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The Ancient Greeks believed in the Wandering Womb – a condition where the womb wreaks havoc on the female body when deprived of sexual stimulation. However, this belief had a significant influence on Ancient Greek society, culture, and gender roles, beyond that of a normal disease. This paper analyzes the origin of common beliefs about women present in Uterine Amulets and ancient Greek gynecological texts to determine the effect the Wandering Womb had on Ancient Greece. This research suggests that traditional Greek gender roles, expectations, and practices were directly influenced by the common belief in the Wandering Womb, and thus the mythological, societal, and cultural origins from which its ideas originate. By making these connections clear, this research contributes to further understanding on the origin of ancient Greek gender roles and to discussions regarding the link between beliefs and gender inequality in the modern age.



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Uterine Amulets and Gynecological Texts: The Wandering Womb and Ancient Greek Society and Culture