Roman Britain Sources Questions Essay

Source A can help you to learn about Roman attitudes towards health just from looking at the picture. The picture is an Aqueduct built by the Romans in Spain, this automatically shows us that the Romans liked to keep clean and were bothered about the type of water they drank and cleaned in, we know this because an Aqueduct is a channel for the water to pass through, so that the water doesn’t get any diseases in it. The Romans built them to keep the water flowing correctly so that it would be delivered to the correct places and the water would be clean and suitable to drink.

The Aqueduct will have been used for many things such as the baths were the Romans went to clean and socialise, it was a very public place the water will have had to have a good water system such as the aqueduct. The water supply will have been there to prevent diseases so that the life expectancy would increase. The aqueduct will have been very helpful in the army as it will have helped keep the soldiers healthy for battles, and when injured they would be able to use fresh water to help them. This shows us that the Romans attitudes towards health were very good as they were trying there best to get the number of deaths down.

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B –

In sources A, B and C, there are pictures of different stages in time between the years of the Romans – 1832. These pictures show the state that the towns were in these decades. The sources show that peoples understanding of the causes of disease didn’t improve between these times. In source A the Romans had began to show a small understanding that one of the main problems in health were the water supplies and how unhealthy it was, so they built an aqueduct to make the water supply run smoothly and cleanly between the towns, so that the health of the water didn’t make people ill, but in source B it shows a picture of the state of the town in the seventeenth century. This shows that the people still didn’t understand the full reason of the cause of disease as the sheet was published by the government to inform the public of measures being taken to fight the plague.

The plague was a really serious disease which killed hundreds of people it was caused by the filth in the streets and all the germs and disease going around from the waste and pollution in the air. The people had such a little understanding about the plague that they believed that it was caused by things such as the movement of the sun and planets being out of order. These silly reasons didn’t help to lead to the real reason why. The picture shows people moving the dead bodies and putting them under the ground. This shows that they had a small understanding of the germs that the dead bodies would be giving off, but it doesn’t show that they had the knowledge of cleaning up the dirt in the rest of the street to get rid of other diseases.

In source C it shows a picture of the town in 1832. In the picture it shows that the people’s understanding still hadn’t improved much as the streets were full of dirt and burning waste materials whilst people were stood watching. The houses also still look cramped and as though they would have no air in them, this shows little understanding about the over crowding in houses and how little air causes diseases. In the caption to the picture it says “during the cholera epidemic” the word cholera shows that the serious diseases weren’t being prevented well enough as cholera was a very serious disease that kills hundreds.

So from these sources it shows that peoples understanding of the causes of disease improved slightly but not enough to stop these diseases.

C –

In source D there is a picture of a crowded street and the artist called it “A Court for King Cholera.” The picture will have been called this because “Court” can mean a gathering of people and in the picture there are a lot of people gathering in the courtyard among all the dirt on the ground and walls. The people could be gathering there because they all have Cholera or they could be there gathering to discuss the state that the place is in and how they can stop this disease.

The part of the title “King Cholera” means king as in the big disease because Cholera was one of the main diseases and it was killing a lot of people. The artist will have decided to call it this to show to people that Cholera was a serious thing and was no laughing matter. It could also mean “court” as in the main place where cholera could be because of all the muck, dirt and people gathering around in scruffy dirty places.

D –

By looking at all of the sources (A.B.C.D.E) I can see that the government played a small part in keeping the towns healthy but not an important part.

In the Roman times the government tried very hard to make sure the water supply was clean and healthy enough by making an aqueduct to run the water back and forth, to the correct places, this improved a lot of peoples health. As the time went on from looking at sources B and C I can see that the government tried by helping move the dead bodies and put them underground so that the disease wouldn’t spread, but this wasn’t an important part in keeping the place healthy because the government could have done a lot more to help and stop the plague and Cholera.

Source D shows that the government showed no interest in cleaning up the dirty waste from the toilet as I can see in this picture that it was just dumped in the middle of the courtyard where the children were playing with it. The government should have made that effort to move the waste as it would have helped prevent a lot of the disease and would have been an important part in helping keep the place healthy.

The cartoon in source E shows that the government had set up the NHS (National Health Service) and were helping out people by giving them medicines and treatments; this helped the poorer people as well as they were giving it to them for free. This may have been an important part in the keeping people healthy but as the picture shows even the doctors were claiming how it “tasted awful” this shows that the government weren’t getting things completely right.

The sources show that the government tried to make things healthier but didn’t totally succeed, so it makes the government not an important part in helping people to keep healthy.


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