Trotula and the Ladies of Salerno


    IN a paper read before the Section of the History of Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine on January 10, Dr. H. P. Bayon stated that several contemporary writers maintained that a fictitious Trottus was the author of “De passionibus mulierum”, which was usually ascribed to Trotula of Salerno, a matron mentioned in the text of most manuscript copies and therefore a definite person. Whether she wrote or compiled the chapters “De ornatu mulierum” is not ascertained, but a study of early manuscript texts dealing with cosmetics seems to afford some clue. The gynaecological chapters are notable because of the recommendation of the support of the perinaeum in childbirth and the primary suture of the perinaeum. The many manuscript copies, printings and literary allusions concur in showing the appreciation which Trotula enjoyed during the twelfth to sixteenth centuries.

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    Trotula and the Ladies of Salerno. Nature 145, 507–508 (1940).

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