Experts have been unable to understand the origin of the practice of routine male circumcision. Most of the literature shows no awareness of phimosis - its frequency - or the sexual and erectile problems which can be cured by circumcision. If routine circumcision had been introduced for this most obvious reason of eliminating difficult foreskins; then the importance of an alternative modern method, suitable to our culture's attitudes in this day and age, would be clear.

Chapter Three
Origins of the Practice of Routine Male Circumcision
The evolutionary relevance of foreskin conditions -
The relationship of phimosis to cultural developments

Anthropology - Summary - (400 words)

More Ancient Modifications
Partial Circumcision
Dorsal Slit
Frenulum Operations

The Basic Riddle
The Question
The Original Operation
The Introduction of the General Measure
The Tradition
The Chinese Connection
Phimotic Discussions


Anthropological Literature
`s Encyclopédie (Fr) (1779)
Diderot English Translation
Ploss (1884) Summary
Ploss original German
Ploss English translation
Richard Andree (.de) (1889)
Heinrich Schurtz (.de) (1902)
B. Renz (.de) revising Ploss (1912)
Hastings Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (1910)

Bryk (1928) Summary
Bryk original German
Bryk English translation
Bettelheim (1962)
Mircea Eliade`s Encyclopedia of Religion (1987)

Other areas of Interest
Evolution: the pecking order
Chinese Medicine
The European Question
In Abraham`s Defence
It is a Blessing we ask

Other Sites
DaiSik Kim: the Korean Routine Circumcision Phenomenon
African Sexuality: general background The Jerusalem Quadrilateral, the Christian viewpoint

of no particular relevance except to increase the hits on this page:

"... a small metal rod with a ball at each end and the eye-lashes of a buck are tied around the margin of the glans

"In Borneo this apparatus is called Ampallang, in Celebes, Kambiong; and its use is so general, its effect so esteemed, that the Dajak women have an actual right of demanding the application of this instrument by the men. Refusal would be a ground for divorce." See Bryk: page 212

Encircled penis with key (Bryk Page 228)

The Romans went even farther; they perforated the protracted prepuce and then inserted a ring (fibula) in order to close the penis. (Bryk Page 229)

Penis case from New Guinea
(Bryk Page 231)

Ancient Egyptian Circumcision from relief (Bryk Page 238)

A Palaeolithic Magic Wand from Magdelenia
The Magic Wand casts the charm of "making the women ready for sexual intercourse" This does not by any means show a circumcised penis, but one which is denuded: the foreskin may be readily recognised in the form of a "collar"

... The other penis of the wand gives an ideoplastic conception of the member: the primitive artist indicates the sulcus of the glans by means of a row of dots barely visible through the foreskin, just as he has indicated the orifice and the two testicles on the left. (Bryk page 241)