Leisure, Pleasure and Healing: Spa Culture and Medicine in Ancient Eastern Mediterranean

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BRILL, 2007 - Medical - 524 pages
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The book deals with leisure, pleasure and healing at the thermo-mineral sites in the Levant since the biblical era throughout the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim periods. It looks closely at the question of whether the spas, which are models for social interaction between pagans, Christians and Jews, served as sacred cult places or popular sites of healing. The main objectives of the book are as follows: - Clarifying the leisure-time activities at the spas based on Classical and Rabbinic literature, pilgrims' travel-books, Syriac and Arabic texts, the Geniza fragments, cartographic evidence, and archaeological findings. - Lightening the daily life, healing cults, medical recommendations and treatments. - Examining the social history of medicine at the curative baths.
  

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Contents

Geological Hydrological and Medicinal Aspects of Hot springs in the Eastern Mediterranean Past and Present
53
21 Distribution and Identification
56
211 The Tiberias Basin and the Yarmuk Canyon
57
212 The Western Margins of the Jordan Valley
61
213 The Dead Sea Basin
62
214 The Eastern Margins of the Jordan Valley
67
215 Hot Springs within the SyroAfrican Rift in Sinai
68
216 Thermal Springs in Other Places in Palestine
69
Daily Life at the ThermoMineral Baths according to Rabbinic Literature
273
61 The Halakhic Stance of the Sages towards Curative Hot Springs and Baths
274
62 The Sages at the Therapeutic Sites Aims and Deeds
281
Roman Emperors at the Spas in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin
315
71 Vespasian
316
72 Hadrian
323
73 Antoninus Caracalla
339
The Numismatic Expression of the Medicinal Hot Springs
347

22 Geothermal Energy Utilisation in the Jordan Valley
72
23 Examination of their Use in the Light of Modern Medicine
73
Medicinal Hot Springs and Healing Spas in the GraecoRoman World
83
31 The Original Use of Hot Springs for Medicinal Purposes
84
32 Healing Qualities and Spa Therapy
88
33 Ritual Worship
92
34 The Military Presence
105
The Roman Leisure Culture
116
HistoricalArcharological Analysis and Healing Cults of Therapeutic Sites in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin
125
42 HammatGader
143
43 HammatPella
162
44 Kallirrhoe
167
45 HammeiBaarah
180
46 HammeiLivias
197
47 The waters of Asia
202
48 EmmausNicopolis
208
The Healing Properties of the Thermomineral Baths in the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient Times
225
51 The Nature of Therapeutic Baths in Light of the Classical Literature
226
52 Knowledge and Recommendations according to the Rabbinic Literature
232
53 The Cairo Geniza Fragments as HistoricalMedicinal Evidence
242
54 Medicinal Properties in Light of Archaeological Finds
249
542 The Epigraphical Material
250
543 Little Finds
255
The Medical History of Rabbi Judah the Patriarch
259
551 Rabbi Judahs Bowel Disease
261
552 Rabbi Judahs Other Illnesses
264
553 Illnesses in Rabbi Judahs Family
268
554 Rabbi Judahs Physicians and Treatments
269
555 Differential Diagnosis of the Patriarchs Illnesses
270
81 Tiberias HammeiTiberias
348
82 Pella HammatPella
353
83 Gadara HammatGader
355
84 Nautical Symbols and the Tenth Legion Fretensis A Reassessment
360
841 Coins of Gadara City and Their Link to Nautical Symbols
361
842 Nautical Images on Coins of Inland Cities
365
843 Evidences for the Presence of the Tenth Legion Fretensis in the Area of HammatGader
367
85 Kefar Agon the Domain of Gadara and Its Affinity to Leisure and Amusement Culture
370
851 The Domain of Gadara and the New Testament Traditions
371
852 Kefar Agon in Rabbinic Literature
375
853 The Origin Meaning and Development of the Term Agon
377
854 Competitions Games and Competitors in Talmudic Sources
383
Village of Competitions and Games
385
856 The Delights of Sons of Men are Pools and Baths Babylonian Talmud Gittin 68a
387
Pilgrimage to the Spas in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Later Roman and Byzantine
393
91 The Perspective of the Church Fathers and Pilgrims to the Therapeutic Sites
396
912 HammatGader
397
913 Thermal Baths of Livias
401
915 Thermal Baths of EmmausNicopolis
402
92 Christian Ethics towards Mixed Bathing and Bathing as a Medical Measure
404
93 The Contribution of Archaeology to the Christians Deeds at the Spas in the Levant
417
931 Thermal Baths of EmmausNicopolis
418
933 The Epigraphical Material from HammatGader Thermal Baths
419
Epilogue
425
Bibliography
433
General Index
499
Greek Words
523
Illustrations
525
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Estee Dvorjetski, Ph.D. (1992) in Jewish History, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is Professor at the Department of History, Oxford Brookes University and also teaches at the Department of Archaeology, Haifa University, Israel. She has published more than 60 articles and chapters in books on daily life, spas, ecology, history of medicine, leisure culture, numismatics and history of art during the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and early Muslim periods. She is currently engaged with her next book, entitled Public Health in the Holy Land: An Historical-Archaeological Analysis.

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