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History Cookbook

Romano-British Piicture Gallery Health

Life expectancy seems to have been quite short.
Life expectancy may have been quite low in the Roman period, although scholars have recently questioned the reliability of statistics taken from archaeological and other sources. However, it is clear that many women died in childbirth and many young children also died. More
Plague was, at times, a threat during the Roman Empire
At certain times in Rome's history, plagues swept the empire, killing large numbers of people. At such times, all the people’s life chances were affected by the dreaded disease, the Bubonic Plague. More
The bath houses were important but their impact on health is unknown
The baths were important to the Romans but their impact on health is hard to measure.
Public baths were to be found in every city throughout the Roman Empire and were the focus of the social life of the city. More
Systems of pipes or aqueducts brough fresh water to the cities.
The quantity of fresh water available in the average Roman town was far greater than in later centuries, right up to Victorian times.  In Roman Britain, large aqueducts were not needed, as water could be found close to most places in rivers or wells. More
Physical excersise was much prized
Physical exercise was much prized in Greek and Roman times.
It was the Greeks, after all, who started the Olympic Games, which continued right throughout Roman times. Sports such as wrestling were also popular. Public baths also contained gymnasiums.   More
There were sewers and public toilets to help keep the cities clean.
Roman towns contained several healthy features such as sewers and even public toilets. Drainage was an important part of Roman town planning. More
An early form of central heating helped people to keep warm.
In richer homes, there was central heating to keep people warm and healthy in cold winter months. 
This central heating was provided by fires, whose heat was directed under the floors of the house, thus warming the rooms above. More
The practice of medicine was largely in the hands of Greek doctors.
The Greeks had developed many theories about medicine, most of which are regarded as nonsense today. More
Although many of their ideas have been disproved, the Greeks introduced the idea of careful observation.
Greek doctors developed techniques of careful observation of patients’ symptoms, and how to deal with these by such practical remedies as keeping warm, taking fresh air, herbal medicines and so on. More
War and conflict cost many lives in the early years of occupation
War and conflict cost the lives of many Roman soldiers.
In conquering their empire, Roman soldiers fought many battles, and uprisings could see both soldiers and civilians perish.   More
The towns the Romans built in Britain were actually healthier than Rome itself.
The city of Rome had grown up over the course of many centuries and, unlike many of the cities that the Romans later built (in Britain, for example), their home city was completely unplanned, with many people crowded together. More
Religion was import in every aspect of daily life, including health.
In the early period of Roman rule in Britain, the Romans worshipped many gods; there were many minor gods connected with health and childbirth to whom people would make offerings. More

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