Dioscorides’ Advice for Expectant Couples

Dioscorides (Greek Anthology 5.54)

“Never go to bed at night with your pregnant wife and lie face-to-face, delighting in child-bearing Aphrodite. There will be a large swell between you, and it will be no small labor as you are rocked and she is rowed. Rather, turn yourself over, and enjoy her rosy rump, thinking that your wife is the masculine Aphrodite.”

Μήποτε γαστροβαρῆ πρὸς σὸν λέχος ἀντιπρόσωπον
παιδογόνῳ κλίνῃς Κύπριδι τερπόμενος.
μεσσόθι γὰρ μέγα κῦμα καὶ οὐκ ὀλίγος πόνος ἔσται
τῆς μὲν ἐρεσσομένης, σοῦ δὲ σαλευομένου.
ἀλλὰ πάλιν στρέψας ῥοδοειδέι τέρπεο πυγῇ,
τὴν ἄλοχον νομίσας ἀρσενόπαιδα Κύπριν.

One thought on “Dioscorides’ Advice for Expectant Couples

  1. “masculine aphrodite”? Did Dioscurides miss out on the bit of ejaculating on the rear of the Knidian Venus?

    There’s nothing in the lexicographers for this, but do you think this may be a reference to one of those ideas that a sexual position might lead to a specific gender? So, I would gloss this as “male-child making”.

    Although I am probably trying too hard. The image is pretty clear. Basically, “sodomize your pregnant wife”.

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