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Roman sling bullet removal tool (Read 3563 times)
ADAXL
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Roman sling bullet removal tool
Nov 29th, 2009 at 3:29pm
 
There was a discussion on the much-mentioned Roman surgery tool for the removal of sling bullets from the body of a wounded soldier (http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1146906523/0). Unfortunately, the discussion led to no tangible result. I have done some research on the elusive "special tool", but found nothing.

Is there anybody who can point me to a proper source?
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Thearos
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #1 - Nov 29th, 2009 at 5:10pm
 
It's in the discussion: Celsus, De Medicina, 7.5.4.
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ADAXL
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #2 - Nov 29th, 2009 at 5:27pm
 
Thearos wrote on Nov 29th, 2009 at 5:10pm:
It's in the discussion: Celsus, De Medicina, 7.5.4.


No, not really. The text in "De Medicina" does not mention the special tool, just the techniques and general equipment:

"There is a third kind of missile which at times has to be extracted such as a lead ball or a pebble, or such like, which has penetrated the skin and become fixed within unbroken. In all such cases the wound should be laid open freely, and the retained object pulled out by forceps the way it entered. But some difficulty is added in the case of any injury in which a missile has become fixed in bone, or in a joint between the ends of two bones. When in a bone, the missile is swayed until the place which grips the point yields, after which it is extracted by the hand, or by forceps; this is the method also used in extracting teeth. In this way the missile nearly always comes out, but if it resists, it can be dislodged by striking it with some instrument. The last resort when it cannot be pulled out, is to bore into the bone with a trepan close by the missile, and from that hole to cut away the bone in the shape of the letter V, so that the lines of the letter which diverge to either side face the missile; after that it is necessarily loosened and easily removed. If the missile has forced its way actually into a joint between the ends of two bones, the limbs above and below are encircled by bandages or straps, by means of which they are pulled in opposite directions, so that the sinews are put on the stretch; the space between the ends of the bone is widened by these extensions, so that the missile is without difficulty withdrawn. In doing this care must be taken, as mentioned elsewhere, to avoid injury to a sinew, vein or artery while the weapon is being extracted by the same method which was described above."

A forceps is a normal surgical tool. I am hunting for that special instrument, not general surgical equipment. I am looking for a quote from a reputable source, preferably a publication on medical history.
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Thearos
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #3 - Nov 30th, 2009 at 6:25am
 
Yes, but that's the source there is. There is no other source that mentions removing sling bullets, if I'm not mistaken. (Onasander describes the appearance of sling bullet wounds, with raised bruising around the wound). Nor, indeed, does the passage imply a special tool-- as opposed to a technique, using a general purpose tool.

In other words, the "sling bullet removal tool" may be an enthusiastic rephrasing of the Celsus-- unless someone can find another source which says "there is a special tool" etc. To repeat myself: I think there is no such source, and therefore there is no such tool.
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Thearos
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #4 - Nov 30th, 2009 at 6:28am
 
That reminds me that there is, in fact, an article on sling wounds. From the CNRS online catalogue of scholarly literature (which shows that I;m wrong, there is another reference, in Paul of Aigina, to removal):



Titre du document / Document title
Zur Traumatologie der antiken Schleuderbleie = On the traumatology of ancient lead missilesA propos de la traumatologie des projectiles en plomb dans l'Antiquité
Auteur(s) / Author(s)
MOOG Ferdinand Peter (1) ;
Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)
(1) Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin, Universität zu Köln, Joseph-Stelzmann-Strasse 9, Gebäude 29, 50931 Köln, ALLEMAGNE
Résumé / Abstract
The lead missiles of slingers in antiquity, known as glans or molybdis, are widely considered to have been very dangerous projectiles of the ancient armies. Ballistic investigations and results of experimental archaelogy seem to confirm this. However, the findings of medical history concerning these missiles are only mentionned sporadically, as in Celsus or Paul or Aigina, and wounds caused by them are merely discussed incidentally. There is so far no evidence at all on them in palaeopathology. It is undisputed however that in individual cases these missiles were able to cause serious injuries, especially when they hit unprotected parts of the body. Accordingly, their main effect seems to have consisted in the intimidation of the enemy.
Revue / Journal Title
Medizinhistorisches Journal   ISSN 0025-8431
Source / Source
2002, vol. 37, no2, pp. 123-137 [15 page(s) (article)] (2 p.1/4)
Langue / Language
Allemand
Editeur / Publisher
Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, ALLEMAGNE  (1966) (Revue)
Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords
Paleopathology ; Celsus ; Lead ; Military medicine ; Medicine ; Antiquity ;
Mots-clés français / French Keywords
Paléopathologie ; Celse ; Plomb ; Médecine militaire ; Médecine ; Antiquité ;
Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords
Celso ; Plomo ; Medicina militar ; Medicina ; Antigüedad ;
Localisation / Location
INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 25584, 35400010711308.0010
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ilovepancakes
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #5 - Nov 30th, 2009 at 10:25am
 
I always imagined the elusive sling glande removing tool to resemble plyers.
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #6 - Nov 30th, 2009 at 7:33pm
 
ilovepancakes wrote on Nov 30th, 2009 at 10:25am:
I always imagined the elusive sling glande removing tool to resemble plyers.

Or blunted roman shears.
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #7 - Nov 30th, 2009 at 9:44pm
 
There is a Roman Doctor reenactor that actually shows the whole glande removal process. The instrument he uses  looks like long pliers, but where the tool grabs the glande is shaped so that it wraps around the glande when you close the tool. I actually have the video of it in my downloads, but I don't know how to post it. Sad
  What they use to make the groove in the bone is a small hammer and chisel. Of course the patient would be awake during this whole procedure.
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #8 - Dec 1st, 2009 at 5:09am
 
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slingbadger
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Re: Roman sling bullet removal tool
Reply #9 - Dec 1st, 2009 at 8:19am
 
That's it.
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The greatest of all the accomplishments of 20th cent. science has been the discovery of human ignorance  The main difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits.-Einstein   I'm getting psychic as I get older. Or is that psychotic?
 
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