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The history of physicians’ roles in ancient Babylonia and Egypt has been studied and documented extensively, however, surgeons’ roles in these societies are somewhat less understood. Ancient Assyrian/Babylonian surgeons were subject to severe punishments and faced a difficult environment in which to develop surgical treatments; yet they did undertake Cesarean sections, ophthalmic operations, and trephinations. Egyptian surgeons, on the other hand, seem to have been offered more protection though a rigid hierarchy, leading to more freedom. They performed a wider range of operations and were even allowed experimental treatments in certain circumstances. We sought to explore these roles and their impact on surgical development in these influential historic eras.