The Role Of Bathing In Ancient Roman Culture

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Background/ Introduction

Bathing acted as a major role in ancient Roman culture. Many cultures considered

bathing as a private activity but the Romans considered it a communal activity. Not only was

it considered a place to cleanse the body, but also a place a place to socialize and interact with

each other. The Greeks initiated bathing practices in the form of foot baths, bath tubs and wash basins.

Although the Roman baths were greatly inspired by the Greek bathing practices, the Romans

surpassed them in size of their baths. Regions of Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean were inspired by the idea of the bath

as the Roman empire continued to expand. Greek mythology stated that some springs and

tidal pools had healing properties and the ability to cure diseases, hence were seen as a
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Offerings were brought by people from surrounding areas as a gift to

the gods and after bathed in the water as they hoped to get cured. In result, bathing chambers

were built on the hillside from which hot springs emerged.

Large imperial bath complexes were referred to as Thermae in ancient Rome. They

could hold up to 3000 bathers. Smaller bath facilities were referred to as Balnae,. They were

sometimes privately owned but open to the public to use.

The Roman baths included the following rooms: apodyterium which were the

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