Imagine you were a medieval woman suffering from fertility problems or an irregular period. How would you deal with these issues, and what kinds of treatments might your physician prescribe? To what lengths would you go, what substances would you be willing to ingest or insert in order to solve menstrual cramps, conceive a child, or whiten your teeth? In this week's episode, we explore one of the most famous manuals of medieval gynecology and the ways women in the Middle Ages cared for their health and appearance.
Monica Green, ed. The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.
Monica Green. "Women's medical practice and health care in Medieval Europe." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14, no. 2 (1989): 434-473.
Dr. Green's Academia.edu profile with a bibliography of her works on the Trotula text.
Sarah Alison Miller. Medieval Monstrosity and the Female Body. Routledge, 2010.
Lucille B. Pinto, "The folk practice of gynecology and obstetrics in the Middle Ages." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 47, no. 5 (1973): 513.
Kristin Uscinski, "Annotated Bibliography on Contraception in Medieval Gynecological Treatises", 2006.
Kristin Uscinski, "Recipes for Reproductive Health in Medieval England", c 2008.
21st Century Time Traveler (blog of an attempt at the Saracen hair dye recipe)
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin Macleod (www.incompetech.com)