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