets: A Translation of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus' De Secretis ...

Secreta Mulierum is a manuscript from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century frequently attributed to Albertus Magnus , although it is often thought to be more likely written by one of his followers. Drawing on Hippocratic, Galenic, and Aristotelian theories on sex and reproduction, this narrative discusses the male scientific views of female nature in the Middle Ages and early modern period from both a medical and philosophical perspective. Over eighty manuscript copies of the treatise have been identified, and it has been translated into multiple different languages over the centuries. Owing to both the medical and philosophical nature of the text, a variety of topics are discussed by pseudo-Albert. While some of the thirteen chapters are strictly medical such as signs of conception, period of gestation, and the nature of the menses, others are largely theoretical. For example, the author discusses at length how the planets and constellations can affect a developing fetus.

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