Anonymous, translator of Tratula's Cum auctor (also known as Trotula major).

Translate the following passage into Modern English, taking care to preserve its full meaning and tone, while producing a coherent and natural-sounding ModE expression.  Note that the punctuation will have to be altered to meet modern readers' expectations, as will word order, sentence completion and structure, etc.:

And because whomen of oure tonge cunne bettyre rede and undyrstandethys langage than eny other and every whoman lettyrde rede hit to other unlettryde and helphem and conceyle hem in here maladyes withouwtyn scheuynge here dysese to man I have thys drauyn and wryttyn in Englysh.

Background Note

        Anglo-European medicine was heavily gender-specialized, with males undertaking university-level language and medical training to learn the classical Latin and Arabic texts upon which male physicians based their diagnoses and treatments.  Females usually followed local  folk traditions, most transmitted from woman to woman in informal networks, and they operated as midwives, herbalists, and folk healers, though they were always vulnerable to charges of witchcraft.  The most famous exception to this gender division was the eleventh- or twelfth-century doctor known as "Trotula," who was trained at and was Magistra of Medicine at the School of Salerno.  The school's location, near Naples in the south of Italy, made it a culturally diverse institution, but no one has explained why it was so uniquely open to training women, Jews, and Arabs as well as Christian men in the medical arts.  Trotula was known for teaching methods of diagnosis which distinguished between inherited and contracted diseases, used multiple sources of evidence (urine, skin tone, temperature), and estimated disease prognosis.  Her work in the healing of complex wounds and pain management, including the use of opiates, led her to develop skills and knowledge of peculiar use to midwives.  Her most important textbook, the encyclopedic De Passionibus Mulierum Curandorum (informally, the "Trotula Major") was a "best-seller" in the manuscript book trade, and her work on cosmetics, De Ornatu Mulierum (the "Trotula Minor"), was also a popular medical text.  The translator of the Middle English "Trotula major" offers English readers their first access to this important textbook with a clear understanding of the way the gendered healthcare system was endangered by men's control of information.  The "Trotula major" remained the most influential textbook on women's health for five hundred years, until Louise Bourgeois' work the early seventeenth century.

(For an accessible and thoroughly professional description of the Salernitan medical school, see ZoŽ Alaina Ferraris and Victor A. Ferraris, "The Women of Salerno: Contribution to the Origins of Surgery From Medieval Italy," The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 64 (1997) 1855-1857.  Available online at: