Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Magazine article The Spectator

Ancient & Modern

Article excerpt

It has been reported that a cancer patient has had an ovary transplanted into her left arm, and that despite its unusual location it is said to be functioning normally. It is good to see today's doctors gradually catching up with the ancient Greeks, though they still have some way to go.

In Greek myth, gods were always being produced from odd places. For example, when Zeus complained of a severe headache, Hephaestus beaned him with an axe, and out popped Athene. Since she was goddess of intelligence, it was (by our standards) a logical place from which to be born. But the closest analogy to the ovary development is the birth of Dionysus, god of transformation.

Zeus had fallen in love - or possibly lust (the two are as difficult to distinguish in the ancient world as they are in the modern) - with the mortal Semele. The enraged Hera, Zeus's wife, approached Semele disguised as Beroe, her trusted old maidservant, and hinted that she should really get her new man to prove he was Zeus, since lots of chaps had had their evil way with innocent young gels by pretending they were the king of the gods, and it would be better for Semele's reputation if she could just be certain. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.