Public Health in Ancient Greece
The Greeks made use of some public health systems that enabled clean water to be brought to towns and waste to be disposed of. There is evidence of this at Greek ruins and on Mediterranean islands. The quality and type of public health available varied from one City State to the next. Much of what the Greeks had developed formed the basis of the more substantial Public Health works conducted by the Romans.
The Ancient Greek would not have been too unfamiliar with some of the health and fitness regimes that are used by people today. The word ‘Regimen’ was used by the Greeks to describe peoples lifestyles: from which can be derived the word regimented (as in organised). The Greek philosophy of ‘Regimen’ covered what people ate, drank, the types and amount of exercise that they took and how much sleep they had.
These ideas were very thorough: it demonstrates that the Greeks knew that lifestyle could affect the quality of life, as evidenced by their development and championing of the Olympics. Such is the quality of the remaining evidence that we can even see that doctors advice differed for those who were rich: and could therefore afford to spend time and money on relaxing, and those who worked or were poorer: and therefore couldn’t maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible.
Medicine through time – Prehistoric Medicine – Egyptian Medicine – Greek Medicine – Roman Medicine – Medieval Medicine – Medicine in the Renaissance – Fight against Infectious Disease – Public Health in the Industrial Revolution – Modern Medicine – Revise for Medicine through time GCSE – GCSE History of Medicine resources