Ancient Roman Bronze Bifurcated Probe


An Ancient Roman bronze cosmetic or medical instrument, comprised of a long shaft in bronze, with a loop for hanging on one side and the other ending into a fork like terminal with two barbs. It is likely that such a tool was used as a nail picker od dental instrument in Antiquity, due to its shape. The shaft features an incised geometrical decoration with lines arranged in zig zag motifs and parallel lines, which also border the two ends of the shaft.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Very fine, the metal is in excellent condition.


SKU: CS-277 Category: Tag:

Deriving their knowledge in from the Etruscans, Egyptians, Persians, and other conquered peoples, the Romans devised one of the best and most sophisticated medical systems of the ancient world. They were influenced predominantly, however, by the ancient Greeks: the first surgeons and doctors to come to Rome were Greek, and the practice of medicine advanced drastically when they did so in the third century BC. The Roman army had permanent doctors and military hospitals, with one usually placed in each fort. Civilian medicine did not enjoy such impressive progress, however, due to the enormous risks of infection, blood loss, and pain, which were associated with any surgery delving deeper than the surface. The most common ailments requiring medical intervention were those of the skin, digestion, fertility (and contraception), and fractures.

To find out more about Roman medicine please see our relevant blog post: Roman Medicine and Medical Tools.


Weight 3.6 g
Dimensions L 6.5 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item number 1978,0102.543