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Renaissance (general)

The Renaissance is defined differently in different countries, and generally a more specific date will be used. Consider this to cover roughly the 15-16th centuries.

LHMP entry

As usual, the introduction to this collection includes laying out the basic concepts of the topic, a review of the existing literature, and then summaries of the papers that discuss how they relate to each other.

[Note: the use of the word “hermaphrodite” and its definitions in this article and the texts it examines is in reference to a historic concept--one that reflected a specific social construction. It is acknowledged and emphasized that “hermaphrodite” can be an offensive term in modern language in the context of gender, sexuality, or physiology.]

The late 16th and 17th century fascination with hermaphrodites would give the impression that such persons were common. As well as the volume of discourse on the topic, the nature is different from previous medieval discussions and later early modern ones. The opinions and positions are contradictory, even when limited to the medical community, and include both formal and informal expertise (e.g., surgeons versus midwives). The focus of this article is specifically on the discussions of learned physicians, in order to narrow the range of variables.

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