- Book Notes
Edward C. Atwater. Women Medical Doctors in the United States before the Civil War: A Biographical Dictionary. (Rochester, N.Y.: Rochester University Press, 2016). xi + 387 pp. Ill. $39.95 (978-1-58046-571-7).
This reference contains biographical sketches of more than two hundred women who graduated from medical schools in the United States before the Civil War. After an introduction that examines the backgrounds and varying degrees of success of the practitioners, the biographies are presented in alphabetical order of surname. Appendices include a chronological list of the graduates and the schools they attended and a table of principal locations in which the women served.
Victoria Recio Muñoz. La Practica de Plateario. Florence: Sismel, 2016. xi + 878 pp. 98.00 (978-88-8450-712-9).
This volume offers the first critical edition and the first translation into Spanish of the Practica written by Plateario, a master of the Salernitan medical school in the middle of the twelfth century. The work belongs to a type of medical text very popular throughout the Middle Ages, the "compendium," a didactic manual that defines a capite ad calcem the various diseases that affect the human body. Based on various sources (Hippocrates, Galen, Theophilus, Alexander of Tralles, Rufus of Ephesus, Constantine the African, Stephen of Antioch, and perhaps others) this was intended to be a thoroughly practical work. The edition and the translation are accompanied by a scholarly introduction that analyzes the context of the compendium and investigates the identity of the physician Plateario. The book includes a discussion of the sources used by the author, as well as the impact that the work had in later medieval medicine, both in Salerno and elsewhere, especially in the encyclopedic compendiums of the thirteenth century. In addition, the book examines the influence of the Practica through its translations into several vernacular languages. [End Page 468]