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

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SUNY Press, 1992 - Medical - 200 pages
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Women's Secrets provides the first modern translation of the notorious treatise De secretis mulierum, popular throughout the late middle ages and into modern times. The Secrets deals with human reproduction and was written to instruct celibate medieval monks on the facts of life and some of the ways of the universe. However, the book had a much more far-reaching influence. Lemay shows how its message that women were evil, lascivious creatures built on the misogyny of the work's Aristotelian sources and laid the groundwork for serious persecution of women.

Both the content of the treatise and the reputation of its author (erroneously believed to be Albertus Magnus) inspired a few medieval scholars to compose lengthy commentaries on the text, substantial selections from which are included, providing further evidence of how medieval men interpreted science and viewed the female body.
 

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User Review  - Mary_Overton - LibraryThing

Beware the female. WOMEN'S SERCRETS, composed in the late 13th or early 14th century by a disciple of theologian & scientist Albertus Magnus, is intended as a scholarly study on female sexuality and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction Authors Dates of Composition and the Text
1
Sources
16
Human Generation
20
Astrology
26
The Secrets of Women
32
De Secretis Mulierum On the Secrets of Women
59
On the Generation of the Embryo
63
On the Formation of the Fetus
78
On the Signs of Conception
120
On the Signs of Whether a Male or Female Is in the Uterus
123
On the Signs of Corruption of Virginity
126
On the Signs of Chastity
128
Concerning a Defect of the Womb
131
Concerning Impediments to Conception
135
On the Generation of the Sperm
143
Notes
151

Concerning the Influence of the Planets
91
On the Generation of Imperfect Animals
95
On the Exit of the Fetus from the Uterus
100
Concerning Monsters in Nature
111
Bibliography
181
Index
195
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About the author (1992)

Helen Rodnite Lemay is Associate Professor of History at State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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