Medicine and the Making of Roman Women

Book Details

Author  Rebecca Flemming
Publisher  Oxford University Press
Publication Date   March 22, 2001
ISBN  0199240027
Pages  472

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In this book Dr Flemming includes new translations of some of the works of medical practitioners from Celsus, writing during the reign of Tiberius, to Galen, whose career ended under the Severans, and puts their ideas about women's bodies in their social and philosophical contexts.

Relations between women and medicine are now a major area of historical enquiry, but the Roman imperial era, despite the plentiful material it offers and the critical role it plays in the formation of the Western medical tradition, has received less than its fair share of the attention. This book seeks to redress the balance as it investigates female involvement in the manifold medical activities of the Roman world: how women fared as practitioners and patients, how they were understood and described in the copious medical writings of the period, and what effects those understandings and descriptions had in wider society. Dr. Flemming examines both the contribution of medicine to gender in the Roman Empire, and the contribution of gender to medicine, and argues that the particularities of the Roman relationship between the two has much to reveal about how systems of sexual difference work in general.

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