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 minimize 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
The 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.
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).
of this pragmatic approach to preventative measures was an advanced
system of public health structures, many of which are still visible
in places today.