The Roman Baths

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Topics: Bathing, Heat
It was in 2nd century B.C that the first bath houses were built and back then they were simple washing facilities for men only. By the time of Augustus there were 170, privately owned bath houses. As they became more popular in the imperial age, they became public bath houses and people went there to bathe, meet, or discuss business. However, men and women did have different bath houses.• You had to pay to use the baths.
• You could buy refreshments at the baths.
• Only the very biggest baths had facilities for men and women.
• It was possible that there might have been mosaic floors.
• The baths had large public toilets. Seats were placed over a continuous flow of water making it the first flush toilet.

After paying the admission fee, people would go through to the exercise area of the Palestra. This was an open, grassy area where physical activities took place. Sports, such as: throwing a large ball to one another; wrestling; fencing, (with wooden swords); discus; running; tennis and weight lifting. These games were not taken too seriously. There would sometimes be an outdoor pool to swim in. They were a good way of preparing the citizens for the baths, as they could get exercise and then cool down and relax in the baths
After the exercise area, people would got to the Apodyterium, (the changing room). Here they would take their clothes off and give them to a slave, who would store them in holes in the wall. Theft from this room was common. Citizens would then continue to the Tepidarium. This was the warm room and contained a heated pool where people could bathe. It also had benches around the room, allowing people to relax in the warm, steamy atmosphere. The Tepidarium prepared them for the hotter rooms to come. It was decorated with richest marble and mosaic. Light entered through the Clerestory windows which were placed on the side, the front, and rear walls
The Caldarium or the hot room was the room that people went to after the Tepidarium.

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