Roman Medical Probe Tool


An Ancient Roman medical tool, perhaps a specillum, which is an Ancient Roman probe cast from bronze. These would have likely been used for mixing medicines and ointments, and perhaps for probing and diagnosing ailments. Roman medical tools like this one were often equal ended. The probe displays linear, ribbed decorations to the middle of the tool. The item also displays minor earthly encrustations and green patination.

Date: Circa 1st - 2nd century AD
Condition: Good condition.


SKU: AF-57 Category: Tag:

Deriving their knowledge in from Etruscan, Egyptian, and Near Eastern Cultures, the Romans devised one of the best and most sophisticated medical systems of the ancient world. They were influenced predominantly 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 15.58 g
Dimensions L 13.6 x W 0.4 cm




Reference: For a similar item see The Met Collection, item 17.230.96

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