Abstract: The Mysterious Sacred Spring of the Emperor Augustus


In the year 23 BCE the Roman emperor Augustus was gravely ill with terrible stomach pains. On the advice of his doctor, Antonius Musa, he and the poet Horace visited the fontes Clusinii or sacred healing springs of Chiusi in Etruria. The location of this site, which effected such miraculous cures that Musa was given a statue and exemption for all doctors from taxation, was sought for hundreds of years by scholars but its location may now be known. What was the secret cure that saved the emperor from his agonies? The answer is as surprising as it is effective!

David Soren has just published volume two of his research and excavations at Chianciano Terme in Southern Tuscany, revealing the largest cold water ancient spa and bathing complex that has ever been found in Italy.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

David Soren, editor, Archaeological Excavations at Chianciano Terme, Vol. 1 (Oxford 2008, British Archaeological Reports)

David Soren and Paola Mecchia, editors, Archaeological Excavations at Chianciano Terme, Vol. 2 (Oxford, BAR, 2010)

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