Ancient Roman Bronze Medical Tool


An Ancient Roman bronze medical instrument, comprised of a long shaft in bronze, ending into a fork like terminal with two teeth. It is likely that such a tool was used to perform medical operations in Antiquity, possibly to extract arrowheads from the wounded body. The long shaft could have been used as a tool for inspection and diagnosis. Some patination covers the surface of the item.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine, metal slightly worn from ageing.


SKU: CS-236 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 3.7 g
Dimensions L 8.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 74.51.5485