Essay by vickw October 2014

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Bathing of Roman Times

Today people may be able to find a bath in many houses and bathrooms world wide, but the first ever use of the bath was back in Roman times when bathing was a grand affair and the baths were more complex. Bathing represented a high Roman standard of living and showed how cleanliness and leisure were valued. In Roman times, public baths were a place where people could come together to enjoy themselves and share ideas. As society changed, public baths became more widespread and soon became more private. Baths were important in Roman society because not only were Roman baths a great architectural achievement, but they also had a great impact on life and the cleanliness of the people.

Roman baths were among the most ambitious buildings in the empire. In the first century B.C. hypocaust was invented which was an ancient Roman system of under floor heating and was the invention that led public baths to their great success.

The floor is raised above the ground by pillars of stone with space below left open, with layers of tiles and concrete on their top. A furnace, which was composed of a constantly burning fire, created heat that flowed beneath the raised pillars, consequently heated the floor and the rest of the room in the Roman public baths. Slaves often maintained the fires because they needed constant attention to keep burning. When hot air from the furnace cooled, it escaped through flues in the walls and vents in the roof;(http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~jpm55/AE390/A5/hypocaust.htm). Rooms in need of extra heating were placed closer to the furnace. The very famous baths of Caracalla's included 4 entrances, which divided men and woman, and lead to the main sections of the buildings doorways. There was the apodyterioum (changing room), the frigidarium...