SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wounded defender of the besieged city of Salerno, Italy, being treated by a lay medicus with two female nurses in attendance bearing. The Schola Medica Salernitana was the first medical school in the West. Started in the dispensary of a monastery founded in the 10th century, it achieved widespread fame between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. The translation into Latin of Greek and Arabic texts from the library of Montecassino Abbey by scholars such as Constantinus Africanus added knowledge of Arabic medical practice to that of Hippocrates, Galen and Dioscorides. In representing Greek, Arabic and Latin medical traditions it was unrivalled in the Western medieval world. Many medical publications were produced, including the Regimen Sanitatis Saleritanum which was translated into many languages. Of the women practitioners at the School, Trotula de Ruggiero was the most renowned.
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