Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100 B.C. to a noble but unimportant Roman family. This man in life was to conquer Gaul, invade Britain and towards the end of his life was to be handed the head of his friend and father of his wife, the great General Pompey.
Even his death was a theatrical masterpiece, murdered by your friends who were Romans and countrymen, although there are some who suggest that he in effect commited suicide because of his epilepsy.
He started a dynasty that would last for 1200 years and with it it brought not only military domination but advances in engineering, warfare and medicine.

The advances made by the Roman civilisation into surgery was not as great as this mighty empires military advances were throughout the world, if it had have been, the introduction of anaesthesia would have been 1000 years earlier. They were mainly recognised for the advances in the public health sector.

The first Roman Medical Corps was formed by Emperor Augustus, and he gave special retirement gifts to the doctors within his Legions. Medical professionals hereafter were required to train at the new Army Medical School and could not practice unless they qualified. This proved to benefit the Roman civil population and army as the survival rates increased.

The vastness of the Roman Empire enabled it to import many different herbal remedies and doctors from the different parts of the empire to Rome itself. Ancient Roman surgeons used a wide range of painkillers and sedatory medicine to help alleviate suffering in surgery, including opium poppies and of henbane seed.

The Greek physician Dioscorides who served the Roman empire under Nero certainly knew of opium as a narcotic for pain. He was well known for his writings on herbal remedies for pain. There is little doubt that the many folk remedies used throughout the Roman Empire were tested in battle by Roman physicians on wounded and ailing soldiers, who sifted through and found the treatments and methods with the most useful effects.

Like the Greeks the Romans did not understand how infection was transmitted, but they did use many techniques that killed what we know today as bacteria, Wounds were washed with vinegar, and instruments were washed and boiled which was more than they were during the Dark Ages. 

Quote 21

Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.” 60


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Ken True History of Surgery and Anaesthesia