- Liliane Bodson
ExtractVeterinary medicine deals with treatments, cures, and all the other means by which the health of livestock may be preserved or restored. It is rooted in the early management of stock breeding, when rearers had to initiate medical care for their herds. As a recognized profession, veterinarians are mentioned in the early second millennium bce in Mesopotamia (Code of Hammurabi, reign: 1792–1750 bce) as well as in ancient Egypt (papyrus of Kahun, 12th dynasty: c.1850 bce). The earliest Greek evidence so far discovered for veterinarians called hippiatroi (horse doctors) is an honorific inscription of c.130 bce. In Rome, an equarius medicus (horse doctor) is attested by the end of the 1st cent. bce. Afterwards, terms such as mulomedicus (mule doctor), medicus veterinarius, medicus iumentarius, or medicus pecuarius (livestock doctor) are attested in the late-Roman empire, albeit rarely. The usual names for veterinarians in both Greek and Latin focus primarily on the treatment of horses and equids. These animals, together with oxen, were essential to the general economy, civilian and military transportation, wars, etc. , and therefore the most carefully looked after (see transport, wheeled).
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