Presentation on theme: "Chapter 7 Bathing is a public matter!. Focus At the end of this presentation you will be able to name the rooms in a bath house, the order in which they."— Presentation transcript:
Focus At the end of this presentation you will be able to name the rooms in a bath house, the order in which they were typically used and the general bathing customs of the Romans.
Public Baths? The Romans would go there to exercise, socialize, relax and groom, including a bath. Before you get too upset at the idea of taking a bath in public, let me explain a little about the concept of a Bath House. There were generally separate rooms or different hours for women to keep the sexes separated during bathing. Remember that the Romans had no newspaper, radio or TV so the baths were a great place to get the news for the day and maybe even an invite to dinner.
Balnea or Thermae Banea: smaller private baths, operated for profit Thermae: larger public baths used by most Romans, even the rich The super wealthy had their own private baths in their homes The entrance was cheap...one quadrans, the smallest Roman coin. Sometimes a candidate or politician would pay the admission for the town for the day. Or, when the bath house first opened it might waive the admission for the first few days.
Operations about midday until sunset and most contained shops, food The aedile was in charge of regulating the baths for cleanliness and temperature. The baths were opened from vendors and some even and libraries. The Romans saw the bath complex as a place to achieve a sound body and mind.
Roman didn’t invent baths, They just made it better! The Romans adapted the concept of the bath complex from the Greeks, but with one major improvement. Central Heating. That’s right you can thank the Romans for a warm house! The Romans invented the hypocaust system where the bath ‘tubs’ or pools and the rooms were heated with warm air. The floors were raised on piles of bricks and air heated from burning wood was forced into the resulting chambers by slaves. Thus the floor was warmed and then everything else.
In general.. The bath house would have several rooms depending on it’s size, but some rooms were common to most all baths. There was also a typical sequence of visiting the various parts of the bath house, though you could go in whatever order you preferred. Now that you have paid “admission”, lets go inside for a more in depth look!
Palestra Palestra: The exercise yard, not always there but usually. You might throw the discus or javelin or maybe you would wrestle or box.
Apodyeterium Apodyeterium: the changing or locker room; it had ‘cubbies’ cut out in the wall to store your belongings. You would need your own your slave or tip the attendant to watch your clothes, keeping them safe from the thieves.
Tepidarium Tepidarium: A warm room with warmed water. Here you would acclimate yourself to the heat.
Caldarium Caldarium: A hot room with hot water Here the wate rwas hot enough for you to sweat the dirt out of your pores. In this room you might have a slave rub you with oil, then scrape it and the dirt off with a strigil. A strigil was made out of metal and was curved on one end to facilitate the scraping. Your next move might be to have a massage on a marble slab or have your hair plucked by one of the vendors specializing in depilation.
Frigidarium Frigidarium: A cold room where you might be able to plunge into a pool with unheated water You might then take a relaxing stroll in the gardens, hear some music or poetry or you might engage in philosophy. Here you might take a plunge in the cold water to close your pores again.
Seneca Says... The Roman writer Seneca apparently lived near a bath complex and complained about how noisy it was. He could hear the grunts of the people exercising. He could also hear the slaps of the masseur, both with an opened and closed fist. Additionally he heard the splashes made from people ‘jumping in’ or the ruckus of a fighter or thief being arrested. He could hear the screams of the guy who advertised his services for hair removal and who was only quiet when he had a customer screaming instead. He could also hear the cries of the various food vendors selling cakes, sausages and other foods.
Assignment I say that a Roman bath complex is more like a modern gym or health club. What do you think? In your original post, identify the various parts of the bath complex that would prove (or disprove) your position. Your response post should include your own experiences (or that of someone you know) that would help support the post by your classmate. Please remember to use proper English, including spelling, grammar and punctuation. You must both post and respond to a classmate for full credit.
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