The Height of Roman
- The Romans liked nothing
better than to keep clean.
- In town,
their favourite way of
doing this was to go to the Public Baths.
- The baths were like a
gym or a spa. There were lots of different things to do
- First, you'd enter
the changing room (A) and strip off - no shorts and t-shirt
here. Everyone went naked.
- Then you could go
and work-out in the exercise hall (through door B).
- Afterwards, you
could rest in the tepidarium (C warm room) and perhaps cover
yourself in oil.
- Then it was time for
a big sweat in the steamy caldarium (D hot room).
- Next you could have
the oil scraped off (C) by a slave (and all the dirt went too
- it was just like soap).
- Lastly, you'd take a
dip in the plunge pool in the frigidarium (E cold room) to
cool you down.
- But before you
leave, why not buy a snack.
- The caldarium was heated
by a furnace outside (F). The hot air could pass through ducts
the walls as well as under the floor between pillars of tiles
called a 'hypocaust' (H). In cold Britain, this central heating
system was also popular under triclinia (dining rooms) in
- The baths were often
decorated with underwater gods and sea-creatures painted on
the walls and made in mosaic on the floors.
- The most famous baths in
Britannia were those at Aquae Sulis (Bath in Somerset). The
whole town was centred on the baths and its temple area.
They were built on very rare natural hot springs.
- Men and women usually
- The baths might have
different times for each.
- Big towns like
Londinium (London) might have baths especially for men and
baths especially for women.
- But, in some places,
they just bathed together.
- Rich Romans might have
their own private baths attached to their villa (country