Agnodice (born ca. 300 BC) is credited with practicing medicine in ancient Greece, at a time when women were legally barred from that occupation. Some question the likelihood that she was an historical figure. Little is known about her life, other than information supplied by Hyginus, a first century Latin author. From

When Agnodice was born 300 BC women were not allowed to be doctors. However, she was determined to be a doctor so she cut her hair and wore men’s clothing. Looking like a man, she was accepted into famous Alexandrian physician, Herophilus’ class. After completing her studies, she heard a woman crying in pain, in labor. Agnodice went to help but was rejected because the woman thought she was a man. When she showed that she was a woman, she was able to help. She was brought to trial because the other doctors thought she was leading their patients away from them. The wives of the doctors said "You are the enemies not the spouses, because you are going to condemn this woman who healed us." These women helped change the law in Greece so women were allowed to be doctors.

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By Elena, fourth grade, 2007

Last modified 05/07/2007