Research published in the latest issue of Pharmacy in History was recently featured in a post on the Daily Beast, one of the most popular news sites on the internet. Brent Arehart’s article, “Erectogenic Drugs in Greek Medicine” was prominently discussed in a post by Professor Candida Moss, the Edward Cadbury Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham (UK), who writes about history for the Daily Beast.
In introducing her post, Prof. Moss wrote that, “it might seem that between the contraceptive pill and Viagra we live in a new epoch, but a new study of ancient medicine reveals that we are the hardly the first to use drugs to manipulate sexual pleasure.” Moss’s post then summarizes, describes, and analyzes the research in Arehart’s article about ancient Greek erectogenic medicines.
Prof. Moss’s post discusses in detail some medicines and preparations believed by ancient physicians like Galen and Aelius Promotus to produce erections. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Arehart, a doctoral candidate in Classics at the University of Cincinnati, said that:
“Texts themselves often don’t explain why a substance was thought to be stimulating and he hasn’t run across any fierce debates in the medical literature over how they work. His hunch was that many of these remedies had been passed either in texts or by word of mouth and that later doctors would then try to explain those traditions”
Read Prof. Moss’s irreverently titled post in its entirety: “From Foods That Make You Fart to Bull Urine Ointment, How the Ancients Dealt With Man’s Struggle to Get It Up.“
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