Diodes Regimen is much less developed than that of Hip pocrates However it is

Diodes regimen is much less developed than that of

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Diodes' Regimen is much less developed than that of Hip- pocrates. However, it is quite detailed in its treatment of daily routine, which takes up a large part of the text: from the massages that should immediately follow getting up from bed, in order to reduce the stiffness of the body, to the positions to take in bed when it is time to lie down ("neither too extended nor too bent," and never on one's back), all the important moments of the day are examined, with the baths, the rub- downs, the oilings, the evacuations, the walks, and the foods that ought to accompany them. I I The question of sexual pleas- ures and their modulation is considered only in connection with seasonal variations, and only after some general princi- ples of balance are called to mind: "It is a very important point for health that our body's potency not be diminished by an- other potency." But the author restricts himself to brief generalities: first, no one should "make frequent and continual use of sexual intercourse"; the latter is more suitable for "cold, moist, atrabilious, and flatulent persons," and least suitable for thin ones; there are periods in life when it is more harmful, as in the case of old people or for those who are "in the period that extends from childhood to adolescence." 12 As for the presumably later text, taken to be a letter from Diodes to King Antigonus, the economy of pleasures it sets forth is very dose in its general outline to that of Hippocrates: at winter solstice, which is the time when one is most susceptible to
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1 14 The Use of Pleasure catarrh, sexual practice should not be restricted. During the time of the Pleiades' ascent, a period in which bitter bile is dominant in the body, one must indulge in sexual acts with a good deal of moderation. One should even forgo them com- pletely at summer solstice time, when black bile takes over in the organism; and it is necessary to abstain from sexual activ- ity, as well as from any vomiting, till the autumn equinox.ll* Several aspects of this regimen of pleasures merit our atten- tion. First, there is the limited space given to the problem of sexual relations compared with that accorded to exercises, and especially to food. As far as the thinking on dietetics was concerned, the question of foods-considered in terms of their peculiar qualities, and of the circumstances in which they were consumed (whether the seasons of the year or the particular state of the organism)-was a good deal more important than sexual activity. In addition, it should be noted that the preoc- cupation with regimen was never focused on the form of the acts: nothing was said about the types of sexual relations, nothing about the "natural" position or about unseemly prac- tices, nothing about masturbation, nor anything about the questions-which would later become so important-of coi- tus interruptus and methods of contraception. t The aphrodi- sia were considered in the aggregate, as an activity whose significance was not determined by the various forms it could
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  • Spring '17
  • Human Sexuality, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior, The​ ​History​

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