Roman Medicine


Roman medicine was greatly influenced by earlier Greek medicine and literature but would also make its own unique contribution to the history of medicine through the work of such famous experts as Galen and Celsus. Whilst there were professional doctors attached to the Roman army, for the rest of the population medicine remained a private affair. Nevertheless, many large Roman households had their own medical specialist amongst their staff and with the spread of literature on the topic the access to medical knowledge became ever wider, treatments became more well known, and surgery became more sophisticated.

More about: Roman Medicine


  • 431 BCE
    The temple to Apollo Medicus is built in Rome.
  • 292 BCE
    The Romans adopt the Greek god of medicine Asclepius by stealing his sacred snake from Epidaurus and setting up a temple on the Tiber Island.
  • 219 BCE
    The physician Archagathus of Sparta arrives in Rome.
  • c. 25 BCE - c. 50 CE
    Life of the Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus.
  • c. 1 CE - 50 CE
    Life of Roman physician Scribonius Largus.
  • 43 CE
    The physician Scribonius Largus travels to Britain with the entourage of Claudius.
  • c. 60 CE - 130 CE
    Life of the physician Soranus of Ephesos.
  • 129 CE - c. 216 CE
    Life of the physician Galen of Pergamon.