Roman votive eyes and ears, bronze, 200 BC-100 AD.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Natural and supernatural medicine existed side by side in Rome, as in ancient Greece. Votive offerings were gifts given to the gods in prayer. These would often be in the form or representation of the injured or diseased part of the body and would be left at the temple of a god. The eyes and ears shown here may have been offered in the hope of a cure for blindnes, deafnes or perhaps earache.