The Surgeon

The owner of the House of Ferrari square was a military surgeon arriving from the East and his name was most probably Eutyches.

Identifying data of the surgeon

We can identify the surgeon through much of the data found in the House.
We have no doubt about his profession: he was a doctor, as testified by the great number of surgical instruments unearthed: 150 pieces, the most important medical collection in the world for type and number of surgical instruments. The major part of instrumentation was for use on bone traumas and wounds. In this collection we find also the only piece of its kind in the world, called "Diocle's spoon", a very rare iron for extracting arrows heads from bodies. The specificity of these instruments shows that Eutyches was a surgeon with experience in a military environment.

The house had a room where the surgeon looked after and operated on his patients, a “taberna medica”, all similar to a modern infirmary facing onto an inner garden with independent entrance. On a fragment of the wall of the Cubiculum the following inscription was uncovered: " Eutyches homo bonus". The words, scratched on the wall probably by a patient, has furnished us with his name and his origins from Greece.

Evidence of the eastern origins of Eutyches can be found throughout the House: the mosaics, the decorations with fine oriental taste, the greek words inscribed on small vases for preserving medicinal herbs, the foot of a statue of the Epicurean philosopher Hermarchus found in the garden. All these artefacts evidence the personality of Eutyches: a very refined man, with intellectual learning and fond of art. Evidence of his religious devotion is also provided by the bronze votive hand , a sign of devotion to Jupiter Dolichenus , protector of soldiers.

Eutyches: a very refined man, aesthete as well as a surgeon with considerable experience and skill in his profession, combining a strong religious devotion with a great philosophic learning.

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