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Question-Ancient Insect repellent
Long time lurker in this forum. The search engine usually answers my questions from past topics...but...

What did the Roman Army use for insect repellent? Anyone who has spent anytime in the woods-especially in hot-still air (summer forest) will tell you mosquitoes are a horrible. Especially if you are sweaty after a days work/march.

As for desert climates. My US Air Force experience in the night desert (Gila Bend ,Arizona) when you turn on a light in a totally dark desert (only stars visible) you can't believe the amount of bugs it attracts (swarms). I can imagine what it was like in Judea around a campfire. I know from experience a desert can get VERY cold at night (no clouds to trap the heat of day means a cold night.)

So what did the Romans use to keep insects away -as best they could.

I attached a photo off the net. I have seen it that bad around one overhead light.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
-Rod Dickson

Petrus Augustinus
(aka Pierre Kleff)
Petrus Augustinus
Thank you for your response.
Yes that would work and appears possible they would have used that as an application on the skin.

I put basil in GOOGLE as as a DIY insect repellent.

And indoors areas for myself-what I use is incense.
I wonder what oil would be put in outdoor fires or lanterns? (Thinking along the lines of citronella.)

When you really think about it-You just can't be a very good guard of your encampment out in the forest or desert wilderness if you are constantly annoyed and attention distracted by bugs.
-Rod Dickson
I don't know if the Greeks or Romans used it, but pine tar rubbed on the skin is great for bugs. Their were plenty of pine trees in the Mediterranean.

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