Virtual Tour

Bathing in the Roman World – Thursday 11 March

Thursday 11 March


With Dr. Eireann Marshall

It is clear from the available evidence that going to the baths was central to the everyday lives of people living in the Roman world. Among the archaeological remains of every city in the Roman period cities, baths feature prominently, just as bathing is central to the description of daily life in the works of Roman satirists, such as Martial and Juvenal. From these accounts we know that both men and women went to public baths regularly, as did children and slaves.

People went to the baths in order to angle for dinner invitations and to find out the latest news, as much as they did in order to exercise and cleanse. From Seneca we know that baths were noisy affairs in which people got depilated and massaged, alongside eating and playing ball. As central as they were to every day life, baths were also sometimes seen in a negative light, as places where people schemed and where your clothes were pinched. Cicero describes Clodia’s posse of friends plotting in the baths, just as one of the curse tablets found in Bath was aimed at a thief who purloined clothes in a bathing establishment. Emperors spent a lot of their money building enormous thermae, as well as the aqueducts which would furnish them water, starting in the Augustan period when Marcus Agrippa had the Baths Agrippa, as well as the Aqua Virgo built.

Imperial baths grew in size to culminate in the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian. At the same time, private individuals ran smaller, and often more sordid balnea such as the Surburban baths in Pompeii or the Baths of Lupus and Gryllus mentioned by Martial. In order to grasp what life was like in the ancient Roman world, you have to understand baths, where so much of their lives were spent.

Virtual Tour

Our virtual tours cover a wide array of historical and art-history topics, ranging from antiquity to the early modern period. We explore a variety of historical topics, from the every day life in ancient and early modern cities to representations of power. Exploring both world famous sites and those unknown to most, these lectures will bring history and the history of art to life through tailor made HD filming, as well as perceptive lecturing and lively discussions.

The virtual tours last 60 minutes followed by another 30 minutes of Q&A with our lecturers who will be delighted to answer any of your questions live.

Your Lecturer

Dr Eireann Marshall

Dr Eireann Marshall is a Research Associate and Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She has published a number of articles on Ancient North Africa, and co-edited volumes on 'Death and Disease in the Ancient City' and ‘Women’s influence on Classical Civilisation’. Eireann has led many tours for specialist tour operators, to Italy and North Africa. In 2019 she was awarded Wanderlust Magazine's Top History & Culture Guide at its World Guide Awards.

Event Details

Date: 11 March 2021

Start time: 18:00 BST

End time: 19:30 BST

Venue: Zoom Lecture


Internet Requirements

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty