Roman cataract surgery

Perhaps most surprisingly of all is that the Romans – and others from ancient times, including the Chinese, Indians and Greeks – were also able also to carry out cataract operations.

The Romans were almost certainly the first to do this in Britain.

The sharp end of the needle was used for surgery and the blunt end heated to cauterise the wound.

Detailing the procedure Celsus said: “A needle is to be taken, pointed enough to penetrate, yet not too fine, and this is to be inserted straight through the two outer tunics.

“When the (correct) spot is reached, the needle is to be sloped………and should gently rotate there and little by little.”

A large number of the eye remedies contained antiseptics in one form or another.

“The vinegar lotion of Gaius Valerius Amandus (from a stamp found at Biggleswade) or the copper oxide of Aurelius Polychronius (from a stamp found at Kenchester) would have been very effective antiseptics either in treating conjunctivitis or in preventing any scar on the eye becoming infected while it healed.”

from the BBC

for Dielli