Ubiquitous mulomedici: the social, economic, and agronomic significance of the veterinarian to the Roman world.




Brill, Lindsey Nicole Elizabeth

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Animals were integral to the ancient world. Quadrupeds, particularly the horse, were vital to the Roman world for the military, the circus, and the cursus publicus. Livestock, especially oxen and sheep, were deeply ingrained in this agrarian culture both as a work animal and as a food source. Due to the nature of their duties, these animals suffered injuries and illnesses. In order to combat these ailments, the Romans employed animal doctors known as mulomedici, veterinarii, or ἱππιατροί. Until recently, scholarship for the Roman veterinarian has focused on philology and medicine. The veterinarian, however, is a part of Roman society and thus requires study within context. The veterinary treatises – Hippiatrica, the works of Vegetius and Pelagonius, and the Mulomedicina Chironis – and archaeological evidence attest to the animal doctor as a profession and further indicate that the veterinarian was socially, economically, and agriculturally significant to the Roman world.



Ancient veterinary Medicine, History of Veterinary Medicine, Roman veterinarians, Hippiatrica, Apsyrtus, Vegetius, Pelagonius, Animal husbandry