Temporary exhibitions

"What's new, Doctor? Medecine and health in Roman times"

Curator of the exhibition: Véronique Dasen

Dates : 29.05.2010 - 31.10.2010

Under the high patronage of Hippocrates, the Roman Museum went looking for traces of doctors and their patients in Roman times …

What happened when people fell ill in Roman society?  Who did one go to for medical attention?  What status did a doctor have at a time when there were no diplomas to validate medical training officially?  How did people understand the functioning of the body?  What therapies were available?  A series of research activities and recent archaeological discoveries give a new picture of medical practice in Antiquity and its successes and failures.


This exhibition, designed by Véronique Dasen, Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Fribourg, its scientific director, revealed new aspects of the history of medicine in Antiquity; it looked at the activity of male and female doctors, their patients, both fortunate and unfortunate, and the valuable help provided by magic and the gods.  For the first time, the exhibition brought together all the instruments used by Roman doctors.


Handbook on sale in the Museum shop (CHF 13.-)

“Quoi de neuf, docteur? Médecine et santé à l’époque romaine”, put together by the Nyon Roman Museum, Switzerland.  Texts by Véronique Dasen (curator of the exhibition), Pascal Bader, Christiane Kramar, Brigitte Maire, Lucinne Rossier, 2010. 27 p., colour illustrations.



As part of the exhibition “What’s new, doctor? Medicine and health in Roman times” Adolfo Conti’s film “L’Arte breve: Il Chirurgo di Ariminum” (The short art, the surgeon of Ariminum) was shown in Nyon on 21 October 2010, followed by a round table discussion in the presence of specialists Jacopo Ortalli, the film’s scientific adviser and lecturer at the University of Ferrara, Ralph Jackson, curator of the British Museum, London, Vincent Barras, Professor of the History of Medicine, University of Lausanne, Thomas Späth, president of the Swiss Association for the Study of Antiquity and Professor at the University of Bern.  Moderator: André-Louis Rey, University of Geneva.


The exhibition continued in France in:


Gallo-Roman Museum, Lyon-Fourvière (4 October 2011 to 22 April 2012)


Forum antique, Bavay, the archaeological museum of the Département du Nord (13 September 2012 to 15 January 2013)


Le Mans Museum of History and Archaeology (from 9 March to 15 September 2013)


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