Analysis Of Genesis Of The Roman Public Bath By Robert Fagan

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Garrett G. Fagan's paper, “The Genesis of the Roman Public Bath: Recent Approaches and Future Directions,” is an analysis of the prominent theories around the creation of Roman public baths, investigating all of literary, architectural and archaeological evidence, as well as considering socioeconomic context. The first key distinction Fagan makes is to determine what constitutes a Roman bath; to determine what separates the Roman bath from a Greek one, for instance. According to Fagan, a Roman bath requires both a sequential variation of heat and heated communal bathing pools. Fagan's definition thus excludes the likes of the late heated baths in the gymnasiums at Delphi and Delos1 as a part of the origin of Roman communal bathing. The final and most detailed proposition of the six that Fagan explains is the one he most endorses: that Roman baths are descendants of the baths in Campania.…show more content…
For instance, if the naturally occurring baths at Campania served as the origins for Roman communal bathing centers, than the baths at Campania would need to have occurred before widespread Roman baths. However, this chronology is not universally accepted. Fagan himself previously wrote that, “all [of] the evidence for 'natural' hypocausts in Campania postdates the use of the 'artificial' hypocaust in Roman baths, and it may well be that the latter generated the former rather than vice versa.”2 Despite this contradiction, analysis of the more recent paper will continue under the assumption that the time line it presents with regards to this issue is accurate, that the baths at Campania became prominent before their Roman counterparts—lest further discussion be

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