The Roman baths were a major part of Roman life for almost everyone, especially the most wealthy. Since most Romans did not have bathrooms in their houses, many Romans went to the public baths often. Other activities except for bathing which took place here were exercising, keeping themselves clean, eating or drinking or meeting friends. The baths were a very common place for Romans to meet each other.
The rooms[edit | edit source]
Palaestra[edit | edit source]
This was an exercise area which was an open space surrounded by a colonnade. Here people meet friends and take part in exercise such as throwing balls, wrestling or fencing.
Apodyterium[edit | edit source]
This is a changing rooms where Romans undress and give their clothes to a slave.
Tepidarium[edit | edit source]
This was a warm room where Romans acclimatise before entering the caldarium.
Caldarium[edit | edit source]
This is the hot room and bathers sat in a bath of hot water. The Romans used olive oil, not soap; which slaves rub onto the Romans and then scrape off with a strigil. After this, Romans often receive a massage. After this, Romans go to a stone basin to be rinsed down with cold water.
Frigidarium[edit | edit source]
This is the cold room where Romans go after the caldarium, featuring a deep pool of cold water.
Heating the baths[edit | edit source]
Beneath the baths was a central heating system called a hypocaust. In the centre was a fire, usually wood - not coal. The floor of the rooms above was supported by brick columns which allowed for hot air from the fire to circulate under the floor, heating it up. Next to the walls were also air gaps called flues which hot air moved in to heat the air of the rooms.