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tortula2Trotula of Salerno was a female physician and teacher during the 11th-12th centuries. She wrote several books on women’s health including: Diseases of Women, Treatments for Women, and Women’s Cosmetics- these works are collectively known as The Trotula.

The books circulated throughout Europe in the fourteenth century- there are 29 copies in existence today.

Her research and writings focused on alleviating the suffering of women, and to educate male medics about the female body. The most controversial subject being pregnancy. Trotula wrote that due to physiological defects, a man could be just as responsible as a woman with regard to infertility. She also prescribed opiates to dull the pain of childbirth- a practice that was forbidden by the church- which, at the time, strongly stated that women should suffer childbirth without any relief.

There is some speculation that she did not exist, or that a man wrote these books. Methinks that this is… well… bullshit.