Roman Surgical Instruments (Set of 4)

Date: c. 100 to 300 CE
Roman Empire

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Item Description:

Quick info:

  • Period: circa 1st to 4th century CE
  • Material: Bronze
  • Origin: Roman Empire
  • Type: Two probes, two spatulas

Ancient Roman probes and spatulas were commonly used in a medicinal and surgical context. Probes were thin, long, and pointed instruments used to explore the depth and size of wounds or body cavities, such as the ears, nose, or throat. They were also used to clear blockages, remove foreign objects, and diagnose various ailments. Spatulas, on the other hand, were flat, broad instruments with a rounded or pointed tip. They were used to apply or spread ointments, creams, or other substances, as well as to probe wounds and cavities.

Ancient Roman surgery was a developing field, and surgical procedures were performed by both physicians and non-physicians, such as barbers and slaves. Some of the most common surgical procedures performed in ancient Rome included removing tonsils, treating fractures, and removing bladder stones. Surgeries were performed under various conditions, ranging from simple procedures done in a patient's home to more complex surgeries in designated medical facilities. Anesthetics and antiseptics were not commonly used during surgical procedures, so patients would often be given alcohol or opium to alleviate pain, and cleanliness during the procedures was limited. Despite these limitations, many surgeries were successful, and surgical techniques and tools continued to evolve and improve over time.

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