Roman Medicine

Roman medicine has a rich history and illustrates the contributions
to the early stages of an evolving tradition of Western medicine. I
believe it is important to first note the use of the famous aqueduct
system as a means of delivering a continual supply of fresh drinking
water as well as public fountains in which to bathe, signaling the
Roman’s knowledge of the importance of hygiene, waste disposal
sanitation and a fresh water supply for general health. In fact, there
were many trained physicians within the Roman Empire, including slaves
who were trained as doctors and therefore worth approx 40% more than an
agricultural slave. Most of the early practitioners of roman medicine
had to be trained in a variety of medical skills ranging from
pharmacist to surgeon and general physician. However, specialization
and a diverse medical discipline soon began to evolve. Similar to
chiropractors, Roman “medici” knew how to manipulate the body so it is
properly aligned and free of discomfort. Additionally, medici were
versed in nutrition’s medicinal properties as well as performing minor

Roman medicine is thought to have included
many successful surgical procedures done on a regular basis. They were
adept at mending war wounds, removing growths and even cosmetic and
reconstruction surgery is thought to have been performed. Roman
medicine practices also required the boiling of all equipment to ensure
its sterility before operating, a major contribution to today’s sterile
surgical environment. However, with no anesthetics, surgery was quite
an ordeal to have to undergo as a patient. The underlying concepts
surrounding the body were influenced heavily by concepts believed by
the Greeks and the writings of Hippocrates. Roman medicine also
involves the use of herbs and other naturally occurring elements as
treatment for an illness or to promote overall good health.

medicine took a holistic approach to health care by stressing the
importance of nutrition, exercise and implementing sanitation
procedures, paving the way for the evolution of western health care.