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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the history of veterinary medicine in the Classical period. It explains that it was only in Roman times that veterinary medicine gained admission to Classical literature with the works of agricultural writers and suggests that while the theoretical basis of veterinary medicine is human medicine, it was influenced to a much greater degree by empirical knowledge and pre-rational conceptions about the healing of animals in folklore. This chapter discusses the role of Columella in introducing the term medicina veterinaria and explains that the practitioners of veterinary medicine during this time were the magistri pecoris or head herdsmen. It explores the procedures in disease prophylaxis, diagnosis, and therapy and the role of practitioners in birth assistance and castration.

Keywords: veterinary medicine, Classical period, Roman times, healing of animals, folklore, Columella, magister pectoris, disease prophylaxis, diagnosis, therapy

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