Introductions And Exercise
- The emperors built thermae (luxury bathing establishments).
- These included baths, an open-air exercise area, surrounded by fountains, gardens, shops, restrooms, massage parlours, and libraries.
- Emperor Hadrian believed in bathing publicly and would attend the public baths - despite having his own at home, to allow him to meet people.
- Baths would open around noon.
- After a light lunch, a Roman citizen would set off for the baths.
- On arrival, they would pay a small entrance fee (though some baths were free) and walked to the palestra, where they would exercise in various ways to work up a sweat for the baths.
- They would run, throw discus, wrestle, box.
- They also played ball games such as trigon where small hard balls were thrown at each other.
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Bathing And Other Activities
- When they had exercised enough, the Romans would enter the apodyterium where they deposited their clothes and an attendant would guard them.
- The sequence of bathing would depend on how good the baths were best baths offered dry and wet heat.
- Bathers would begin in the sudatorium, a dry sweat room and moved to the caladium where there was a large heated bath.
- After this, slaves would scrape their master's skin with a blunt metal scraper called a strigil to remove dirt.
- Some Romans would then have a massage before going to the tepidarium and frigidarium to cool off.
- People who didn't bathe could stroll in the garden of the baths or relax in shady spots.
- Some would play games like checkers and dice.
- Brothels and bars were often joined onto the baths.
- Many Roman men would visit either before or after bathing.
- In Pompeii, there is graffiti on the walls of the baths: "wine, sex and the baths destroy our bodies. But what makes life worth living is - wine, sex and the baths."
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