when did homosexuality become wrong i mean in ancient rome they just had giant orgies and nobody thought twice about it
How all those women kept from being pregnant? I mean if those orgies were true, what the fuck did they use? By that time condoms didn’t exist!!
SON LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN BIRTH CONTROL
so unwanted pregnancy is a problem as old as people having sex. (which is to say, OLD AS BALLS.) Now, the ancient world’s knowledge of the female reproductive system was spotty at best—Soranus, a Greek physician, advised women not to have sex during menstruation because that was when they were most fertile. Despite that, they did manage to come up with a number of methods. Some (such as specially-blessed amulets and rituals) were unsuccessful. Others you’re probably familiar with—the 21st century didn’t invent pulling out, or intercrural/anal/oral sex.
first, there were actually condoms! Although you probably wouldn’t recognize them because instead of neat little latex gloves, they were generally sheaths made out of goats’ bladders (Greece) or linen (Egypt). They also weren’t generally considered birth control—that was a woman’s affair, and because condoms were for male use, they tend to be seen as preventing the spread of disease rather than pregnancy. (Important, when you’re having orgies with total strangers.) But they definitely existed, and were in use throughout the classical era (X)
more common, however, was what we today might call a cervical cap, or an occlusive pessary. This fits over the cervix and stops the sperm from entering the uterus. You find records of this all over Hippocratic and Ancient Egyptian medical texts—pessaries soaked in donkey’s milk, made out of sponges or rags or dung (can you imagine that PID), and Rome in particular specialized in an ungulant, a foamy mix of honey and sodium carbonate, or sticky rosin. All these were said to prevent pregnancy. (x)
(Although in the Hippocratic corpus, it’s advised that such devices not be used too often, since they caused vaginal ulcers. yeesh.)
also very popular were any number of different herbs that acted as abortifacients. Most notable was silphium, an herb from North Africa. Because it had to be shipped across the Mediterranean, it was incredibly expensive—however, the Roman physicians and midwives administered it as a kind of “morning after pill.” Other sources offer alternatives—birthwort, dil, hellebore, and common rue were popular. Hellebore is a natural abortifacient (and poison, please don’t out looking for hellebore), while rue has actually been found to have some abortifacient compounds. (x). Other times a diuretic or enema would be prescribed—anything to get things moving down there.
most physicians/midwives warned against the use of instruments to induce abortion since they had very little idea of what the uterus actually looked like. You were more likely to injure and/or kill the woman than induce a safe abortion.
finally, the oldest method of them all—physical labor. Exercise, heavy labor, riding and energetic jumping (called the “Lacedaemonian Leap” check it out) were all advised for women who wanted to induce early labor, but could not secure or afford other methods.
so while it wasn’t easy or safe for women in the ancient world to keep themselves from getting pregnant, they did have methods to do so~
omg as a writer this post was immensely helpful THANK U