Presentation on theme: "Baths and Bathing By Gemma and Anna. Baths and Bathing For the Romans, the baths had an important social and cultural function. They were a means to clean."— Presentation transcript:
Baths and Bathing For the Romans, the baths had an important social and cultural function. They were a means to clean the body, but also a source of entertainment and a centre for social, political and economic activity. Communal bathing was one of the fundamental parts of every day life.
The Rooms in Roman Baths Vestibule; exercise yard with portico Apodyterium – Changing room with benches and shelves or niches for clothes. Frigidarium – A vaulted chamber for cold baths, containing one or more cold water pools. Normally visited after the heating rooms. Tepidarium – A vaulted chamber designed to acclimatize visitors passing from the apodyterium to the caldarium, with benches where people could sit to get used to the heat and/or wash themselves.
The Rooms in Roman Baths Caldarium – The principal bath chamber for a hot-water or steam bath, containing a communal pool and a basin (labrum, which contained cold water). Laconicum – A small round room used as a sweat bath, usually with dry heat. The room was heated either by a fireplace, hot stones or a brazier placed at the centre of the room. Destrictarium – Scraping room, where oil and sweat were removed from the body with strigils. Strigils could be made from bone, bronze, iron or silver and were used after exercise or bathing to clean off perspiration.
Heating system Provided by a charcoal burning furnace located at the back of the caldarium, between men’s and women’s sections. Hot air circulated through the interstices (Hypocastrum) under the marble floor which was raised about 70 to 90 centimetres on brick pillars (suspensure) and through air ducts built behind the walls. To prevent condensation, the ceiling had grooves in the plaster which collected and channelled the condensation down the walls.
Bathing tools from a house in Pompeii including strigils. Strigils
Baths in Pompeii By AD79, there were 3 functioning public bath buildings at Pompeii. There were two others that weren’t used, one that had fallen out of use and another that was still under construction at the time of the eruption. The three functions baths at Pompeii include; The Stabian Baths, The Forum Baths and The Suburban Baths. There was also the Sano baths, and a privately run bath seemingly owned by Julia Felix. The one under construction was The Central Baths.
Baths in Herculaneum So far, two baths at Herculaneum have been discovered and excavated. They are the Suburban baths and the Forum baths.
Suburban Baths in Herculaneum These are probably the best preserved baths and were more than likely built later than the Central Baths. They have an outer portal leading to a square vestibule illuminated by an opening in the roof supported by twin arches on top of four columns. The Vestibule leads to the various rooms of the Baths which have marble floors, seats and decorations. Some wooden doors and even window frames have also been preserved. Vestibule in Suburban baths
Forum Baths The Forum Baths were located in Via delle Terme at the very centre of Pompeii, in the building opposite the Temple of Fortuna Augusta. They were built in the first year of the founding of the colony with public funds. The damage suffered during the earthquake of 62 A.D. was immediately repaired, and they were in fact the only baths in use at the moment of the eruption in 79 A.D.
Stabian Baths When the hypocaust was installed in Pompeii, the Stabian Baths were refurbished by Gaius Uulius and Publius Aninius. The Stabian baths, were located at the junction of Pompeii’s 2 main streets. It was badly damaged at the time of the earthquake of AD 62. Only the women’s quarters were in use at the time of the eruption. The Stabian Baths only received their final form in the Augustan period, when water began to be supplied by the town’s new aqueduct. Hypocaust - underfloor heating system had hot air heated from the basement fires flowing between the brick or concrete columns which support the ground floor
Activities Romans could; Enjoy the benefits of warm, hot or cold baths, practice physical exercise, play sport, enjoy a massage, play sport, listen to music and poetry recitals, read in the library, conduct business and receive invitations.
Layout and Décor The baths were divided into sections for men and women. If there were no separate sections, the men and women attended at different times. Although the décor may have varied from bath to bath, most were vaulted, the walls and ceilings covered in elegant stucco work and the floors in mosaic, often with a marine theme. Forum baths of Pompeii
Sex Pornographic graffiti suggests sexual activities occurred at the baths. Apparently a masseur in Pompeii was ‘accused of taking liberties with women ’ (M.Grant, Cities of Vesuvius, p. 210) and at Herculaneum ‘pimps and prostitutes began to make a nuisance of themselves.’ (Deiss, p. 110)
Opening hours The baths opened at midday after the furnaces had been lit and an afternoon visit became a daily routine for many people. The discovery of hundreds of lamps in the Forum and Stabian baths suggested that complexes stayed open at night for those unable to make it during the day.
Seneca, (Epistles Vol IV, 1-65) describes the noise – Here I am surrounded by all kinds of noise (my lodgings overlook a bathhouse). Conjure up in your imagination all the sounds that make one hate one’s ears. I hear grunts of musclemen exercising and jerking those heavy weights around; they are working hard, or pretending to. I hear their sharp hissing as they release their pent breath. If there happens to be a lazy fellow content with a simple massage I hear the slap of hand on shoulder; you can hear whether it’s hitting a flat or hollow. If a ballplayer comes up and starts calling out his score, I’m done for. Add to this the racket of a cocky bastard, a thief caught in the act, and a fellow who likes the sound of his own voice in the bath, plus those who plunge into the pool with a huge splash of water. Besides those who just have loud voices, imagine the skinny armpit-hair plucker, whose cries are shrill so as to draw people’s attention and who never stops except when he’s doing his job and making someone else shriek for him. Now add the mingled cries of the drink pedlar and the sellers of sausages, pastries and hot fare, each hawking his own wares with his own particular peal.
Slaves at the baths Many people were accompanied by their slaves at the baths. Some, according to Juvenal’s Satires took a ‘mob of rowdy retainers’ like ‘that show-off Tongilius’ who was ‘such a bore at the baths’ with his ‘outsized oil- flask of rhinoceros horn’. Slaves carried their masters oil, soda and strigil and they may have helped their master or mistress disrobe in the change room.