How Did Roman Bath Affect Roman Urbanism?

495 Words2 Pages
That the bath was a vital theme of Roman urbanism, central to everyday existence, is certain. It was thought indispensable. As design was little affected by regional preferences, and the larger baths were derived from those in Rome, imperial content seems beyond doubt. Furthermore, baths reflected their urban context. Passing slowly through the varied chambers of a large municipal bath, pursuing its lengthy route in stretches measured out by the plunges, tubs and pools, one negotiated a compacted, reductive analogue of the town itself. For baths too had public halls. Latrines, fountains, archways and exedras, all set at different intervals along ritual armatures. In this sense, baths were like abridged towns, with some of the chief sights of outdoor…show more content…
In every town they brought people together, standing in a social sense for the unity of regions and cultures the Romans encouraged or enforced. Bath design was innovative and sophisticated, in tune with the latest ideas, in step with municipal self-regard and ambition. Roman technology supplied ample quantities of water for hygiene facilities in settings conductive to social intercourse. People east and west avidly welcomed all this. Historically resonant sculpture, in the form of innumerable copies and some originals by old masters, grafted culture onto the bathing experience. Baths early on became badges of imperial status, of membership in the broader Roman community, and these figural tokens of long-lived continuities were set about in them, unread perhaps, like uncut books, but highly visible nonetheless. Above all bath buildings are landmarks in the history of architecture, and not only because of their attraction for Renaissance and subsequent masters. They were the first ubiquitous public amenities in Western architecture set in consequential buildings not solely devoted to entertainment. Their like was not seen again, the eastern empire aside, until modern

    More about How Did Roman Bath Affect Roman Urbanism?

      Open Document