For a History of Andrology


  • Luciana Rita Angeletti Section of History of Medicine Dept. of Experimental Medicine and Pathology University of Rome "La Sapienza"


Two issues of this Journal are devoted to the history of andrology and male sexuality, from Hippocratic medicine to contemporary ethical problems due to the increasing role of technology in human reproduction. Studies have been devoted to: the Hippocratic Corpus, to authors of the Roman Empire, to Byzantine medicine; the transmission of ancient texts through Arabic and other languages of the Middle East; the influence of Constantinus Africanus' translations from Arabic to Latin; early modern theories about semen, male sexuality, impotence. Recent developments of biochemistry and epistemology are analyzed to show how these and other topics have influenced sexual ideas and behaviours until the discovery -around 1840- of the chemical nature of male sexual hormones. In more recent years, technologies and cellular and molecular biology have opened new perspectives in the fields of fertilization and male sexuality, giving way at the same time to new ethical, social and legal problems.