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Male Infibulation: Volume 1 of Studies in the sexual life of ancient and medieval peoplesPREFACEThis volume is the first of a series of similar studies, which, if health and the heavy pressure of other work permit, I hope to compile upon some of theMoreMale Infibulation: Volume 1 of Studies in the sexual life of ancient and medieval peoplesPREFACEThis volume is the first of a series of similar studies, which, if health and the heavy pressure of other work permit, I hope to compile upon some of the more obscure customs of antiquity and the Middle Ages, which in some respect or other are connected with the sexual life of man. The present work is concerned almost solely with that remarkable custom of male infibulation as seen in antiquity. In the true sense of the word infibulation is a mechanical means of ensuring chastity, but in the course of time the word has been applied to other customs. I have attempted in the succeeding pages to differentiate between at least three forms, to two of which the word infibulation has, I think, been wrongly applied. How far the new terminology I have suggested will meet with approval is uncertain. It matters little whether that or another nomenclature be adopted if the confusion which has lasted so long is finally dissipated.In conclusion, I wish to express my thanks to the following friends, colleagues and institutions who have so kindly assisted me in a difficult task : Mr. A. T. Bartholomew, Mr. Hilderic Cousens, Dr. L. Hogben, the authorities and staff of the British Museum Library, of whose courtesy and efficiency I have always the most pleasant recollections- the University Library, Cambridge, and many of the college libraries - the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris - the New York Public Library - Columbia University Library, New York City - the Boston Public Library - the Boston Athenaeum - the Harvard College Library - the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum - the British School at Rome, and the curators of many other collections in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Munich, New York, Boston, &c. Finally, I have to thank the authorities of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek, Copenhagen, for so kindly allowing me to reprint, as a frontispiece, their photograph of Anacreon, and also my publishers and printers for the care with which they have prepared the MS. for press, which, owing to the number of footnotes, must have been a matter of considerable difficulty.I have tried to avoid inaccuracies, both as regards facts and references. In spite of much care, however, errors in a work of this sort are bound to occur, and I shall be pleased to acknowledge any such mistakes if readers will kindly indicate them.E. J. Dingwall.London, January 1, 1925.