Hippocrates' Woman: Reading the Female Body in Ancient Greece

By Helen King

Hippocrates' Woman demonstrates the position of Hippocratic principles concerning the girl physique within the next historical past of western gynaecology. It examines those rules not just within the social and cultural context within which they have been first produced, but in addition the ways that writers as much as the Victorian interval have appealed to the cloth in aid in their personal theories.
Among the conflicting tange of pictures of girls given within the Hippocratic corpus existed one culture of the feminine physique which says it really is significantly not like the male physique, behaving in several methods and requiring a distinct set of remedies. This ebook units this version in the context of Greek mythology, specifically the parable of Pandora and her distinction from males, to discover similar to the physique as anything to be read.
Hippocrates' Woman provides an arresting examine of the origins of gynaecology, an exploration of ways the inner workings of the feminine physique have been understood and the impression of Hippocrates' theories at the gynaecology of next a while.

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346). even if the Hippocratics often interpreted the interior of the physique by way of the indicators displayed on its floor (DuBois 1991: 87–90), in addition they constructed tools to reinforce the experience of sight by way of allowing them to determine contained in the orifices of the physique. notwithstanding – as within the nineteenth-century assaults at the vaginal speculum pointed out within the creation – tools have been regarded as much more misleading to the careless consumer than unassisted sight. The katopteris used to check the rectum is defined in those phrases in Haemorrhoids five (Loeb VIII, 386; cf. Fistulas three, Loeb VIII, 392), yet its inherent strength for deception could be triumph over via the expert consumer, who's acutely aware that it may be stored closed; starting it up dangers knocking down the very lump one is meant to be studying. maybe the main astounding use of deceit within the Hippocratic corpus is the single passage within which it sounds as if to be prompt to the great iatros. In Epidemics 6. five. 7 (Loeb VII, 256) the author describes blatant deceit, finishing the passage with the frank admission, apatê, ‘deceit’. discomfort within the ear, he says, should be handled via a physician who, having formerly hid within the palm of his hand a bit of wool soaked in hot oil, places his quit the ear in order that, to the sufferer, anything seems to be to have pop out. After generating this ‘foreign physique’ the healthcare professional is suggested to throw it within the fireplace, probably in order that no one has an opportunity to envision it too heavily. instead of accepting that this treatment is brazenly being defined as deceit, old commentators most popular to think that there have been a few phrases lacking after apatê. Dioscorides most popular to overlook as spurious every thing after the outline of the general practitioner preserving his give up the affected ear, making the textual content right into a undemanding account of hot oil as a healing for ear ache. even though, of their version of this e-book of the Epidemics, Manetti and Roselli (1982: 111–13) argue on structural grounds that each one however the ultimate note of the paragraph is genuine, in order that, whether the assertion ‘Deceit’ is a later gloss, the outline of the iatros as lively deceiver continues to be. there's therefore a truly effective line for the surgeon to tread among deceit and honesty, among unduly complicated self-promotion and worthwhile consciousness to the necessity to allure customized. Neither bandages nor succussion is inherently undesirable; their worth will depend on the reason for his or her use. neither is there something unsuitable with clinical tools, yet they need to be to be used instead of demonstrate, they usually should always be used with warning. the maximum care needs to be taken in figuring out the misleading symptoms the physique bargains to its reader. the place the sufferer is a girl, the problems a male iatros encounters should be outweighed by means of a favorable virtue provided through the feminine physique to its Hippocratic reader. this isn't a verbal virtue even though, like males, ladies can inform the medical professional how their our bodies consider, as while the spouse of Polemarchos says that she feels ‘gathering round the center’ (Ep. five. sixty three, Loeb VII, 196).

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