Ancient Roman Bronze Medical Spoon Probe


An Ancient Roman bronze spoon probe, comprising a long shaft in twisted bronze, leading to a short spoon-shaped end on one side and a tightened end on the other. It is likely that such a tool was used to access ointments of powders from a storage pot and then apply them to an ailment. The thickened end could have been used as an aid tool for inspection and diagnosis.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Extremely Fine. Some patination on surface due to ageing.


SKU: CS-235 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 4.8 g
Dimensions L 14 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, item number 1883,0509.10