Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tale of Trotula

Time has not been kind to the woman known as Trotula Plataerius, Trotula di Ruggiero or Trotula of Salerno. Was she the author of the famous 11th century De passionibus mulierum (On the Diseases of Women) or was she a mythical.

Now the controversy continues with this article from :
These arguments came to a head in the 1500s, when historians and doctors announced that there never was a Trotula in the first place. Since then, she's become a semi-mythical figure. Even those who believe in her existence sometimes doubt her work. The few facts that anyone has pertaining to the woman - that she may have been from a noble family, that she may have had a physician for a husband or a son - have been used to attribute the book to male relatives who used her name as a cover.

See article from
International Journal of Cosmetic ScienceVolume 30, Issue 2, pages 79–86, April 2008
Among these women, there was Trotula de Ruggiero (11th century), a teacher whose main interest was to alleviate suffering of women. She was the author of many medical works, the most notable being De Passionibus Mulierum Curandarum (about women’s diseases), also known as Trotula Major. Another important work she wrote was De Ornatu Mulierum (about women’s cosmetics), also known as Trotula Minor, in which she teaches women to conserve and improve their beauty and treat skin diseases through a series of precepts, advices and natural remedies. 

From Google Books:

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