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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Natural History

Pliny the Elder

79 AD



'In addition to this, the mode of walking, and indeed everything that can be mentioned, is of consequence in the case of a woman who is pregnant. Thus, for instance, women who have used too much salted meat will bring forth children without nails: parturition, too, is more difficult, if they do not hold their breath. It is fatal, too, to yawn during labour; and abortion ensues, if the female should happen to sneeze just after the sexual congress.' - Pliney's Natural History, Book VII, Chapt 6