Lais (fl. 1st c. BCE)

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Lais (fl. 1st c. bce)

Greek midwife and physician. Name variations: Laïs. Flourished in the 1st century bce.

Lais, who lived around the 1st century bce, is mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Historia Naturalis. She was a midwife who was often at odds with another midwife Elephantis over the administering of drugs. They "do not agree in their statements about abortives, the burning root of cabbage, myrtle, or tamarisk extinguished by menstrual blood," complained Pliny, who continued his litany of their divisiveness; therefore, he noted it was better not to place trust in either of their methods. Lais and Salpe , a midwife from Lemnos, came up with a treatment for rabies and intermittent fevers, "using the flux on wool from a black ram enclosed in a silver bracelet."

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