Gender, Diseases, and Sexuality in the Writings of Soranus, Aetius of Amida and Paul of Aegina: Contributions to the Anthropology of Disease in Byzantium
Keywords:health history, anthropology of disease, female sexuality, female body, Soranus, Aetius of Amida, Paul of Aegina, hysteria
AbstractBy focusing on the anthropology of disease, the paper suggests some new research avenues within the field of gender in Byzantium. Gynaecological manuals from the second to seventh centuries A.D. serve as the basis for research in which the author attempts to comprehend how philosophy and social mores affected the interpretation of the gendered body – both male and female. In addition, the cultural foundations of certain diseases and the social implications of what was defined as pathology and what as health are emphasized. Medicine was the only scientific discipline in antiquity and the Byzantine period that welcomed women, and as such, it offers a vast array of potential research avenues pertaining to the lived experiences, health, and sexuality of women.
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