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Briefly describe the rooms a Roman would have expected to see in a typical set of baths

Roman baths were a very important building structure for Roman citizens. No matter the size of the baths, the number of rooms, when it was built, where it was built, or which Emperor commissioned it, baths always contained the same style of rooms. 

Thermae: this word refers to the bath complexes themselves. It is usually used in relation to Imperial bath complexes. 

The bath complexes had three main rooms: the frigidariumthe tepidarium and the caldaium

The atrium: the first room that a Roman may encounter in the bath complex. It may have been used as an exercise ground. 

The apodyterium: the room where Roman visitors would undress before entering the baths. Slaves would be in charge of looking after the clothes. 

The frigidarium: a room which had a cold plunge pool

The tepidarium: a warm bath where bathers would come to sweat. This room allowed them to transition between the frigidarium adn teh caldarium. Since it was a room to simply sit in, the tepidarium was often one of the most decorated rooms in a Roman bath. 

The caldarium: a hot bath 

The palaestra: an outside exercise ground. Men could exercise here, for example weights and discus's have been found from this area. Men could cover their bodies in oil, which would then be removed, along with the dirt from their skin, with an instrument called a strigil. 

A bath complex may even have a steam room (similar to the modern sauna). 

Bathing complexes may also have a slightly smaller set of baths for women. 

Hebe B. A Level Classical Civilisation tutor, GCSE Classical Civilisa...

11 months ago

Answered by Hebe, an A Level Classical Civilisation tutor with MyTutor


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Degree: Ancient History (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

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