El Dominio del cuerpo femenino como ejercicio de poder a través de texA médicos clásicos y medievales

María de la Soledad Zambrano Sánchez


This work considers the female body in ancient and medieval societies as seen through the eyes of doctors. In their writings on gynaecology, the medieval authors that are studied here have made clear their thoughts on women, which are grounded in the texts of their predecessors (Greek and Latin doctors) but conditioned by their own religious beliefs – Christian, Jewish, or Muslim. Their works were written not only to educate or inform other doctors and midwives, but also to aid medical students and to provide guidance for women who might seek it. These texts also reflect popular opinion when it comes to such issues, as in many instances they are closer to popular belief than to science. Our selected authors wrote in order to gain recognition and prestige. They based their advice on texts written by earlier, widely recognized specialists and, in turn, their work became references for future doctors who, in their own writings, would cite them or recreate their work. From this point of view, it may be said that none of these doctors pursued an objective relative to our own current medical practices, but this does not necessarily mean that their texts are any less important. The texts studied in this work span almost twenty centuries, from the fifth century BC to the fifteenth century AD.