* There were 4 public baths in Pompeii: the Stabian, the Forum, the Central and the Amphitheatre Baths. Herculaneum had 2 sets of baths: one near the centre called the Forum Baths, and the other on the marina outside the walls by the sea, known as the Suburban Baths.
* Apodyterium- a change room.
Caldarium- a hot bath.
Tepidarium- a warm steam room.
Frigidarium- a cold bath.
Thermae- a bath.
* Public baths were a very social place where friends met not only to bathe, but to chat, have a massage, exercise and even have a game of dice.
* The Romans usually arrived at the baths after midday. The average routine was:
* Undress in the changing room leaving valuables in the care of a slave or in cubicles on shelves. They bathed in the nude, although where there was mixed bathing the men wore a brief loincloth and the women a light garment.
* Exercise in the palaestra or a swim in the main pool. Ball games, bowling, fencing and wrestling were popular.
* Back to the change room for a massage. Rubbed with oil then scrapped off with a strigil designed to remove oil, dirt and body sweat.
* Rooms of different temperature. First the tepidarium or warm room, next the calidarium or hot room, the laconicum or sauna. After this was into the frigidarium for a cold plunge in the pool there. The female baths did not have frigidariums.
* The afternoon drifted on with a rub down , the application of perfumes and oils, getting dressed, drinking to replace lost body fluids, and relaxing.
* The Stabian Baths were the oldest and largest baths in Pompeii and date from 2nd century BC. The ceiling was painted blue and later turned into a frigidarium. The baths were decorated with fine Fourth style frescoes, multi coloured stucco bas reliefs, mosaic floors and marble fittings.
* Herculaneum had 2 bathing complexes: the Forum Baths and the Suburban Baths.
The Forum Baths were built between 30 and 10BC, and follow the standard roman... [continues]
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