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Improving Medical Care

Contributed by David Verne

A medical school is established in Rome this year and establishes better and standardized medical practices. Doctors were not regarded very highly outside of the legions. Many "doctors" were quacks because anyone could call themselves a doctor whether they had received any medical training or not. If their methods were successful they gained more patients, and if they weren't, they found themselves dragged to court. [1]

My Take by David Verne
In an era like this, reputation was everything, and some doctors would preform simple surgeries on the streets to increase their fame. The only doctors who were universally respected were those who had served in the legions. Retired military surgeons were especially sought after in private life, and battlefield medicine was often the cutting edge of medical research.

The Death of Hyacinth

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

Born in AD 96, Hyacinth only became well known because of his death and the rise of christianity. According to Christian lore, both Orthodox and Catholic, he was raised in a Christian family and became an assistant for the Chamberlain (who was incharge of managing the royal household) of Emperor Trajan due to his friendly manner and being articulate for his age, and moved to Rome from his home in central Turkey as a result. His Christian beliefs left him at odds with the rest of the royal courts and as such, refused to join in the sacrifices to the Roman gods. This caused him to stand out and be prosecuted for his faith. The Emperor decided to both punish him and test his faith by imprisoning him and only offering him meat that had be sacrificed to idols as food. During this time, this food was forbidden for Christians to eat according to their doctrine at this time. Hyacinth, however, refused to eat and eventually starved to death in defiance. Today, both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches view him as a martyr and saint. His remains were returned to his home in central Turkey. Today, however, they reside in an abbey in Germany. [2]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
The title of the Orthodox article on Hyacinth is "Jealousy That Kills", as it suggests that the reason he was outed as Christian for not participating in the ceremony was because he was being given a high position for his young age, and his fellow servants and assistants were jealous. This would make him yet another casualty of gaining too high and powerful of a position that caused him to be a target for backstabbing and sabatoge.

See Also


  1. Ancient Roman Doctors.
  2. Jealousy That Kills.

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