Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity

Overview

Bathing in antiquity elevates a prosaic function to the level of a civic institution for which there is no counterpart in contemporary culture. Enriched by over 500 illustrations, many of them by the author, Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity is an important sourcebook for this ancient institution. Through hundreds of examples, it reviews and analyzes the structure, function, and design of baths, seeking to integrate their architecture with the wider social and cultural custom of bathing, and examining in ...
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Overview

Bathing in antiquity elevates a prosaic function to the level of a civic institution for which there is no counterpart in contemporary culture. Enriched by over 500 illustrations, many of them by the author, Baths and Bathing in Classical Antiquity is an important sourcebook for this ancient institution. Through hundreds of examples, it reviews and analyzes the structure, function, and design of baths, seeking to integrate their architecture with the wider social and cultural custom of bathing, and examining in particular the changes this custom underwent in Late Antiquity and in Byzantine and Islamic cultures.

Yegul explores the complexities of ancient bathing from several points of view. Sociologically, the baths with their vast appeal for all levels of society - were seen as the epitome of democratic ideals and institutions. Politically, they provided the perfect vehicle of propaganda: their lavish and magnificent interiors reflected the might and prosperity of the Roman empire and the apparent generosity of the emperor himself.

Architecturally, baths are at the vanguard in the development of Roman building technology. Some of the earliest uses of concrete as a building material and the most innovative applications of the aesthetics of concrete - bold, curvilinear forms, vaults, and domes involved bath buildings. Because of their status as transition between purely utilitarian structures and the more conservative, traditional forms of public and religious architecture, the baths helped to propagate and make acceptable new ideas and new styles in architecture.

An Architectural History Foundation Book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262740180
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/2/1996
  • Series: AHF Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 514
  • Product dimensions: 8.55 (w) x 11.03 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
1 The Greek Gymnasium and the Greek Bath 6
2 Bathing and Baths in the Roman World 30
3 The Origins and Early Development of Roman Baths 48
4 Thermo-Mineral Baths 92
5 The Thermae of Rome 128
6 Baths of North Africa 184
7 Baths and Gymnasia in Asia Minor 250
8 Baths and Bathing in the Late Antique and Early Byzantine World 314
Epilogue 350
App. A: Ancient Medicine and Bathing 352
App. B: Heating and Water Supply of Roman Baths 356
App. C: Architectural Elements and Motifs of North African Baths 396
App. D: Architectural Elements and Motifs of Baths in Asia Minor 414
Notes 424
Selected Bibliography 474
Glossary 487
Index 495
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