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Transcript of Roman Baths
Taking a bath was not simple. There was not one room to use in a large complex such as the one at Bath. A visitor could use a cold room (the frigidarium), a warm bath (the tepidarium) and a hot room (the caldarium). A visitor would spend some of his time in each one before leaving. A large complex would also contain an exercise area (the palaestra), a swimming pool and a gymnasium. One of the public baths at Pompeii contains two tepidariums and caldariums along with a plunge pool and a large exercise area.
Thheating system of a bath complex required excellent engineering skills. Baths required a way of heating up water. This was done by using a furnace and the hypocaust system carried the heat around the complex. The main use for hypocausts were found in large public bathhouses. Sauna rooms were created by adding a pool of water, heated by the same fire heating the air below. This created a hot, humid space to clean oneself and converse with friends. The temperature could have easily reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity could have reached 100% due to the pools.
Roman bath houses also contained public toilets. Marble seats were built over a continuously flowing water supply which would act as a flush.
You had to pay to use the baths. The general bath fee was usually one quadran, which is roughly 8p.
The baths were immensely over-crowed and popular. The people loved them. At one time, there were as many as 900 public baths in ancient Rome. Small ones held about 300 people, and the big ones held at least 1500 people or more! Some Roman hospitals even had their own bathhouses.
Roman baths were part of the day-to-day life in Ancient Rome. Bath contains one of the best examples of a Roman bath house in Europe. There are two good examples at Pompeii also.
For personal hygiene, people went to the local baths. However, the local baths were also a gathering point and served a very useful community and social function. Here people could relax, keep clean and keep up with the latest news or banter!
So as you can clearly see the baths were a highly important factor in the life of a typical Roman.
Roman Bath houses
By Samjoth, Ketak, Robert, Sam and Thomas