MALS 712 Symposium III: Anthropology Independent Study Paper Proposal

Evan A. Brathwaite, Jr.

Professor Sophia Perdikaris

Department of Anthropology

Date: February 7th, 2006.

Title: “Battlefield Medicine of the Greco-Roman World”

Abstract: The objective of my symposium paper is to conduct a brief overview of the types of combat wounds the average Greco-Roman soldier of classical antiquity received, using archaeological and non-archaeological references from select primary and secondary sources of the classical period. I will then speculate as to the medical options available for wounded men at arms, and the relative efficacy of the contemporary treatments. It is my desire to use this abridged paper as a foundation for an expanded research thesis.

Outline: A) Introductory Page- “The Brutality of Combat of Classical Antiquity.”

                      Description of the common threats the ancient Greco-Roman soldier

encountered on the battlefield: How dangerous was ancient warfare and why?

                B) Discussion of the various defensive and offensive armaments of Greek and

                      Roman soldiers based on modern archaeological excavations:

I)         How much protection did ancient armor provide?


II)        Could a seemingly well-armored and equipped soldier die from trauma?

III)      Does armor guarantee that the Greco- Roman solider was impervious to ballistic and melee weaponry?


C)  Speculations and assessment of the mortality rates for the wounded soldier of classical antiquity based on the relative severity of wounds:


If a soldier was wounded in an ancient battlefield, what were his options if any? What types of wounds were the most common among Greco-Roman soldiers?


D) Efficacy of medical treatment, including available options for the wounded:

How advanced was medical science in the classical world, especially military medicine?


E)  Conclusion: Summation of findings and synopsis of research.


       Projected Page Count: 45-50 Pages.



Student’s Signature _____________________________ Date____________


Professor’s Signature____________________________ Date____________

Proposed Bibliography:

Biers, William R. The Archaeology of Ancient Greece: An Introduction. New York: Cornel University Press, 1980.


Hanson, Victor Davis. The Western Way of War. Berkley: University of California Press, 2000.


Heaton, Leonard D. Wound Ballistics. Washington: Department of the Army 1962.

Jackson, Ralph. Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle. New York: Viking Press, 1976.

      Lattimore, Richard. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

      Livy, The War With Hannibal. New York: Penguin Classics, 1965.


Lloyd, G.E.R. Hippocratic Writings: Hippocrates. London: Penguin, 1984.

      Montagu, John Drogo. Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds. London: Greenhill

      Books, 2000.

Phillips, Eustace Dockray. Greek Medicine. London: Thames and Hudson, 1973.

Pugh, Winifield Scott. War Medicine: A Symposium. New York: Philosophical Library, 1942.

Salazaar, Christine F. The Treatment of War Wounds in Graeco-Roman Antiquity. Boston, Leiden: Brill 2000.

Toynbee, J.M.C. Death and Burial in the Roman World. New York: Cornell, 1971.

      Young, Peter A. The Archaeology of War: Human Conflict Since the Dawn of

      Civilization, New York: Hatherleigh Press, 2005.