The Baths of Caracalla

Essay by nsalvaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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Nichole Salva

Rome and It's Monuments

The Baths of Caracalla

Bathing became a popular event in Rome around the 2nd century BCE; before this it was done every nine days and purely for hygienic reasons. Bathing regularly and bathing for pleasure was adopted from the Greeks and became widely accepted by all classes. The universal acceptance of bathing as a central event in daily life belongs to the Roman world and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that at the height if the empire, the baths embodied the ideal Roman way of urban life. The Bath houses served many purposes; they were a social meeting place where people discussed anything from politics to work to their daily lives. They also provided a place for relaxation and exercise. In a time where there was turmoil and struggle this was a way for the Emperor to give back to the people by providing a sanctuary.

The baths of Caracalla are one of the most outstanding baths ever built, their monument size and capacity, and beautiful decorations were awe inspiring. Through the resurrections we are able to gain a better understanding of the importance of the baths.

Bathing was an important event for all classes and sexes. The baths were indeed the ideal institution with which to create the illusion of a classless society-one where wise man and fool, rich and poor, privileged and underdog, could rub shoulders and enjoy the benefits afforded by the Roman imperial system. Admission was very affordable for both men and women, although women were charged double what men paid. Bathing together was discouraged and so sometimes there were separate bathing facilities but usually they had different bathing times. The women were given the worst times most likely in the morning until around noon. This was because...

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