Combatants & Infection

“In several nineteenth-century battles, about 5 percent of the combatants contracted tetanus infections; of those, about 80 percent died. Approximately 5 percent of the wounded combatants in ancient wars contracted gangrene, another infection caused by bacteria in soil. Washing of the wound could reduce the incidence, and amputation might save an infected limb, but if the… Read More

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The Roman Military Medical Service

“The Roman military had a medical system that was extraordinary for the ancient world. It was based on the teachings of Greek medicine and emphasized both prevention – maintenance of conditions for good public health – and healing of battle-wounded soldiers. A nutritious diet, a carefully monitored water supply, and strict rules about sanitation helped… Read More

Deaths on the Battlefield

“As happens in many battles, the losers and winners differed not only in the proportions of men killed and wounded but also in the types of wounds suffered and, especially, in the ways they died. In ancient battles for which detailed historical documentary is available, usually fewer than 5 percent of the soldiers on the victorious… Read More

Sinews of War…

“Endless money forms the sinews of war.” Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC to 43 BC) Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic. His writings include books of rhetoric, orations, philosophical and political treatises, and letters. He is remembered in… Read More