King Ariarathes IV of Cappadocia's impotence in the light of thyroid disease: a multidisciplinary palaeopathological analysis

Francesco M Galassi, Donald Pate, Nathalie Antunes-Ferreira, Elena Varotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For a long time historical research dismissed the account about King Ariarathes IV of Cappadocia's (reigned 220–163 BC) wife being unable to produce an offspring just as a defamatory explanation concocted by later writers to cover subtler political moves. Having palaeopathologically re-examined the biographical record of King Ariarathes IV in the light of a recently proposed diagnosis of thyroid goiter, by multidisciplinarily combining literary and artistic evidence with biomedical knowledge and rationale, this article proposes an endocrinologically originated sexual dysfunction in King Ariarathes IV and offers a new reading of the subsequent shaming of his spouse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalANTHROPOLOGIE
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Endocrinology
  • thyroid
  • Sterility
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • History of medicine
  • Palaeopathology

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