Advertisement

The Ancient Medical Sources in the Chapters about Sterility of Rodrigo de Castro’s De universa mulierum medicina

  • Cristina Santos Pinheiro
Chapter

Abstract

Rodrigo de Castro (c. 1546–1627) was a Portuguese medical author exiled in Hamburg, where he wrote De universa mulierum medicina (1603). This chapter will identify the ancient sources cited in the chapters about sterility, and analyse how Castro relied upon classical medical, biological, and philosophical texts to structure his views. The chapter considers his suggested types, causes, and therapies for female and male sterility, and the legal, social, and moral implications of sterility. More broadly, the chapter will demonstrate the connections between sexuality, conception, and fertility in early modern medical texts, reconsider the validity of Thomas Laqueur’s influential ‘one-sex model’, and show how early modern authors drew on the authority of ancient medical sources to justify the attribution of blame to men and women in theories of infertility.

Keywords

Abortion Contraception Ethics Laqueur One-sex model 

Research Resources

Primary Sources

  1. Rodericus Castro, De universa mulierum medicina, 2 vols (Hamburg: Froben, 1603–4).Google Scholar
  2. Rodericus Castro, De universa mulierum medicina. Tertia editio auctior et emendatior (Hamburg: Froben, 1628).Google Scholar
  3. W.H.S. Jones (ed.), Hippocrates (London: Heinemann, 1923).Google Scholar
  4. R. Radicchi, La Gynaecia di Muscione: manuale per le ostetriche e le mamme del VI sec. d.C. (Pisa: Giardini, 1970).Google Scholar
  5. Owsei Temkin, Soranus’ gynecology (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991).Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Joseph Bajada, Sexual Impotence: The Contribution of Paolo Zacchia (1584–1659) (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1988).Google Scholar
  2. Michael Boylan, ‘Galen’s Conception Theory’, Journal of the History of Biology, 19:1 (1986), 47–77.Google Scholar
  3. Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  4. Lawrence Conrad, Michael Neve, Vivian Nutton, Roy Porter and Andrew Wear (eds), The Western Medical Tradition: 800 BC to AD 1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. Pierre Darmon, Le tribunal de l’impuissance (Paris: Seuil, 1979).Google Scholar
  6. Lesley-Ann Dean-Jones, Women’s Bodies in Classical Greek Science (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).Google Scholar
  7. Marianne Elsakkers, ‘Reading between the Lines: Old Germanic and Early Christian Views on Abortion’. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, 2010.Google Scholar
  8. Rebecca Flemming, ‘The Invention of Infertility in the Classical Greek World: Medicine, Divinity and Gender’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 87 (2013), 565–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Rebecca Flemming, Medicine and the Making of Roman Women: Gender, Nature and Authority from Celsus to Galen (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  10. Danielle Gourevitch, Le mal d’Être femme (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1984).Google Scholar
  11. Konstantinos Kapparis, Abortion in the Ancient World (London: Duckworth Academic, 2002).Google Scholar
  12. Helen King, Hippocrates’ Woman: Reading the Female Body in Ancient Greece (London and New York: Routledge, 1998).Google Scholar
  13. Helen King, Midwifery, Obstetrics and the Rise of Gynaecology: The Uses of a Sixteenth-Century Compendium (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).Google Scholar
  14. Helen King, The One-Sex Body on Trial: The Classical and Early Modern Evidence (Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2013).Google Scholar
  15. Thomas Laqueur, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  16. Ian MacLean, The Renaissance Notion of Woman: A Study in the Fortunes of Scholasticism and Medical Science in European Intellectual Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Aidan McGrath, A Controversy Concerning Male Impotence (Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1988).Google Scholar
  18. Vivian Nutton, Ancient Medicine (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Katharine Park, ‘Cadden, Laqueur and the “One-Sex Body”’, Medieval Feminist Forum, 46:1 (2010), 96–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Katharine Park, Secrets of Women: Gender, Generation and the Origins of Human Dissection (New York: Zone Books, 2006).Google Scholar
  21. Cristina Santos Pinheiro, Orbae matres: a dor da mãe pela perda de um filho na literatura latina (Lisboa: FCT-Gulbenkian, 2012).Google Scholar
  22. Cristina Santos Pinheiro, ‘Suos utero quae necat (Am. 2.14.38): aborto, sexualidade e medicina no tempo de Ovidio’, in Cristina Pimental and Nuno Rodrigues (eds), Sociedade, poder e cultura no tempo de Ovidio (Lisbon, 2010), 173–186.Google Scholar
  23. Gianna Pomata, ‘Was there a “Querelle des femmes” in Early Modern Medicine?’, Arenal, 20:2 (2013), 313–41.Google Scholar
  24. John M. Riddle, Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance (Cambridge, MA, 1992).Google Scholar
  25. John M. Riddle, Eve’s Herbs: A History of Contraception and Abortion in the West (Cambridge, MA, 1997).Google Scholar
  26. Winfried Schleiner, Medical Ethics in the Renaissance (Washington, DC, 1995).Google Scholar
  27. Patricia Simons, The Sex of Men in Pre-Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2011).Google Scholar
  28. Michael Stölberg, ‘A Woman Down to Her Bones: The Anatomy of Sexual Difference in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries’, Isis, 94 (2003), 274–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Heinrich von Staden, ‘“In a Pure and Holy Way”: Personal and Professional Conduct in the Hippocratic Oath?’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 51:4 (1996), 404–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sarah Toulalan and Kate Fisher (eds), The Routledge History of Sex and the Body: 1500 to the Present (London and New York, 2013).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MadeiraFunchalPortugal
  2. 2.Centre for Classical StudiesUniversity of LisbonLisboaPortugal

Personalised recommendations