The Treatment of Equine Flesh Wounds in the Roman Army, 27 BC–476 AD

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  • Title: The Treatment of Equine Flesh Wounds in the Roman Army, 27 BC–476 AD
  • Author(s): Valentine J. Belfiglio
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies
  • Keywords: Veterinary Medicine, Immediacy, Expectancy, Cavalry, Forces Multiplier
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-0071 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2481 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0071/CGP/v12i04/1-8
  • Citation: Belfiglio, Valentine J.. 2018. "The Treatment of Equine Flesh Wounds in the Roman Army, 27 BC–476 AD." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies 12 (4): 1-8. doi:10.18848/2327-0071/CGP/v12i04/1-8.
  • Extent: 8 pages

Abstract

The Roman Veterinary Corps was indispensable to the maintenance of healthy horses fit for combat during antiquity. The “Veterinarius Medicus” (Veterinary Corps officer) and his staff were responsible for the treatment of battle wounds inflicted on horses by spears, swords, arrows, and other weapons. The Veterinary Corps also treated complications associated with wounds, such as fever, pain, and infection. This study employs a combination of historiography and conceptual analysis. It will demonstrate that Roman veterinarians treated equine flesh wounds by irrigation, antiseptics, herbal drugs, surgery, and the use of bandages and moisturizing dressings. The “veterinarii” used pharmacological and non-pharmacological techniques to address fever, pain, and infection. This enhanced treatment of horses and pack animals acted as a force multiplier to give the Romans an advantage in war. Most scholars of Roman warfare overlook the importance of the treatment of equine flesh wounds in battle.