This book discusses social, religious and medical attitudes towards bathing in Late Antiquity. It examines the place of bathing in late Roman and early Byzantine society as seen in the literary, historical, and documentary sources from the late antique period.
The author argues that bathing became one of the most important elements in defining what it meant to be a Roman; indeed, the social and cultural value of bathing in the context of late Roman society more than justified the efforts and expense put into preserving bathing establishments and the associated culture.
The book contributes a unique perspective to understanding the changes and transformations undergone by the bathing culture of the day, and illustrates the important role played by this culture in contributing to the transitional character of the late antique period. In his examination of the attitudes of medical professionals and laymen alike, and the focus on its recuperative utility, Zytka provides an innovative and detailed approach to bathing.
List of Figures
1: Baths and Roman society
2: Baths, bathing and religion
3: Bathing in medicine
4: Final conclusions