Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Health and wellbeing in the ancient world
Health and wellbeing in the ancient world

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Further reading

Sponge on a stick [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] : This blog post looks at the Greek writings that mention a ‘sponge on a stick’.
Roman game pieces really old toilet paper: This article discusses the Roman artifacts now thought to have been used as a form of toilet paper.
The birth of comedy: Find out more about Aristophanes’ plays and his humour in this free resource on OpenLearn.
Virginia Campbell, ‘No shit’: Virginia Campbell has written a blog post on evidence for Roman city authorities banning the disposal of waste in certain locations.
Draining Herculaneum: A discussion of the sewers of Herculaneum.
Latrines, sewers show varied ancient Roman diet: Archaeologists have picked through latrines and sewers to find clues to the varied diets of the citizens of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
750 sacks of human excrement recovered from Herculaneum: Excavations at Herculaneum have revealed layers of excrement that give us clues about the diet and health of the inhabitants there.
UK government guidance: Sewage sludge on farmland: code of practice.
Roman baths at Carnuntum: Public baths originally covering around 1500 square metres have been reconstructed at the Austrian site of Carnuntum.
Piers Mitchell, ‘Why the Romans weren’t quite as clean as you might have thought’, The Conversation: Piers Mitchell discusses the impact of Roman sanitation technology upon health.
Mark Bradley, ‘Roman sewers and the politics of cleanliness’, Omnibus, 2006: This article discusses one of the highlights of ancient Rome, the Cloaca Maxima (or Great Sewer).
Helen King, ‘Faecal transplants: not the first prescription of medicinal poo’: Helen King discusses the use of faecal transplants to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Helen King, ‘Poisons and love potions’: On knowledge of dosage in the ancient world.