Vol. 17 (2021): Purezza
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Purezza e verginità nella Grecia antica: un nesso problematico

Valeria Andò
Università degli studi di Palermo

Published 2022-07-26


  • Virginity,
  • female anatomy,
  • moral norms,
  • social rules,
  • sexual behaviour

How to Cite

Andò, V. (2022). Purezza e verginità nella Grecia antica: un nesso problematico. Storia Delle Donne, 17, 119–130. https://doi.org/10.36253/sd-13456


The contribution investigates the connection between the notion of purity and that of virginity in ancient Greece, which underlines the absolute asymmetry with respect to the value assumed in modern culture. In fact, Greek medicine seems to ignore the presence of the membrana virginalis in the female anatomy, and on the other hand, sexuality has no contaminating value except in the sacral-religious context. After having therefore clarified the notion of virginity, as a social condition and as a biological state, the sense of purity attributed to the unmarried girl is investigated, also through the lexical analysis of the reference adjectives. A conception emerges that is completely separated from moral choices, but which, together with concerns of a sociological nature, does not ignore the sexual sphere. 


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