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The Healing Properties Of The Thermo-Mineral Baths In The Eastern Mediterranean In Ancient Times

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Chapter Summary

Public baths generally and medicinal baths in particular were considered by the Romans as centres of culture, education, sport and therapy. People of all kinds bathed at the thermo-mineral baths. Josephus relates that when King Herod’s illness became more and more acute ‘though he was suffering greater misery than could well be endured. The special healing qualities of the thermo-mineral springs in the eastern Mediterranean gained a great reputation both in the country and outside it in the course of the Roman and Byzantine periods. The healing tradition of the warm springs of Tiberias, known already in the Second Temple period, was for disorders of the urinary and digestive systems, skin illnesses, general weakness, and rheumatism. The medicinal qualities of the thermo-mineral baths in the eastern Mediterranean may be inferred from the coins of the cities of Tiberias, Gadara and Pella, within whose municipal boundaries were remedial thermae.

Keywords: eastern Mediterranean; Gadara; healing qualities; medicinal baths; Pella; thermo-mineral springs; Tiberias



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