Ancient Roman baths were huge buildings built at public expense or by rich emperors who wished to impress their subjects.
Sometimes rich Romans who were trying to gain popularity paid entry for a whole day for anyone wishing to visit the baths.
The Romans went to the baths for entertainment, healing in the case of some baths, or just to get clean. There were 170
baths in Rome during the reign of Augustus and by 300 A.D that number had increasd to over 900 baths.
Most of the Roman baths were free but those baths that had a small fee had the fee to keep out the slaves and the poor
who could not afford it. There were many famous baths these included the Baths at Caracella, the Baths of Diocletian and the
Baths at Bath,
Aquaducts, or springs supplied the public baths. Doors opened around 10:30 am and closed in the late afternoon, just
before dinner time. Men and women bathed separately. Women either bathed early in the mornings, at their own baths or at home
in their villas.
The baths were very luxurious. The average bath house would have mirrors covering the walls, ceilings were buried in glass
and the pools were lined with rich marble and complicated mosaics covered the floors.
The bathouse was used to meet friends for a chat, to exchange gossip, exercise or just a wash.The baths were noisy with
men singing, the odd poet reciting poetry in the hope of getting an invitation home to dinners.