Monday, October 29, 2007

Trotula of Salerno (c 1097-na)

Down to the sixteenth century obstetrics was almost exclusively in the hands of midwives, who were trained for it as for a trade. Only in rare cases was a surgeon called in. All the achievements of ancient times seemed forgotten, and it was only after anatomical studies had been resumed and surgery had made some progress that things began to improve. The most important accounts of the condition of ancient operative obstetrics are found in the Hippocratic writings (position of the child, version or turning, dismemberment of the fetus, parturition chair for facilitating delivery) and in later times in the works of Soranus of Ephesus (second century A.D.; protection of the perinaeum), Galen, Celsus, Atius, and in those of the female physician Trotula of Salerno. Trotula gained repute as a physician and obstetrician, leaving behind at least one manuscript. She wrote works on obstetrics and gynaecology which remained authoritative for several centuries, this illumination comes from a manuscript of De Passionibus mulierum (on the sufferings of women) in the Wellcome Collections. Trotula was an early advocate of balanced diet, regular exercise, cleanliness, and a low stress lifestyle. - Malaspina Biography

Books from Alibris: Trotula

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