Contraception and abortion from the ancient world to the Renaissance
"John Riddle uncovers the obscure history of contraception and abortifacients from ancient Egypt to the seventeenth century with forays into Victorian England--a topic that until now has evaded the pens of able historians." "Riddle's thesis is, quite simply, that the ancient world did indeed possess effective (and safe) contraceptives and abortifacients. The author maintains that this rich body of knowledge about fertility control--widely held in the ancient world--was gradually lost over the course of the Middle Ages, becoming nearly extinct by the early modern period. The reasons for this, he suggests, stemmed from changes in the organization of medicine. As university medical training became increasingly important, physicians' ties with folk traditions were broken. The study of birth control methods was just not part of the curriculum."
Print Book, English, 1992
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1992