Treating the Sick and Wounded

Christine F. Salazar

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Treating the Sick and Wounded

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the wounds caused by warfare. Treating those who had been wounded in combat was a way of acquiring medical knowledge and of developing new surgical techniques. The majority of wounds—made by swords, spears, javelins, or arrows—will have been to the arms and legs. The most fatal were those penetrating the chest, abdomen, or head. The possible treatments for these wounds are reported. It can be stated that the medical treatment of casualties itself did not change very drastically in the roughly ten centuries between classical Greece and late antiquity, based on its reflection in medical literature. The main changes were arterial ligature, more adventurous surgery, and a trend toward polypharmacy from Hellenistic times onwards.

Keywords: wounds; warfare; combat; swords; spears; javelins; arrows; medical treatment; Greece

Article.  7573 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.