COLLYRIA SEALS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE

  • Rafael J. Pérez-Cambrodí
  • David P. Piñero
  • Alejandro Cerviño
  • Rune Brautaset
  • Juan Murube del Castillo

Abstract

Roman seals associated with collyria (Latin expression for eye drops /washes and lotions for eye maintenance) provide valuable information about eye care in the antiquity. These small, usually stone-made pieces bore engravings with the names of eye doctors and also the collyria used to treat an eye disease. The collyria seals have been found all over the Roman empire and Celtic territories in particular and were usually associated with military camps. In Hispania (Iberian Peninsula), only three collyria seals have been found. These findings speak about eye care in this ancient Roman province as well as about of the life of the time. This article takes a look at the utility and social significance of the collyria seals and seeks to give an insight in the ophthalmological practice of in the Roman Empire.

 

Key words: Collyria seal, Roman Empire, ancient ophthalmology, Hispania, collyrium

Published
2018-05-08