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This period extends from the earliest know times to the fall of Rome in approx 476 AD (slow dissolution rather than disappearance).

Hernia is described in Babylonian and Egyptian texts. The main treatment recommended appears to be bandaging and trussing.

By 25 AD removal of the hernial sack and testes was recommended. Hernitomy was especially advocated in children by Celsus, who also noted that trans-illumination could be used to differentiate hydrocoele from hernia.

Later on about 125 AD, preservation of the testes was recommended by Heliodorus, but this remained controversial. He recommended that the neck of the hernial sack be twisted shut.

With the fall of Rome about 476 AD, surgery became interdicted by the Muslin and Christian churches.

Further developments in hernia surgery awaited the rise of the Barber surgeons and Surgeon anatomists.

Adrian P. Ireland