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The practice is not well understood, although it has long been claimed to be part of indigenous culture from time immemorial (well, from Ezekiel's time,1 anyway!) up to the present day. From antiquity, the evidence from Galen is often cited (see, e.g., Keil below). It comes up in his De sanitate tuenda, often known in English as "Galen's Hygiene". The ...

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