Being a young woman of the Athenian high society, Agnodice was frustrated by the law that banned women from studying. Encouraged by her father, she cut her hair and dressed like a man so that she could attend classes, particularly those of famous physician Herophilus.
In the year 350 BC, on June 3rd , she obtained the highest marks in the medicine test and became a gynecologist, still hiding her real identity.
Soon, patients began to flock her practice and the other doctors, jealous by her success, spread the rumor that “he” would be taking advantage of “his” profession to seduce and corrupt married women.
Accused of raping two patients she was forced to reveal her identity under the risk of being condemned to the death penalty for having practiced medicine being a woman. A crowd of her patients declared in front of the temple that if she were executed, they would die with her.
Under the pressure of the crowd, the judges acquitted Agnodice and allowed her to continue practicing medicine. The following year, the Athenian Council modified the law allowing women to study medicine.