Book Series The Archaeology of Northern Europe, vol. 2

Bathing at the Edge of the Roman Empire

Baths and Bathing Habits in the North-Western Corner of Continental Europe

Sadi Maréchal

  • Pages: approx. 290 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:272 b/w, 30 col., 10 tables b/w., 10 maps b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023


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  • € 90,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60066-6
  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming (Mar/23)

Forthcoming
  • € 90,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE


BIO

Sadi Maréchal, PhD (2016), Ghent University, is a postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). His research interests include Roman architecture, private and public space and urban topography, with a specific interest in Roman baths and bathing habits

Summary

Roman bathhouses are considered to be prime markers when studying romanization in the provinces of the Empire, as these very specific — and archaeologically recognizable — buildings, together with their associated ideas about the body and personal health, introduced a decidely Roman habit into regions that had hitherto been unfamiliar with (communal) bathhouses and heating technology. While traditionally, studies into Roman baths and bathing have focused on large public baths in the citiesof the empire, however, those from the area that now roughly corresponds to modern-day Belgium have often been neglected in recent research as this was an area with few important urban centres.

This book for the first time investigates the introduction, spread, and eventual disappearance of Roman-style baths and of bathing habits in this north-western corner of the Roman Empire. A detailed analysis of the architecture, technology, and decoration of both public and private baths is combined with a discussion on the role of bathing in the area’s romanization, and supplemented by a fully illustrated catalogue of all bathhouses in the area of study. In doing so, the volume sheds new light not only on the evolution of baths and bathing in this region, but also on their broader role in larger historic processes such as cultural change across the Empire.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction

Aims and Structure of the Book

Methodology

Geographical Framework

Chronological Framework

A Note on Names and Terminology

Chapter 1: Communal Baths — a Roman Phenomenon?

How Roman are Baths?

The Popularity of Roman Baths

Private Baths

A Special Case: Thermal Baths

The Spread of Roman Baths to the Provinces

Chapter 2: Earlier Research on Roman Bathing in the NW

The Research Tradition in the Roman North-West

North-Western Continental Europe in General Works on Roman Baths

Specific Studies on Baths in the Roman North-West

Chapter 3: The Roman Continental Northwest, a Blank Spot for Baths?

The Share of Public and Private Baths

Spread of the Baths throughout the civitates

Civitas Menapiorum

Civitas Nerviorum

Civitas Tungrorum

Chapter 4: The Architecture of the Baths

Typology

Public Baths

Military Baths

Private Baths

Recurring Plans

Size of the Baths

Rooms of the Baths

Palaestra

Apodyteria

Frigidaria

Tepidaria

Sudatoria/laconica

Caldaria

Praefurnia

Other Rooms

Wall Elevations, Vaulting and Roof Construction

General Remarks

Chapter 5: Technology of the Baths

Heating

The Furnaces

The Hypocaust

Wall Heating

Water Management

Water Supply

Waste Water Disposal

Chapter 6: Building Material and Decoration

Building Stone

Wood and Timber

Ceramic Building Materials

Marble and Other Decorative Stone

Mosaics

Wall Paintings

Other Decoration

Chapter 7: Bathing and Society

The Introduction of Bathhouses in the Continental North-West

Mobility of Ideas

Elite Self-fashioning and Intra-elite Competition

Accessibility and Social Exclusion

Conclusions

Catalogue

Appendices

Works Cited

Index