Laodicea Medical Center
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Laodicea Medical Center
(Revelation 3.17-19)
Page 88

"You say, 'I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich and wear white clothes, to cover your shameful nakedness, and ointment to put on your eyes, so that you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline." (Revelation 3.17-19)✞

Famous Salve

Medical SymbolThe Laodicea medical center was of considerable size as attested by massive columns from c100 BC recently discovered in the city's northern district. The medical center on this bustling trade route brought in so many visitors seeking healing using its famous eye salve that it made the city very wealthy. So famous were its doctors that the names of some even appeared on Laodicean coins. We know of two doctors by name from these coins. One was named Zeuxis who could have been an ophthalmologist or eye specialist dealing with diseases and other eye problems. Another doctor, Alexander Philalethes, is also inscribed on a second coin.

Medical Ointment Collyrium

Modern Eye Salve or CollyriumThe medical center and school were famous for the Laodicea eye salve also called "collyrium" meaning "course bread roll." This was a medicated eye salve containing crushed Phrygian stone. Spice nard was also dispensed as an ear treatment. The word for ointment or salve literally meant "a little roll of bread," which was the form in which these medications were dispensed. In ancient times, they were thought to draw out "evil humors" which had caused the visual impairment or hearing loss. These famous powder rolls were exported from Laodicea all over the Roman world. The Laodicean Church was so proud of the city's medical skills in the care of people's eyes and ears that it did not realize that it was itself spiritually blind and deaf.

"Laodicea Medical Center"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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