Aspasia was a respected Athenian physician. What little we know about her can be found in a book written on gynecology by Aetius of Amida, a male physician and medical writer during the Byzantine period (5th to mid-6th century AD). He had learned much from her teachings passed down. Aspasia was considered an authority in gynecology - on pregnancy care, sickness during pregnancy, delivery problems, embryontomy and care, abortion, menstruation problems, uterine ulcers, displacement of the uterus, uterine hemorrhoids, tumors of the labia, varicose hernia, and more.
One procedure Aspasia practiced was to rotate the infant in the womb when stuck in a breech position.
|Greek women used a Birth Stool during delivery.|
|“A modern engraving of Agnodice, midwife and |
obstetrician, who according to legend disguised
herself as a man in order to practice as a doctor.”
As the story goes, Agnodice proved her naysayers wrong and became quite popular with her female patients. After being exposed as a woman, she was taken to court and found guilty, but her female followers rallied in support and changed an existing law so women could practice medicine in Athens.
|Ancient Greek toys.|
Parker, Holt N. 1997. "Women Doctors in Greece Rome, and the Byzantine Empire." Women Physicians and Healers. Lillian R. Furst, ed. Univ. of Kentucky Press 131-150.