Sunday, May 17, 2015

Agnodice.

Agnodice wanted to become a physician after she noticed a lot of women in Athens were dying during childbirth or suffering from painful childbirths. Because women were caught performing abortions in Athens, it was a crime for women to practice medicine. Agnodice was still determined to help the women,  so she cut her hair and pretended to be a man so she could study medicine. She left to study in Egypt under Herophilos. Soon, the other male doctors noticed that Agnodice was very successful and good at what she did, and she became in very high demand with the women of Athens to the point that the women refused aid from the men. Agnodice was said to 'symbolize the the trust and comfort between women'. The male doctors accused her of seducing and sleeping with the women patients and brought her to court. She was tried before a group of angry and jealous men and proved their accusations wrong by stripping down and proving her identity. The men and doctors were then even more outraged and demanded that Agnodice be executed because women weren't allowed to practice medicine and be damn good at it. But before a judge could give ruling, all of her patients came to defend Agnodice by saying she was the reason why they all had living wives and children. So they were all shamed and Agnodice was acquitted of all her charges. And because of her, they changed the law and that's how women were given the right to practice medicine in Athens.

Fascinating.