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The remedies said to be derived from the bodies of females closely approach the marvellous nature of prodigies; to say nothing of still-born infants cut up limb by limb for the most abominable practices, expiations made with the menstrual discharge, and other devices which have been mentioned, not only by midwives but by harlots1 even as well! The smell of a woman's hair, burnt, will drive away serpents, and hysterical suffocations, it is said, may be dispelled thereby. The ashes of a woman's hair, burnt in an earthen vessel, or used in combination with litharge, will cure eruptions and prurigo of the eyes: used in combination with honey they will remove warts and ulcers upon infants; with the addition of honey and frankincense, they will heal wounds upon the head, and fill up all concavities left by corrosive ulcers; used with hogs' lard, they will cure inflammatory tumours and gout; and applied topically to the part affected, they will arrest erysipelas and hæmorrhage, and remove itching pimples on the body which resemble the stings of ants.

1 The use of the word "prodidere" shows that treatises had been written on these abominable subjects. Laïs, Elephantis, and Salpe were probably the "meretrices" to whom he here alludes. See c. 23, and the end of this Book.

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load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • Harper's, Domus
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), DOMUS
    • Smith's Bio, Pena'tes
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