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Was the fetal alcohol syndrome recognized by the Greeks and Romans?


Was the fetal alcohol syndrome recognized by the Greeks and Romans?



Alcohol and Alcoholism 34(6): 868-872



ISSN/ISBN: 0735-0414

PMID: 10659722

DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/34.6.868

Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers/scientists are frequently quoted as expressing an awareness of potential harm associated with drinking during pregnancy. However, the statements attributed to these authors were not made by them. Instead, they are interpretations, presented in the form of verbatim statements, of their views relating to procreation. Although they did have something to say about the role of alcohol in procreation, it was the effects of drinking on the male body at the time of conception, and especially alcohol's effects on male body temperature, that concerned them. A cold body at the time of conception was believed to enhance the likelihood of conceiving a female, which to the Greeks and Romans was a 'deformity'.

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Accession: 047948699

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