Episode Six: Take a Western Bath!

No, we’re not talking cowboys. Today we’re talking Western cultures’ bathing traditions (or lack thereof for certain historical periods).

The City of Bath, U.K.
The City of Bath, U.K.

What was ancient bathing like? (Our resident classicist, Stephen, draws from his wealth of knowledge on this one.)  When did bathing fall out of favor and why did it come back? What is the sham beast? Find out on this week’s podcast.

Bonus announcement: This podcast is now available on Stitcher! It will, of course, continue to be available on iTunes as well.

Connie’s Sources:

Fuller, A. (2001). The beauty of bathing: Throughout history bathing has been one of civilization’s great pleasures, but there were long periods when it fell out of fashion. Cosmetics, 29(2), 56.

Worsley, L. (2011). If walls could talk: An intimate history of the home. New York, N.Y.: Walker & Company.

Worsley L. (Writer), & MacGregor, H. (Director). (2011, April 20). The bathroom [Television series episode]. In. E. Hindley (Producer), If walls could talk: The intimate history of the home. London, United Kingdom: BBC Four.

Shampoo [Def.1] (n.d.) Online Etymology Dictionary, Retrieved from http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=shampoo&allowed_in_frame=0

Shampoo [Def.2] (n.d.) Online Etymology Dictionary, Retrieved from http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=shampoo&allowed_in_frame=0

Stephen’s Recommended Reading (As he spoke from his background knowledge on the topic, this is not a source list.):

Books and Articles:
The Genesis of the Roman Public Bath: Recent Approaches and Future Directions by Garrett G. Fagan in American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 105, No. 3 (Jul., 2001), pp. 403-426

Baiarum Grata Voluptas: Pleasures and Dangers of the Baths by Katherine M. D. Dunbabin in Papers of the British School at Rome
Vol. 57 (1989), pp. 6-46

Harry B. Evans, Water Distribution in Ancient Rome (University of Michigan Press, 1994, 1997)

Cicero, Ad Atticum

William Smith Roman Baths (Balneae) from “A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities”, pub. John Murray, London, 1875.

Epistulae morales ad Lucilium 56.1, 2, Seneca the Younger.

Invisible Romans, Chapter 1, Robert C. Knapp.

The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World, Thomas A.J. McGinn, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2004.

Roman Britain by Guy de la Bedoyere.

Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Don Nardo

Bath-Tubs in Ancient Greece by J. M. Cook in Greece & Rome, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Mar., 1959), pp. 31-41

Roman Bath: a day at the baths. An interactive site using the Baths of Caracalla as an example. (From PBS’ NOVA series).

Image Credit: Ignacio Garcia, Flickr, Creative Commons

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