Scalpel, Forceps, Bone Drill: Modern Medicine in Ancient Rome

Doctors are generally held in high regard today, but Romans of the first century were skeptical, even scornful, of medical practitioners, many of whom ministered to ailments they did not understand. Poets especially ridiculed surgeons for being greedy, for taking sexual advantage of patients and, above all, for incompetence. In his “Natural History,” Pliny the