150 AD

Antyllus was a Greek surgeon, who lived in Rome around 150 AD. He is perhaps best known for his surgery for aneurysms that involved tying the artery on each side and excising the aneurysm. His surgery method became a standard procedure and remained so until the 19th century.

Antyllus also created precise procedures for other surgical procedures such as for operations on the eye, abdomen, breast, bones, and joints. He performed plastic surgeries on eyelids, noses, ears and cheeks, employed cautery for controlling hemorrhage, and performed tracheotomies.

Antyllus also was a proponent of preventative medicine. He emphasized the importance attaining a healthy life, through exercise. Included in his prescribed health regimens were vocal exercises which he designed and promoted to strengthen the body and promote general health. He recommended, for example, vociferation, a method that involved using the voice at its fullest. His particular set of procedures involved loudly singing musical scales and prose. Before the exercise, Antyllus recommended preparing the body for activity by doing such things as “evacuating the lower organs”, massaging the body, and engaging in a cold water sponge bath. Then, while walking around, the person should begin vocal exercising by doing such things as reciting memorized epic verses. The person would begin by speaking at a volume of low intensity, increase intensity, and then return to low intensity volume again. Antyllus theorized that vocalizing low notes were the best part of the exercise regimen because they required breathing in more air and thereby expanding the trachea and other “channels of the body” (Finney, 1966, p. 403).

Writings about Antyllus

Finney, Gretchen (1966). Medical theories of vocal exercise and health. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 5, 395-406.

Grant, R. L. (1961) Antyllus, the elusive surgical genius of antiquity: An analysis of his writings. Surgery. 50, 572-8.