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Women & WeaselsMythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome$
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Maurizio Bettini and Emlyn Eisenach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044743

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226039961.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

An Encyclopedia without Footnotes

An Encyclopedia without Footnotes

(p.214) [14] An Encyclopedia without Footnotes
Women & Weasels

Maurizio Bettini

University of Chicago Press

This chapter suggests that the choice of the weasel as the Rescuer in Alcmene's story was not made by chance, but was the result of a sense of the weasel's identity that emerged from the stories that were told about it. The complex of beliefs about the weasel permitted the creation of many possible figures, including an animal that could help the Woman in Labor. The weasel was an animal good for thinking about childbirth because it offered a complex of symbolic elements that already had a privileged relationship with birth.

Keywords:   weasel, Alcmene, childbirth

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