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Menstrual Blood: Uses, Values, and Controls in Ancient Rome

Chavarria, Sophie (2022) Menstrual Blood: Uses, Values, and Controls in Ancient Rome. Cahiers Mondes anciens, 16 . pp. 1-16. E-ISSN 2107-0199. (doi:10.4000/mondesanciens.4113) (KAR id:94852)

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The purpose of this article is to examine the positive and negative properties of menstrual blood in Ancient Rome and its related uses. Building on such premises, I go on to explore the cultural practices involving this ambivalent substance. I argue that menstrual blood and its powers were manipulated to reinforce male order and state control over women’s bodies, becoming an instrument justifying the enactment of new rules to control Roman women. On the other hand, far from pushing away women from public and sacred spaces, the powers of menstruation contributed to strengthen their integration into the life of the city.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.4000/mondesanciens.4113
Uncontrolled keywords: menstruation, female body, medicine, magic, pollution, Pliny the Elder, Columella, apotropaic powers
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Greco-Roman World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Sophie Chavarria
Date Deposited: 03 May 2022 08:34 UTC
Last Modified: 04 May 2022 10:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Chavarria, Sophie:
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