health was developed by the Romans as they believed
that cleanliness would lead to good health. The Romans
made links between causes of disease and methods of
prevention. as a consequence they developed a large
system of Public Health works around their empire.
Romans believed that Prevention of illness was more
important than cure of illness. Roman Philosophy was
based along the lines of searching for a reason then
establishing a preventative measure to minimise the
risk attached. As a practical people they used observations
of the environment to determine what was causing ill
health. This form of empirical observation led the Romans
to realise that death rates were higher in and around
marshes and swamps.
cure would then be based upon logic. As the Romans believed
that Gods held the key to longevity of life they initially
built Temples to the gods near large swamps to pacify
them and reduce the deaths. Alternatives to this were
the drainage of swamps and they also ensured that the
army and important people lived away from these areas.
empirical observations led the Romans to believe that
ill health could be associated with, amongst other things,
bad air, bad water, swamps, sewage, debris and lack
of personal cleanliness. In some places, Rome included,
it is impossible to avoid all of these unless something
is physically done to alter the environment. The Romans,
being technologically adequate, resolved to provide
clean water through aqueducts, to remove the bulk of
sewage through the building of sewers and to develop
a system of public toilets throughout their towns and
city's. Personal hygiene was encouraged through the
building of large public baths (The City of Bath being
an obvious British example of these).
consequence of this pragmatic approach to preventative
measures was an advanced system of public health structures,
many of which are still visible in places today.