Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 14:38:09 -0500
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Iron Maiden?
I just got a note from somebody not in academia who is interested in
finding out the etymology of the expression "iron maiden" or "iron virgin."
Here's part of what he said:
I know what the instrument does (or
did), when, where and how it was used, and that it probably comes to us
from the German "eiserne Jungfrau". But I have been totally unsuccessful
in figuring out anything beyond that. Specifically, why virgin or
maiden? A reference to the Madonna? Was there a famous use of the
instrument on someone who was (or was not) a virgin? I have plenty of
conjectures, but what I'm looking for is someone who has done or knows of
research in the actual derivation of the term.
If you have any information about the term, please send it to kozinski[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
mizar.usc.edu -- you might also post it to the list since others are
probably interested. Thanks.
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)