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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 22, 2014

Tertullian and Ancient Embryology in De carne Christi 4,1 and 19,3−4

Petr Kitzler

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to illuminate two passages from Tertullian’s De carne Christi (4,1 and 19,3−4) that are connected to the physical nativity of Christ, by examining their medical context, since they both allude to ancient embryology. First, the obscure phrase genitalia in utero elementa (4,1) is placed within the context of Galen’s theory of conception; second, Tertullian’s comments on the nature of male semen and its qualities (19,3−4) are correlated to similar concepts advocated by Aristotle and Galen.

Published Online: 2014-11-22
Published in Print: 2014-11-1

© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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