An English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women's MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania Press The Middle Ages Series
The Trotula was the most influential compendium of women's medicine in medieval Europe. Scholarly debate has long focused on the traditional attribution of the work to the mysterious Trotula, said to have been the first female professor of medicine in eleventh- or twelfth-century Salerno, just south of Naples, then the leading center of medical learning in Europe. Yet as Monica H. Green reveals in her introduction to the first English translation ever based upon a medieval form of the text, the Trotula is not a single treatise but an ensemble of three independent works, each by a different author. To varying degrees, these three works reflect the synthesis of indigenous practices of southern Italians with the new theories, practices, and medicinal substances coming out of the Arabic world.
Green here presents a complete English translation of the so-called standardized Trotula ensemble, a composite form of the texts that was produced in the midthirteenth century and circulated widely in learned circles. The work is now accessible to a broad audience of readers interested in medieval history, women's studies, and premodern systems of medical thought and practice.
"This long-awaited book makes available an English translation of a set of texts which represents the most important collection of material on women's diseases and their treatments for the period from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries."—Social History of Medicine
"Thanks to Monica H. Green's splendid new critical edition and translation . . . one of the toughest nuts of medieval medical learning has been cracked. . . . The introduction and translation are spirited and readable; both could be profitably assigned to undergraduates and would provide an excellent entry not only into medieval women's medicine but also into the rich worlds of medical practice and textual transmission."—Speculum
"The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine furnishes students and scholars with an invaluable reference. Backed by more than twenty years of scrupulous research and publication, as well as an insightful methodology, it also provides them with an object of inspiration. Green's work is a remarkable example of scholarship."—Comitatus