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14 Nov 2012
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CLA 219 – WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY R. Höschele 10/30/12
FEMALE BODY
- Ancient medicine established science – theoretical writings preserved from Antiquity
oVery influential till recently
oAbsurd in modern perspective
- Hippocratic Oath – sworn by doctors
oAbide by certain rules
oDone since antiquity
- Oath written by Hippocrates of Cos
oCountless writings transmitted from him but probably not all authentic
Personification of a doctor
School of thought
oDozens of treatises Corpus Hippocraticum
oBorn around 460 BC., known for the “sacred disease” (epilepsy) – disease sent by the
gods
- Oath swears by the gods of medicine like Apollo, Asclepius, Panacaea, etc.
oSwears to help people to the best of their abilities and judgment, to uphold patient-doctor
confidentiality, not to harm patients, not to help women abort, etc.
- Gynecological treatises – procreation, conception, etc.
oFocus on pathology – hear about diseases and complications not the body
- Practising doctors all males
oAccess to female patients limited / rare
- Hagnodike, female medical practitioner from antiquity
oDisguised as a man, went to Alexandria and apprenticed to the best
oGarnered jealousy of male doctors
Accused of sleeping with patients, led to a trial, defended by female patients
- Freewomen allowed to train as physicians
2 concepts of the female body:
- A woman is different from a man -- Hippocrates
- Female is the inferior version of a male – infertile man (reflects cultural bias) – Aristotle
Menstruation
- Defining feature of women
- Causes disease, illness
- Women are incomprehensible to men
oExpression of too much liquid (wetness) within women
- Body temperature – 4 humours theory
- Humour = fluid
oAffects the person’s moods
HOT COLD
DRY YELLOW BILE BLACK BILE
WET BLOOD PHLEGM
- According to ancient theory, all of these 4 elements are within a person
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Document Summary

Cla 219 women in antiquity: h schele. Ancient medicine established science theoretical writings preserved from antiquity: very influential till recently, absurd in modern perspective. Hippocratic oath sworn by doctors: abide by certain rules, done since antiquity. Oath written by hippocrates of cos: countless writings transmitted from him but probably not all authentic. School of thought: dozens of treatises corpus hippocraticum, born around 460 bc. , known for the sacred disease (epilepsy) disease sent by the gods. Oath swears by the gods of medicine like apollo, asclepius, panacaea, etc. Swears to help people to the best of their abilities and judgment, to uphold patient-doctor confidentiality, not to harm patients, not to help women abort, etc. o o. Focus on pathology hear about diseases and complications not the body. Practising doctors all males: access to female patients limited / rare. Hagnodike, female medical practitioner from antiquity: disguised as a man, went to alexandria and apprenticed to the best, garnered jealousy of male doctors.

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