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Roman Resources

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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member

malins

Stumbling Seeker
Roman surgical & medical instruments.
Of course they start right off the bat with the vaginal speculum, what else did you expect!?!


Also, a twitter thread that compares the roman version to the modern counterpart
 

dfg42

Governor

Heineudo

Governor
Roman surgical & medical instruments.
Of course they start right off the bat with the vaginal speculum, what else did you expect!?!


Also, a twitter thread that compares the roman version to the modern counterpart
If you disregard the fact that stainless steel could not be made in ancient Rome, a surprising resemblance to modern surgical scalpels.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
This is a good short, scientific account of Roman surgeons' use of anaesthetics;


Extract:

Roman anesthetists employed the Dissociative (sedation) (twilight) method of anesthesia. Sedatives were given with strong analgesics and local anesthetics. The patient would experience catalepsy, amnesia and marked analgesia [16]. The analgesic of choice was powdered opium (Papaver somniferum) in a draft of wine [17]. However, opium had to be imported from the East via the Silk Road and might not be available in sufficient quantities during mass casulaties. In that case the anesthetist would administer powdered mandrake (Mandragora officinarium) in a draft of wine [18]. Mandragora officinarium was grown in Italy. The sedative powdered Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) was added to the wine [19]. The local anesthetic used in surgery was a mixture of Memphitic stone and henbane seeds (Hyoscyamus niger) ground up and smeared on areas about to undergo surgery [20]. Once the patient was administer these agents and was in a state of twilight sleep the surgeon began to operate. Operations were conducted as quickly as possible.
 
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