Dorotea Bucca (1360-1436)

The life of Dorotea Bucca was somewhat of an exception to the typical view of female physicians. Females were not typically given much respect during this era of time, but yet Dorotea Bucca was a professor of Medicine at the University of Bologna. (1) In Italy, there was much less of a gender bias as there was in Europe during this time period. Women had been involved in many different areas of science whereas in other parts of the world, that would have been extremely rare. Dorotea Bucca was the daughter of Giovanni Bucca. Giovanni Bucca was a physician as well as a professor of Medicine at the University of Bologna. Dorotea was able to take over her father’s position when he left. (2)

Although there is not much known about the life of Dorotea Bucca, her life represents confidence and dignity. She was able to step into a role, that had been played by men for years, and do the job without any problems.

Image: “Dorotea Bocchia Philosophi Ecellenti Filia philosophiam Patri…”. Sculptor’s House Buckle (1680-1690 approx). Genus Bononiae Collezioni. Accessed December 2, 2014.

1. Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey. Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century : A Biographical Dictionary with Annotated Bibliography. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986. 42.

2. Berti Logan, Gabriella. “Italian Women in Science from the Renaissance to the Nineteenth Century.” 1998, 103. Accessed November 3, 2014.


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