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abstinence, already consecrated by primitive magic and religion, and
embodied it in their system. It was so in ancient Egypt. Thus, according
to Diodorus, on the death of a king, the entire population of Egypt
abstained from sexual intercourse for seventy-two days. The Persians,
again, attached great value to sexual as to all other kinds of purity.
Even involuntary seminal emissions were severely punishable. To lie with a
menstruating woman, according to the _Vendidad_, was as serious a matter
as to pollute holy fire, and to lie with a pregnant woman was to incur a
penalty of 2000 strokes. Among the modern Parsees a man must not lie with
his wife after she is four months and ten days pregnant. Mohammedanism
cannot be described as an ascetic religion, yet long and frequent periods
of sexual abstinence are enjoined. There must be no sexual intercourse
during the whole of pregnancy, during suckling, during menstruation (and
for eight days before and after), nor during the thirty days of the
Ramedan fast. Other times of sexual abstinence are also prescribed; thus
among the Mohammedan Yezidis of Mardin in northern Mesopotamia there must
be no sexual intercourse on Wednesdays or Fridays.
In the early Christian Church many rules of sexual abstinence still
prevailed, similar to those usual among savages, though not for such
prolonged periods. In Egbert's Penitential, belonging to the ninth
century, it is stated that a woman must abstain from intercourse with her
husband three months after conception and for forty days after birth.
There were a number of other occasions, including Lent, when a husband
must not know his wife. "Some canonists say," remarks Jeremy Taylor,
"that the Church forbids a mutual congression of married pairs upon
festival days.... The Council of Eliberis commanded abstinence from
conjugal rights for three or four or seven days before the communion. Pope
Liberius commanded the same during the whole time of Lent, supposing the
fast is polluted by such congressions."
 A. Sutherland, _Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct_, vol. i,
pp. 8, 187. As has been shown by, for instance, Dr. Iwan Bloch (_Beitraege
zur AEtiologie der Psychopathia Sexualis_, Erster Theil, 1902), every
perverse sexual practice may be found, somewhere or other, among savages
or barbarians; but, as the same writer acutely points out (p. 58), these
devices bear witness to the need of overcoming frigidity rather than to
the strength of the sexual impulse.
 Ploss and Bartels have brought together in _Das Weib_ a large number
of facts in the same sense, more especially under the headings of
_Abstinenz-Vorschriften_ and _Die Fernhaltung der Schwangeren_. I have not
drawn upon their collection.
 _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, May, 1896, p. 369.
 Hyades and Deniker, _Mission Scientifique du Cap Horn_, vol. vii, p.
 F. Cook, _New York Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics_, 1894.
 A. d'Orbigny, _L'Homme Americain_, 1839, vol. i, p. 47.
 A.B. Holder, "Gynecic Notes Among the American Indians," _American
Journal of Obstetrics_, 1892, vol. xxvi, No. 1.
 _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, 1905, p. 139.
 Foley, _Bulletin de la Societe d' Anthropologie_, Paris, November 6,
 J.S. Gardiner, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, February,
1898, p. 409.
 As regards the modern Maoris, a medical correspondent in New Zealand
writes: "It is nothing for members of both sexes to live in the same room,
and for promiscuous intercourse to take place between father and daughter
or brother and sister. Maori women, who will display a great deal of
modesty when in the presence of male Maoris, will openly ask strange
Europeans to have sexual intercourse with them, and without any desire for
reward. The men, however, seem to prefer their own women, and even when
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