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Medicinal Hot Springs And Healing Spas In The Graeco-Roman World

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides general observations on the original use of hot springs for medicinal purposes, the healing qualities of such springs, ritual worship of the therapeutic sites, the military presence at these sites and the archaeological finds in the Graeco-Roman world. It focuses on a historical cross section of the socio-economic, cultural and religious aspects of these places. Medicinal hot springs were recommended for the treatment of specific complaints such as disturbances of paralysis, muscle disorders, diseases of the joints, urinary diseases, digestive disorders and internal ailments, skin diseases, eye diseases and female disorders. Many medicinal hot springs through the Graeco-Roman world were dedicated to Heracles, to the Nymphs and to gods with healing capabilities, such as Apollo, Aesculapius, Hygieia, Zeus, Jupiter, Vulcan, Artemis, Mars, Athena, Minerva, Venus, Mercury, Dionysus, Silvanus and the Three Graces.

Keywords: Apollo; Graeco-Roman world; healing qualities; Heracles; Hygieia; medicinal hot springs; Nymphs; Zeus



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