Socializing at the Baths

Garrett G. Fagan

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Socializing at the Baths

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Historical Archaeology


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This article studies the various social relations that occurred in the Roman baths. It shows that Roman bathing was a very social activity that even the supposed private baths that were attached to the houses and villas of the Roman elite were common gathering places of the hosts and their guests. It then describes the Roman baths and the rituals that were involved. It views the baths as a place for social intercourse, and looks at the events that occurred inside the Roman baths. The article also discusses the role of public bathhouses in Roman society.

Keywords: Roman baths; bathing; rituals; social intercourse; public bathhouses

Article.  8144 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Historical Archaeology

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