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Geneeskundeboek-Opmaak Binnenwerk-ENG.indd

Public baths and medical instruments 34 11 from Roman times. Athe first century AD, Roman armies marched along of hygiene and frequently for medical advice as well. TheIn Roman culture, thermae, with hot and cold baths, were ameeting place, a public facility where people went for reasonsrmies and pilgrims were the leading actors in theearly history of medicine in Maastricht. As early as the Roman roads from the north of France to Cologne to add to importance of cleansing by water and drinking the mineral Caesar’s empire not only the lands of the Gauls but also the waters were a traditional component of Greek and most territories of the Germans. The road between Roman Tongeren certainly of Roman medicine. Baths also had religious and Cologne crossed the Meuse at wadeable places where the connotations. It was imperative to cleanse the body before Jeker tributary flowed into the Meuse. It was here that a bridge praying to the gods. Indeed many baths were built in or near was built to ensure that the road could be used all year round. temples. The thermae that were found in Maastricht followed In order to defend the bridge, the Roman army built small army the classic lay-out of a Roman bath. The building contained a posts on either side of the river. number of rooms for consecutively cold, tepid and hot baths. On both banks, tradesmen, potters and later Roman The Maastricht thermae were rebuilt at least once, which veterans settled. The area around Maastricht was characterised suggests that the complex was in permanent use. The bath by wide corn fields supplying food to the legions posted on the culture of the Romans introduced an entirely new element into border of the Rhine. From the sixth century, the settlements the small settlement, which had no sewage, but wells and open near the bridge were known by the name of Trajectum ad pools of water bordering mostly unpaved narrow streets. This Mosam. The favourable situation ensured some degree of new element was hygiene. To the non-Roman inhabitants, the prosperity as is witnessed by stone buildings, which in the use of baths must have been a revelation. It is not clear, second century replaced the wooden constructions from earlier however, to what extent the non-military population were able days. The foundations and other remains of these buildings to use the baths. were found in a small site in the Stokstraat quarter, especially In the first half of the third century, the Roman empire around the Onze Lieve Vrouwe basilica. Three finds are came under severe pressure in these regions. German tribes connected with the earliest history of medicine in Maastricht: crossed the Rhine and put the Romans to flight. Roman culture, the thermae, a salve stone and a set of medical instruments. which in the preceding centuries, had flourished in peace, disappeared, and the baths were taken over by the local Wherever the Romans established a settlement, they built population and used as living quarters and stables. The public baths, so-called thermae. Excavations in 1840 and later tarnished power of the Romans was restored in these regions in ones in 1963 exposed the foundations of a Roman bath from the second quarter of the fourth century, when the Romans the second century AD six metres below street level in the rebuilt the settlements, which until then had been open, in centre of Maastricht. The circumference of the bath is now order to serve as fortresses to defend the new northern border marked on the pavement of the small square ‘On the Thermae’ of the Roman Empire. In Heerlen, the former thermae were between the Stokstraat and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouweplein. turned into a small fort surrounded by a moat. As no troops


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