The Women of Salerno Essay by JPWrite

The Women of Salerno
Examines how female medical physicians from the medieval Italian Salerno school contributed to the origins of medicine.
# 67021 | 2,050 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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Medicine in medieval Europe benefited from Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and Latin influences. Because of geographical and other favorable conditions, many of these cultural contributions synergized to form the Medical School at Salerno around 900 AD. This paper shows that, somewhat uncharacteristically, women physicians played a part in the advances that came from this school. The women physicians of Salerno contributed to a textbook that gained wide acceptance and distribution throughout Europe. The textbook called "De Passionibus Mulierium" was first published about 1100 AD and was a prominent text until a significant revision by Ambrose Pare's assistant in the early 1600's. The paper shows that the advances first taught and implemented by the women of Salerno are an interesting and important part of our surgical heritage.

Paper Outline:
Introduction: the Medical School at Salerno
The Women of Salerno
Medical Certification in Southern Italy
Anatomic Dissections at the School of Salerno
Surgical Contributions

From the Paper:

"The anatomy of the reproductive organs was only known from animal dissections and written descriptions (without pictures) of Islamic texts. It was to the study of the female reproductive system that the women physicians of Salerno made vital contributions, since women doctors had greater access to female patients than did their male counterparts. In her book, Trotula writes that she was called to the practice of medicine because she had too often seen the suffering of women who were ashamed to share their maladies with a male doctor. [10] A good number of the sixty-three chapters of Trotula Major are devoted to the problems of conception, pregnancy, embryonic development and childbirth."

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The Women of Salerno (2006, June 25) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

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"The Women of Salerno" 25 June 2006. Web. 22 September. 2023. <>