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Roman Public Health


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Roman Public Health

  1. 1. Roman Medicine & Public Health Prevention better than the cure - Roman ideas on medicine
  2. 2. What we will learn today: <ul><li>How they developed ideas from the Greeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Roman ideas on what caused illness. </li></ul><ul><li>The nature of empirical observation. </li></ul><ul><li>The development of Roman Public Health. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Impact of Greek Medicine <ul><li>The impact the Greeks made on Rome can be seen in several ways. </li></ul><ul><li>One is the use of an Asclepion in Rome to combat the plague that broke out in the city in 293 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>The second is the use of Greek doctors – look at this table. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social and Ethnic status of Roman Doctors from 1 st to 3 rd century AD 80 353 442 Total 74 23 31 Foreign (Non citizens) 98 54 55 Slaves 93 158 170 Freedmen 63 118 186 Citizens % Greek Greek Total
  5. 5. Why such a heavy reliance on the Greeks? <ul><li>This was due to the low social standing doctors had in Roman society. </li></ul><ul><li>When did this change? </li></ul><ul><li>When Julius Caesar made a decree giving doctors citizenship and the doctors who treated the rich could also become rich themselves. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Copy this table 80 353 442 Total 74 23 31 Foreign (Non citizens) 98 54 55 Slaves 93 158 170 Freedmen 63 118 186 Citizens % Greek Greek Total
  7. 7. Now let us look at public health
  8. 8. Prevention better than the cure. <ul><li>To the Romans this can be said to be their main idea about public health. </li></ul><ul><li>A key example is their attempts to stop the spread of disease and death that surrounded the swamps in Rome. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Observation <ul><li>The Romans observed that the people who lived near the swamps tended to get ill and die. </li></ul><ul><li>We now know this disease is called Malaria - they did not know this. </li></ul><ul><li>They tried to gain an understanding as to an effective way to deal with the illness. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Febris <ul><li>Febris was a minor Roman goddess for fever - a symptom of the disease. </li></ul><ul><li>A temple was built where the disease was and prayers were said but no reduction in illness was observed. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Task <ul><li>Write the subtitle Roman Public Health </li></ul><ul><li>Answer this question; What do the actions of the Romans tell you about their belief in medicine? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Empirical Observation <ul><li>The next step the Romans took was to drain the swamp - this in effect shows the Romans had developed a system of EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION </li></ul>
  13. 13. EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION <ul><li>Did they know what caused the illnesses? </li></ul><ul><li>Did they realise that the swamp was in some way connected to the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>So, remove the swamp, remove the problem - this is empirical observation. </li></ul><ul><li>Acting on what they know rather than waiting to find out all the information. </li></ul>
  14. 14. So what did they think caused disease? <ul><li>Bad air </li></ul><ul><li>Bad water </li></ul><ul><li>Bad smells </li></ul><ul><li>Swamps or marshland </li></ul><ul><li>Being dirty </li></ul><ul><li>Living near sewerage </li></ul><ul><li>In essence they had no clue but acted on what they saw. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Task <ul><li>Write down a definition for EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Roman’s problem as an example. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Roman Public Health - Aqueducts
  17. 17. Roman Public Health - Baths
  18. 18. Roman Public Health - Toilets
  19. 19. Task <ul><li>Using the notes in front of you, create a booklet on Roman Public Health using the </li></ul>
  20. 20. Final Task <ul><li>Quick Quiz </li></ul><ul><li>This is designed to see what you have found out about Roman Public Health. </li></ul>