Many Romans visited the Thermae or the public baths, as we know them. Bathing was a very important in Italy, as there were over 900 baths by 300 AD.
The baths were huge buildings built by emperors or by the public. On the inside, they looked luxurious. An average bathhouse would have mirrors on the wall, ceiling covered in glass, rich marble lining the pools and complicated mosaics decorated the floor.
Here is a picture of a small privet bath. All baths consisted of mainly the same things, and would be visited in this order. First, they went to the Apodytarium. This is were you would get undressed and oils would be rubbed on your body. Then after bathing you would scrape it of with an instrument called a strigil. Next, you would enter the Tepidarium. This was a warm room with a warm pool. It would prepare you for the hotter rooms.
After this, you would proceed to the Caldarium. When your body temperature got used to the Tepidarium here is where you'd come. This room was very hot and as well as steamy. It consisted of hot water bathes and some even had a Laconium (a steam bath) which was extremely hot and very dry. Finally, you would go to the Frigidarium. This was a cold room with a cold pool. The main function of the Frigdarium was to cool you off after sweating in the hot rooms.
To keep the baths and rooms hot the Romans used a system called the Hypocaust system. This was an underground heating system, which heated hot air from basement fires. The hot air flows through the wall ducts into the rooms and baths heating them quickly. In some bathes, the floors would be so hot that bathers had to wear wooden...