Trotula: a book about women of the 12th-13th centuries (8 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
21 June 2024

This is a triptych (three books) and it is named after the author - a female doctor, who, according to some information, wrote at least one book.

The authors of the other books are unknown, but they certainly used ancient Latin treatises on the topic of "Trotula".

By the way, Trotula of Salerno, who lived in Salerno, existed in the period from the 11th to the 13th centuries (the exact dates are still unknown. Also in Salerno at that time there was a strong medical school, from which both men and women graduated. Medical treatises were studied at the school (Greek and Arabic), Latin. Everything worked out and the city became a Mecca for medicine.

From the 12th to the 16th centuries, these works were the main source of information about female physiology.


We will not delve into the intricacies of treating all sorts of diseases, but rather devote time to the interesting cosmetic procedures of those years. But what worried women of the Middle Ages?

For example, we can mention an amazing remedy for losing weight: the lady should have been smeared from head to toe with cow dung infused with wine and then sent to take a steam bath. There can be many such procedures, and the woman should eat well during the breaks.

If a lady suffered from prolonged abstinence... For example, a nun or a widow could come with complaints about so-called depraved thoughts, then she was saved with special compresses. And even, supposedly, lotions on intimate places helped relieve increased arousal.

Hair products

They were aimed at beauty, improving appearance, changing color and pleasant aroma.

If a woman wanted beautiful black hair, she was supposed to boil a lizard in oil and then apply this oil to her hair.

To lighten it, they used a new pot, into which they stuffed more bees with oil, boiled them, and then they had to crush the brew and spread it on their heads.

Incense was hidden in hats to create a pleasant smell. Or they crushed powder from various aromatic spices, added them to rose water and sprayed them on their hair. Well, it’s somehow divine, compared to crushed living beings.

Body products

Ladies were not supposed to have red hands, as if they were some kind of peasant women. Therefore, they whitened not only their teeth, but also their hands.

There were also remedies for sweat, but only if it was very vigorous. But if you imagine the aromas of medieval streets, then, probably, some ordinary smell of sweat there was not considered something irritating. To eliminate the strong smell, the entire body had to be wrapped in fabrics soaked in wine with a number of different seasonings and potions.

Today the Internet is full of a variety of tips to increase attractiveness, but at the time of the triptych “Trotula”, for beauty it was recommended to simply go to the bathhouse.

And removing body hair, by the way, is not the machinations of recent years and desperate capitalism - this has been done for a long time, centuries ago. Moreover, the products were so powerful that the hair was removed along with the top layer of the epidermis. You could cover the burns with henna mixed with egg yolk, rinse off, and go on your wedding night.

By the way, about consummation of marriage...

When the future groom has already been smitten by the beauty of a girl infused with dried lizards, then it’s time to think about “restoring her virginity.” Today we already know that there is no so-called hymen that necessarily breaks during the first penetration of a man into a woman.

A small digression:

The hymen or hymen is a biological membrane that partially covers the entrance to the vagina. A small fold of connective tissue that does not have any physiological function.

Sometimes (yes, sometimes!) during the first sexual intercourse the hymen can stretch or tear. And many girls are generally born without this membrane, since its presence is completely useless.

At its core, “deflowering” is a kind of initiation rite, and it has been used for many years in society to manipulate women. Those same “clean girls” who had not been with a man were valued incomparably higher than those who were already “dirty” and no matter how it happened, even if she was raped.

Because of such prejudices, there were such wonderful techniques as crushed glass and soda poured into the vagina. The effect was stunning and the groom no longer cared about where anything came from.

Well, or a special powder that was poured into the right place and imitated blood.

Add your comment
  • bowtiesmilelaughingblushsmileyrelaxedsmirk

You might be interested in: