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as readers of Dante and Boccaccio are likely to know. It was, indeed, as common as our own Rogers, of which it is the Italian equivalent.
De Renzi has made out a rather good case for the tradition that Trotula was the wife of John Platearius I–50 called because there were probably three professors of that name. Trotula was, according to this, the mother of the second Platearius, and the grandmother of the third, all of them distinguished members of the faculty at Salerno.
Her reputation extended far beyond her native town, and even Italy itself, and, in later centuries, her name was used to dignify any form of treatment for women's diseases that was being exploited. Rutebeuf, one of the trouvères, thirteenth-century French poets, has a deseription of the scene in which one of the old berbalist doctors who used to go round and collect a crowd by means of songs and musie, and then talk medicine to them—just as is done even get in many of the smaller towns of this country—is represented as saying to the crowd when he wants to make them realize that he is no ordinary quacksalver, that he is one of the disciples of the great Madame Trot of Salerno. The oldfashioned speech runs somewhat as follows: ** Charming people: I am not one of these poor preachers, nor the poor herbalists, who carry little boxes and sachets, and who spread out before them a carpet. I am the disciple of a great lady, who bears the name of Madame Trot of Salerno. And I would have you know that she is the wisest woman in all the four quarters of the world."
Two books are attributed to Trotula; one bears the title, " De Passionibus Volierum," and the other has been called " Trotala Minor," or " Summula Herondum Trotulam," and is a compendium of what she wrote. Thi, is probably due to some disciple, bat seems to have existed almost in her own time. Her most important work bears two sub-titles, " Trotula': Unique Book for the Caring of Diseases of Women, Before, During, and After Labor," and the other sub-title, “ Trotula's Wonderful Book of Experience (experimentalis) in the Diseases of Women, Before, During, and After Labor, with Other Details Likewise Relating to Labor.”
The book begins with a prologue on the nature of man and of woman, and an explanation of how the author, taking pity on the sufferings of women, came to devote herself to the study of their diseases. There are many interesting details in the book, all the more interesting because in many ways they anticipate modern solutions of difficult problems in women's diseases, and the care of the mother and child before, during, and after labor. For instance, there are a series of rules on the choice of the nurse, and on the diet and the régime which she should follow if the child is to be properly nourished without disturbance.
Probably the most striking passage in her book is that with regard to a torn perineum and its repair. This passage may be found in De Renzi or in Gurlt. It runs as follows:“ Certain patients, from the severity of the labor, run into a rupture of the genitalia. In some even the vulva and anus become one foramen, having the same course. As a consequence, prolapse of the uterus occurs, and it becomes indurated. In order to relieve this condition, we apply to the uterus warm wine in which butter has been boiled, and these fomentations are continued until the uterus becomes soft, and then it is gently replaced. After this the tear between the anus and vulva we sew in three or four places with silk thread. The woman should then be placed in bed, with the feet elevated, and must retain that position, even for eating and drinking, and all the necessities of life, for eight or nine days. During this time, also, there must be no bathing, and care must be taken to avoid everything that might cause coughing, and all indigestible materials.”
There is a passage, also, almost more interesting with regard to prophylaxis of rupture of the perineum. She says, “ In order to avoid the aforesaid danger, careful provision should be made, and precautions should be taken during labor somewhat as follows: A cloth should be folded in somewhat oblong shape, and placed on the anus, so that, during every effort for the expulsion of the child, that should be pressed firmly, in order that there may not be any solution of the continuity of tissue.”
Her book contains, also, some directions for various cosmetics. How many of these are original, however, is difficult to say. Trotula's name had become a word to conjure with, and many a quack in the after time tried to make capital for his remedies in this line by attributing them to Trotula. As a consequence, many of these remedies gradually found their way into the manuscript copies of her book, and subsequent copyists incorporated them into the text, until it became practically impossible to determine which were original. There are manuscripts of Trotula's work in Florence, Vienna, and Breslau. Some of these contain chapters not in the others, undoubtedly added by subsequent hands. In one of these, that at Florence, from which the edition of Strasburg was printed in 1544, and of Venice, 1547, one of the Aldine issues, there is a mention in the last chapter of spectacles. We have no record of these until the end of the thirteenth century, when this passage was probably added. It was also printed at Basle, 1566, and at Leipzig as late as 1778, which would serve to show how much attention it has attracted even in comparatively recent times.
After Trotula we have a number of women physicians of Salerno whose names have come down to us. The best known of these bear the names Constanza, Calendula, Abella, Mercuriade, Rebecca Guarna, who belonged to the old Salernitan family of that name, a member of which, in the twelfth century, was Romuald, priest, physician, and historian, Louise Trencapilli, and others. The titles of some of their books, as those of Mercuriade, who occupied herself with surgery as well as medicine, and who is said to have written on “ Crises," on “ Pestilent Fever," on “ The Cure of Wounds," and of Abella, who acquired a great reputation with her work on “ Black Bile," and on the “ Nature of Seminal Fluid,” have come down to us. Rebecca Guarna wrote on “ Fevers," on the “Urine," and on the “ Embryo.” The school of Salernitan women came to have a definite place in medical literature.
While, as teachers, they had charge of the depart
ment of women's diseases, their writings would seem to indicate that they studied all branches of medicine. Besides, there are a number of licenses preserved in the archives of Naples in which women are accorded the privilege of practising medicine. Apparently these licenses were without limitation. In many of these mention is made of the fact that it seems especially fitting that women should be allowed to practise in women's diseases, since they are by constitution likely to know more and to have more sympathy with feminine ills. The formula employed as the preamble of this license ran as follows:“ Since, then, the law permits women to exercise the profession of physicians, and since, besides, due regard being had to purity of morals, women are better suited for the treatment of women's diseases, after having received the oath of fidelity, we permit, etc.”
Salerno continued to enjoy a reputation for training women physicians thoroughly, until well on in the fifteenth century, for we have the record of Constance Calenda, the daughter of Salvator Calenda, who had been dean of the faculty of medicine at Salerno about 1415, and afterwards dean of the faculty at Naples. His daughter, under the diligent instruction of her father, seems to have obtained special honors for her medical examination. Not long after this, Salerno itself lost all the prestige that it had. The Kings of Naples endeavored to create a great university in their city in the thirteenth century. They did not succeed to the extent that they hoped, but the neighboring rival institution hurt Salerno very much, and its downfall may be