Ancient Military Medicine in the Battle of Cannae

The Battle of Cannae was fought between the Romans Republic and the Carthaginian Republic.  The Carthaginian commander was Hannibal and the Roman commanders were Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus.  The war took place near Cannae a town in southeast Italy. Hannibal’s army defeated the Roman army even though the Roman army was greater in number.  The victory is credited to the fact that Hannibal’s army used superior tactics and they were united in their efforts (The Battle of Cannae).

The health of the soldiers before the war and the treatment of the wounded during and after the war was an important part of maintaining the effectiveness of an army. The conditions that the soldiers had to endure and the number of people in an area created complications for the sick and the wounded.  During that time in history medical facilities where important and many times would be based in temporary camps.  The Greeks and the Romans both had made many discoveries for medical treatments by this time in history, so it was not uncommon to have a doctor (medicus) who was highly skilled as well as assistants who would oversee the operation of the medical facility (Goldsworthy).

Ancient Medical Tools


Works Cited

Goldsworthy, Adrian. The Complete Roman Army. London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2003.

The Battle of Cannae. 8 Feb 2012. 16 Feb 2012. <;.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s