A Roman Bronze Spathomele, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 2nd - 4th Century CE - Sands of Time Ancient Art

A Roman Bronze Spathomele, Roman Imperial Period, ca. 2nd - 4th Century CE

RB1611

Regular price$550 USD
/
Shipping calculated at checkout.

  • Free USA shipping, Flat Rate Shipping Overseas

An unusually-shaped Roman spathomele with a flat duck bill-shaped spatula with an olivary point at the other end.

Spathomele were pharmaceutical rather than strictly surgical instruments. The olive end was used for stirring medicines, the spatula for spreading them on the affected part. The spathomele was used by painters for preparing and mixing their colors. The very large numbers in which they are found would indicate that their use was not confined to medical men.

Background: Early Roman medicine was heavily based on religious and holistic practices, including prayers, chants, herbs, and charms. It wasn't until the late third century BC that Greek surgical practices and Greek doctors were brought to Rome.  The military saw the first changes in medical practice, with the addition of permanent doctors, the establishment of military hospitals, and the widespread adoption of surgery. For the general public, there was more of a merge between the old Roman beliefs and the new Greek practices.  Herbal and plant remedies were widely accepted by physicians, although opinions differed on the specific uses of plants. Surgery was used as a last resort due to the risks involved, and was usually limited to the surface of the body. Doctors avoided organs and other internal issues because there was not much they could do that wouldn't cause more harm. Most ailments dealt with were of the skin, digestion, fertility, broken bones, and even depression and epilepsy.

For related examples cf: Mills, Roman Artifacts, pg. 60

Dimensions: length: 4 3/4 inches (12 cm)

Condition: Intact and in overall excellent condition with no cracks, chips, or breaks. Presented on a custom mount.

Provenance: Dr Myron Mintz private Collection, California acquired from the trade in the 1970's. Ex. Kimbrough private collection, Houston TX, 2000-2016

We make every effort to ship within 24 hours of receiving payment.  Packing, shipping and insurance are included and packages are shipped using USPS Priority Mail or FedEx ground unless otherwise requested.    

Within the Continental USA, all items are shipped FREE via USPS Priority Mail or FedEx unless otherwise requested.  Depending on size and destination, delivery times range from one to seven business days.

Overseas Shipping & Deliveries:  We charge a small flat rate for all international shipments.  This flat rate includes packing, preparation of all customs paperwork, insurance and carrier fees in compliance with all USA and International customs requirements.  Overseas shipments are sent using USPS Priority Mail or FedEx unless other arrangements have been made. For faster delivery, courier shipping can be arranged, using your existing account, or ours.  Please contact us for a quote.  International customers are responsible for all duties and taxes. 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.