Aemilia Hilaria

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Aemilia Hilaria (c. 300 – c. 363)[1] was a Gallo-Roman physician. She practiced medicine, and wrote books on gynecology and obstetrics. She was called "Hilaria" due to her cheerfulness as a baby.[2]

Life[edit]

Aemilia was born in the Roman Empire, the area of present Moselle, France. She continued to live in the area as an adult and became a physician there.[1] Aemilia was the maternal aunt of Ausonius, a Gallo-Roman who became tutor to the Emperor Gratian. Ausonius wrote a series of biographical poems about his family members, including Ameilia, called Parentalia.[3] His poem about his aunt described her as a "dedicated virgin", who rejected marriage in order to further her career. He described her as "trained in the medical arts as well as any man."[4] He called her an honest and skilled physician, who also assisted her physician brother in his own studies.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Aemilia is a featured figure on Judy Chicago's installation piece The Dinner Party, being represented as one of the 999 names on the Heritage Floor.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (2000). The biographical dictionary of women in science: pioneering lives from ancient times to the mid-20th century. Taylor & Francis US. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-415-92038-4. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Gardner, Jane F. (1991). Women in Roman Law and Society (1st ed.). Indiana University Press. p. 182. ISBN 0-253-20635-9. 
  3. ^ Decimus Magnus, Ausonius (1886). Rudolfus Peiper., ed. Opuscula. Part 3, Domestica, 33. Leipzig. 
  4. ^ Furst, Lilian R. (1999). Women Healers and Physicians: Climbing a Long Hill. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. p. 144. ISBN 0-8131-0954-X. 
  5. ^ "Aemilia". Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor. Brooklyn Museum. 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Hurd-Meade, Kate Campbell (1938). A History of Women in Medicine. Haddam Press; First edition.