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(Whenever there is a year in history where nothing was written about or going on, I'll write a segment on an aspect of daily life for people of that era. -David Verne)

Contents

Roman Baths

Contributed by David Verne

One of the cornerstones of Roman society was the bathhouse. Most cities and every permanent military camp had at least one, and by 100 A.D., Rome had over 1,000. Baths had been around since the early Republic, but had now grown into large complexes spanning one or more city blocks. Most were state owned, although some were privately owned. The entry fee was extremely cheap and on public holidays they were often free. The Roman workday lasted from sunrise to just after noon, when it became too hot to work, and after a short nap, Romans of every class went to the baths. After leaving their belongings in a changing room, they would first enter a pool of cold water, which they believed opened up the pores. After that they moved to a tepid pool, and then to a hot pool, after which, they followed these steps in reverse order. The rooms were heated through hypocaust, where there was a space underneath the raised floors where hot air was circulated from furnaces, with the hot rooms being directly over the furnaces. The water was heated by boilers that sat on top of the furnaces. Baths weren't the only things people could do in the bathhouses. There were also saunas, exercise rooms, massage rooms, sitting rooms, lecture halls, gardens, food vendors, and libraries. Some people only stayed long enough to get clean, but on the other end of the spectrum, were people who stayed from opening time until they were kicked out at nightfall. Women also used the baths, and mixed bathing was not unheard of, but an hour or so was set aside where baths were only open to women, if they wanted more privacy. [1] [2]

My Take by David Verne
The baths functioned as a large community center. The Romans spent so much time bathing , that it was a natural place for conversation. Since politicians went to the same baths as everyone else, it was a common place to gather support or for the populace to complain to the politicians. In the Republican era, it was common for a politician to pay for a free admission day to increase his popularity, and Emperors frequently had bathhouses built to create a lasting monument. The importance of libraries in the baths shouldn't be understated, because this allowed access to books for common citizens.


War with Rome over Armenia

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

This year the saga of Tiridates I continues with the Roman Invasion of Armenia. This sparks will spark a war between the Parthian Empire and Rome. This year the Roman governor of Cappadocia and Galatia, Corbulo alongside the governor of Syria, Ummidius Quadratus begin talks with Vologases to postpone or prevent this war, which he agrees to as this allows him to put his full attention towards crushing his son's revolt. Corbulo us this lull to get his new troops up to snuff, as they had lost some of their discipline and combat readiness by working in the peaceful and rich eastern garrisons. Corbulo also used this time to get them accustomed to the winters on the Anatolian plateau. To keep their moral up during this hardening off period, he was often seen among his troops and shared in their hardships.

My Take by Southpaw Ben
Throughout Roman history, many Roman generals and politicians will use diplomacy as a very effective weapon. They will use it to delay while they prepared their troops for battle, as we see here, or to cause and encourage rebellion and infighting to make Roman conquest easier and more effective. Today many people see diplomacy as a sign of weakness and useful only for giving concessions, and compare it to Chamberlain appeasing the Nazis to his and his country's detriment. They no longer value or respect just how powerful of a weapon it can be.

See Also

References

  1. Duncan, Mike (March 22, 2010). A Day in the Life.
  2. Hypocaust.

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