Historical Figures

Trotula of Salerno, pioneer of gynecology

Last updated:2022-07-25

Trotula of Salerno , or Trotula di Ruggiero (or Trota), is an Italian doctor of the Middle Ages, to whom several books on women's health are attributed.

Basics of women's medicine

Very little is known of the life of Trotula of Salerno, other than that she probably lived in 11th century and that it belongs to the School of Salerno. As a doctor, she wrote several works in Latin on women's health which gave the first bases for women's medicine, in particular her Treatment of sick women before and after childbirth , and Diseases of women before, during and after childbirth . In these works, she advocates in particular the use of opiates to reduce the pain of childbirth, going against the positions of the Church of the time, for which women must suffer while giving birth.

Treatment for women

In his Diseases of women (From passionibus mulierum curandarum ), she describes health issues related to menstruation and childbirth, discussing different ways to regulate the female cycle. Many theories are taken from or inspired by those of Claude Galen, a second-century Greek physician. Treatment for women list of series of remedies for various health problems, not always specifically female.

It has often been claimed that the works of Trotula of Salerno were written by a man, but the existence of this female doctor is now admitted. The attribution of her work to a man is due to a “Matilda effect”:the denial of the contribution of women to scientific research.

Useful links

The Wikipedia entry for Trotula of Salerno
Trotula of Salerno