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Lecture 10

CLA233 Lecture 10 Notes

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Michael J.Dewar

CLA233 Lecture 10 Notes Baths and Gymnasium - average day – ancestors only washed arms and legs - unknown exactly how often entire bodies were washed - thought of hygiene ad health as exclusive - Romans developed bathhouses – light began to enter the bath - bathed at the end of the day – intensely connected with recreation - choice of steam bathing, plunge bathing and exfoliation - long, elaborate ritual - depending on how large the bathing area was, they had multiple different rooms for the bathing process - series of rooms which are heated - caldarium – hot room - tepidarium – warm room - frigidarium – cold room - laconium – even hotter than the hot baths – “Laconium” – Spartans were tough (Laconia) - normal procedure is to go to the tepidarium, then to the frigidarium, and then to the caldarium - plunge baths often a choice of cold and hot - sometimes there was a seawater option for bathing - palaestra – recreational area – “wrestling room” – often games of catch or dodgeball before or after bathing - Roman obsession with perfume – both males and females – based on oil and animal fat - largest bathhouse – about 1600 people fit in a room - caldarium – where everyone ended up – could skip some steps but this was the one place they all went - through the bounty of the Roman emperors, a commoner could enter for a small fee and bathe like an emperor - great imperial bathhouses – art, concerts, and leisure - large number of prostitutes found in bathhouses The Paradox of Life - baths, wine, and sex – make you soft and ruin bodies - notice the association of the three - can get snacks and drinks at the baths - bathing and dining are closely associated Bathing and Dining - letter by Cicero to a friend - strange – refused visitors - winter – days are shorter and therefore people bathed earlier while it was still light out - emetics – laxative cure - normal routine to Cicero - there were many bathhouses in Rome - balnea thermae – imperial baths – hundreds and hundreds of people - balnea – bathhouses of any kind – modestly sized – for a couple hundred people - many remains of imperial thermae - vast numbers of them – many different pleasures - mention by Martial of the abundance of bathhouses – richness of choice - in Martial’s time – three great imperial bathhouses - unseemly character – Selius is seen as having endless baths in an attempt to be invited to dinner – gross exaggeration - association between bathing and dining - common for a person in Rome to bathe right before dinner - amount of time spend in each part of the bath and whether or not they decide to play ball is determined by how busy the person was - after the bath the person proceeds to dinner – sometimes one encountered a friend or an old acquaintance and invites him for dinner - idea that Selius wants to be invited not because he meets dear friends but because he is too cheap to have dinner
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