362. Side effects of menstruation. Rome, 1st cent. A.D. (Pliny the Elder, Natural History 28.23, exc. L)
A sampling of the phenomena recorded by Pliny caused by menstrual fluid and menstruating women.
Terrible things are told about the monstrous power of menses, whose magic I have already discussed, of which I can repeat the following without embarrassment: if the female force begins to flow in a solar or lunar eclipse the harm will be irremediable, and even if there is no moon, and sexual intercourse is pestiferous or fatal to the man; purple is contaminated by menstruating women, so much the greater is their force. But at other times during the menstrual period, if the women walk naked through a field, worms, beetles, and other pests fall down. Metrodorus of Scepsis says that this was discovered in Cappadocia during an infestation of cantharid beetles, so women walk through the fields with their dresses hiked up above their buttocks.
1. At 7.64.
2. See above, number 346.