Trotula of Salerno

Trotula from Salerno, Italy, was a scientist instrumental in bringing a lot of women issues to light in the 11th and 12th century.
| Friday, September 19, 2008

Trotula of Salerno was a famous Italian scientist from the 11th century. She is considered to be one of the most famous female scientists of all time. Trotula of Salerno was also known as Trotula di Ruggiero, Trotula Platearius, Trota and Trocta. Trotula was a female physician and also a professor of medicine at the School of Salerno. Trotula was instrumental in bringing a change in the society due to her scientific revelations. It was her, who first brought more light on issues such as men fertility, female menstruation and childbirth.

Trotula of Salerno was scientist who influenced and made the society knowledgeable with her works and writings. Many issues brought up by Trotula were at that time considered to be controversial and tabooed. She was the one who suggested the idea of giving women opiates during childbirth to ease labor pain. Trotula always affirmed the notion that women require special health care due to their susceptibility to various diseases.

Trotula was instrumental in discovering and putting light to many issues related to woman's health care. She, along with her husband John Platearius wrote the Encyclopaedia regimen sanitatis (Encyclopedia on the Regimen of Health). Trotula is credited with the authorship of a treatise on gynecology and obstetrics, Trotulae curandarum aegritudinum mulierorium ante et post partum (Trotula's Curing of Sick Women Before and After Birth) which is also known as De passionibus mulierum or Trotula Major (The Diseases of Women). These written works of hers are simply referred to as Trotula. Her writings were also made to educate male physicians on the female physics. The book, Trotula Major, is spread over 60 chapters covering issues such as female menstruation, conception, pregnancy, childbirth and general diseases and their treatments.

Trotula of Salerno, with her research and findings and her written work influenced and educated physicians for centuries. There were also some medieval scholars who argue that Trotula never existed and was just a fictional character. However, due to the texts acquired from that century, one can find hard to believe that she never existed.

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