Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2018; 143(25): 1842-1846
DOI: 10.1055/a-0601-0440
Übersicht
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Gladiatorenärzte im antiken Rom

Physicians of Gladiators in the Ancient Rome
Ferdinand Peter Moog
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 December 2018 (online)

Abstract

Gladiators in ancient Rome were an integral part of the Roman world and were a unique phenomenon. Their bloody fight presumably originated from the cult of the dead. Later it was a feature of the self-portrayal of many Roman noblemen, especially during the election campaigns. Eventually it became an imperial privilege. Legally, gladiators were slaves. They were trained in specially equipped schools (ludus, plural: ludi). Also, special schools existed that trained fighters to compete in the arena against wild animals. Doctors at the ludi took care of the fighters: They prepared them for the fight or treated injuries. The gladiator cemeteries of Ephesus and York clearly demonstrate typical injury patterns. The most prominent and best-known gladiator physician is – due to his eminent self-portrayal – Galenus. Even though he looked after the gladiators of his hometown Pergamon only for a brief time. From ancient inscriptions we know the names of several other physicians who took care of gladiators. Especially these largely forgotten doctors are referenced in this article.

Gladiatoren umweht ein Hauch von Grauen und Tod. Ihr Kampf als Teil der Idee „Brot und Spiele“ gilt als ein Symptom für ein Weltreich im Abstieg. Doch wer sich ihnen wirklich historisch nähern will, muss vieles von dieser Vorstellung hinter sich lassen. Die Ärzte dieser Kampfsportler stehen bei entsprechenden Betrachtungen meist im Hintergrund. Dabei kann ihr Beitrag zur ganzheitlichen Vorbereitung der Gladiatoren auf den Einsatz nicht hoch genug bemessen werden.