Il tema dell'infertilità nei "Gynaecia" di Sorano

Esther Carra


The subject of this article is the woman’s body in the field of ancient medical literature, from both physiological and cultural perspective. The study is based on the testimony of one key author: Soranus of Ephesus, who practiced medicine in Rome under Trajan and Hadrian. He was a leading medical figure, and of his writings preserved in Greek the Gynecology is the most important and most revealing of his thought. In the Roman society, women’s sterility was a very important issue, in fact they were linked to the bond of marriage with the aim of ensuring family continuity. The bride became a mother before she really was one, because she committed to conceive by supporting her husband in his civic project dictated by the politics of the time. The Roman matron had to be a mother and, therefore, fertile: this was an indispensable precondition and, for this reason, the physician had to recognize her fertility or not. The study of sterility in the Early Roman Imperial period will examine the condition of women in Rome, thus highlighting an evolution of medical texts from the time of Hippocrates to that of Soranus.

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