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  • Ancient cases of congenital disorders and their social causes

    More than 79 cases of children born with congenital defects are known from Greek and Roman literature. Although it is extremely difficult if not impossible to identify a single potential cause for it, attempts at explanation are already found in ancient writers. With the help of modern teratological science many teratogenous causes can partly be identified. Some of the most probable factors among these were the same as today: malnutrition, viruses, alcohol, vitamin deficiencies etc., but lead poisoning has to be taken also into account as a principal cause.

  • Father or Mother? : Stories of Male Pregnancies in Phlegon’s De mirabilibus

    Phlegon was a representative of the genre „paradoxography”, telling stories about marvellous, interesting and fabulous events and phenomena. Frequently he is looked at as a pure fictionist without any real background and relevance from the point of view of historic research. However a comparative analysis of his stories and our recent knowledge in natural sciences indicate the feasibility of the background of his „tales”. Accordingly even such fantastic topics like male pregnancy and parturition may potentially have a core of truth.