Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Mud Baths of Crenides

As people lived much closer to nature, thermal baths in antiquity rather belonged to everyday life than to a plush spa resort as we know today. Such spots are mentioned throughout history as a matter of fact and are often overlooked.

This is the case of Crenides, the city that was conquered by Philip of Macedonia who renamed it Philippi. Inevitably all attention goes to the latter and the hot springs are being ignored although they were known to Aristotle and Xenophon.

However, today, Crenides (or Krinides) is a thermal city which attracts tourists to enjoy its curative waters and therapeutic clay. The spring water has a pleasant temperature of 29 degrees Celsius and is used in hydrotherapy for the ailments of the musculoskeletal system and as mineral drinking water to treat gastrointestinal and urinary problems.

What is more, the city also boosts on its clay therapy that is adequately housed in a late Byzantine building used as a Turkish Bath. The mud therapy results from a balanced mixed of argil, a local plant and the hot mineral water. It is especially indicated in the cases of auto immune diseases, skin problems and rheumatism.

It is tempting to imagine King Philip soaking in this hot clay to relieve the pain in his gammy leg and the sore scars of war he suffered although he strongly believed that bathing was only done in cold water. Maybe even Alexander and his companions in spite of this stoic Macedonian rule about cold water enjoyed a pleasant halt at the springs when heading for Thrace or on the way back, who knows…

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