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Women In Roman Baths*

  • Roy Bowen Ward (a1)


In 177 CE Christians in Lugdunum and Vienna in Gaul were persecuted, and some were martyred. The survivors sent a letter by Irenaeus to the churches in Asia and Phrygia describing what happened. Among other things, they complained that they were excluded from the baths (βαλανεῖα). Later in his Adversus haereses (ca. 190 CE) Irenaeus referred to a story he claimed stemmed from Polycarp of Smyrna, who died ca. 156 CE, about John the disciple going to the public baths (βαλανεῖον) in Ephesus where he saw Cerinthus. Tertullian of Carthage in his Apologeticum (197 CE) claimed that the Christians were no different from other people: they went to the forum, the food market, and the baths (balneia). These three passages, among the earliest references to Roman baths by Christians, suggest no ethical reservations about going to the baths. An interesting question arises: Were there women in these baths?



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1 In Eusebius Hist. eccl. 5.1.5; 5.4.2. On this letter and the persecutions in Lugdunum and Vienna, see Frend, W. H. C., Martyrdom & Persecution in the Early Church (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967) 121. The ruins of large, half-axial ring type baths are to be found in Vienna, dated to the second century CE by Nielsen, Inge, Thermae et Balnea: The Architecture and History of Roman Public Baths (2 vols.; Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1990) 1. 70 n. 44; 2. 15.

2 Irenaeus Adversus haereses 3.3.4. The oldest extant baths in Ephesus, the Harbor baths, are dated in the time of Domitian or Trajan; see Nielsen, Thermae, 2. 36, 37.

3 Tertullian Apologeticum 42.2. Tertullian indicated that he bathed for hygienic purposes (Apologeticum 42.4). He also mentioned baths in De spectaculis 8.9 and De paenitentia 11.3 and the notorious bath thieves in Apologeticum 44.2 and De idololatria 5.2. There is one extant, imperial type bath complex in Carthage built in the time of Antoninus Pius; see Nielsen, Thermae, 2. 27.

4 DeLaine, Janet, “Recent Research on Roman Baths,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 1 (1988) 14.

5 On the development of the bath-gymnasium complex see Yegul, Fikret, “The Bath-Gymnasium Complex in Asia Minor During the Roman Imperial Age,” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1975). On the development of baths in Italy, see Nielsen, Thermae, 1. 6–36. On Greek baths, see Ginouvès, R., Balaneutiké: Recherches sur le bain dans l'antiquité grecque (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome 200; Paris: Boccard, 1962). On the history of the gymnasium, see Delorme, Jean, Gymnasion: Étude sur les monuments consacrés à l'éducation en Grèce (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome 196; Paris: Boccard, 1960).

6 The conflicting opinions to which DeLaine (“Recent Research,” 14–17) refers center on when and where the hypocaust was invented.

7 Nielsen, Thermae, 1. 35.

8 Stambaugh, John E., The Ancient Roman City (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988) 201. See also DeLaine, “Recent Research,” 11.

9 Cantarella, Eva, Pandora's Daughters: The Role and Status of Women in Greek and Roman Antiquity (trans. Fant, Maureen B.; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987) 135–50.

10 Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium 86.9–12 (trans. Gummere, Richard M.; LCL; 3 vols.; London: Heinemann and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1917–1925) 2. 315–19.

11 Aulus Gellius Nodes Atticae 10.3.3. Nielsen thinks that the baths in Teanum Sidicinum had segregated baths for men and women and that the consul's wife “demanded to bathe in the men's baths, presumably because they were better endowed” (Thermae, 1. 147). But this interpretation does not fit the details of the speech well, including the fact that when the people of Cales heard of what happened in nearby Teanum Sidicinum, they passed a decree that no one should think of using the baths when a Roman magistrate was in town. The extant baths in Cales, built 90–70 BCE, somewhat after the time of Gracchus's speech, do not have segregated facilities, but are an angular row type (Nielsen, Thermae, 2. 7).

12 Since the Stabian baths in Pompeii already had segregated facilities in the second century BCE (see below), it is possible that there were already segregated baths for men and women in Rome by this time. If so, perhaps the consul's wife was in the habit of going to the double baths in Rome, but in the smaller city of Teanum double baths had not yet been introduced. It would also suggest that mixed bathing was not yet established and there was no practice of men and women bathing at different set times. I am indebted to John T. Fitzgerald for this insight.

13 Eschebach, Hans, Die Stabianer Thermen in Pompeji (Denkmäler antiker Architektur 13; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1979) 5153; idem, “Feststellungen unter der Oberfläche des Jahre 79 n. Chr. im Bereich der Insula VII, 1—Stabianer Termen—in Pompeji,” Neue Forschungen in Pompeji (ed. Andreae, Bernard and Kyrieleis, Helmut; Recklinghaus: Bongers, 1975) 179–93; Richardson, Lawrence Jr., Pompeii: An Archaeological History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988) 103–4.

14 At the final stage of the Stabian baths there was a door between a north-south corridor in the women's section and the palaestra. Richardson (Pompeii, 102) surmises that this door was for the “convenience of the attendants” and that “the women's section was otherwise carefully segregated from the men's.” But Eschebach (“Feststellungen,” 38) reports that over the portal of the entrance at VII. 1.50 was written in large black letters MVL1ER. If women used that entrance, they would have to go across the palaestra and through the questionable door into the women's section.

15 Varro, Marcus TerentiusDe lingua latina 9.68 (trans. Kent, Roland G.; LCL; 2 vols.; London: Heinemann and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1938) 2. 491.

16 Polio, VitruviusDe architectura 5.10.1 (trans. Granger, Frank; LCL; 2 vols.; London: Heinemann and New York: Putnam's, 1931–1934) 1. 303.

17 For example, the floor area of the women's apodyterium of the Forum baths in Herculaneum is only 31 percent of the area of the men's apodyterium. See Maiuri, Amedeo, Ercolano, INuovi Scavi (1927–1958) (2 vols.; Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1958) 1. 95, 103.

18 Nielsen (Thermae, 1. 147 n. 26) cites four exceptions of double baths for the imperial period: at Ferentum in Etruria (Flavian); at Gisacum in Gaul (Flavian?); at Allonnes in Gaul (no date given); at Thamusida in Mauretania (Flavian). The number may be increased to five or six if one follows Maiurl's dating of the Forum baths in Herculaneum and if one includes the baths at Forum Sempronii in Picenum, which Nielsen dates to the first half of the first century CE and which she calls double baths (Thermae, 1. 44; 2. 7, 9).

19 Gerkan, Armin von and Krischen, Fritz, Thermen und Palaestren (Milet, Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899 1.9; Berlin: Schoetz, 1928) 27, 158–59 (inventory nos. 328, 329).

20 The West baths, added to the upper gymnasium in Pergamon, are dated by Yegul (“Bath Gymnasium,” 82, 111) from the mid to late first century CE; the Hume-i-tepe baths at Miletus are also first century CE but are subsequent to the Capito baths.

21 Tuchelt, Klaus, “Bemerkungen zu den Capito-Thermen in Milet,” Mansel'e Armaǧan (3 vols.; Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basimevi, 1974) 1. 147–69, esp. 165–68.

22 Yegul, “Bath-Gymnasium,” 194–96; idem, The Bath-Gymnasium at Sardis (Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Report 3; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986) 150–51.

23 Sometime between 110 and 112 CE the Younger Pliny, governor of Bithynia, wrote to the emperor Trajan concerning several buildings, including a public bath complex that he thought was improperly sited. He requested the emperor to send an architect to inspect these buildings. Trajan responded that he would not send an architect, since there were many skilled ones in the province. Then he added, “Pray do not imagine it is your quickest way to get them from Rome, for it is usually from Greece that they come hither” (Pliny, Epistulae 10.40 [trans. Melmoth, William; rev. W. M. L. Hutchinson; LCL; 2 vols.; London: Heinemann and New York: Macmillan, 1915] 2. 329). Could it be that the architect of the Capito baths in Miletus later went to Rome? Nielsen (Thermae, 1. 46–47), with reference to the baths of Nero in Rome (about ten years after the Capito baths in Miletus), notes that “axiality and symmetry in the thermae were an innovation in Nero's time” and that “Nero was influenced by Hellenistic culture, including the architecture of this period.”

24 The axial baths that follow in Asia Minor all have single facilities: Hume-i-tepe baths in Miletus (second half of the first century); the Harbor baths of Ephesus (from Domitian to Hadrian); the baths at Aphrodisias (Hadrianic); the Theater baths in Ephesus (mid second century); the baths at Hierapolis (mid second century); the bath-gymnasium complex at Sardis (second century); and the Vedius baths at Ephesus (ca. 161). See Yegül, “The Bath-Gymnasium,” 79–117. Even where the plan is not axial, as in the Faustina baths at Miletus (second century), it is clear that there is only one set of baths.

25 Maiuri, Ercolano, 1. 147–73.

26 Richardson, Pompeii, 286–89.

27 The catalog appears in Nielsen, Thermae, 2. 2–47. I have followed the dates given by Nielsen. She provides plans for two hundred and five of the three hundred and eighty-seven baths. In many cases where she does not provide a plan, plans may be found in Manderscheid, Hubertus, Bibliographie zum römischen Badwesen (Munich: by the author, 1988). He includes four hundred and thirty-one such plans.

28 See n. 18 above.

29 Gounaris, Georgios G., TO BAAANEIO KAI TA BOPEIA ΠPOΣKTIΣMATA TOϒ OKTAΓΩNOγ ΓΩN ΦIΛIΠΠΩN (Library of the Archaeological Association in Athens, no. 112; Athens: 1990) 31.

30 Ovid, Ars amatoria 3.639–40 (trans. Mozley, J. H.; LCL; 2d ed.; London: Heinemann and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979) 163.

31 Adams, J. N., The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982) 161.

32 Nicarchus Anthologia Graeca 11.243.

33 Pliny Hist. Nat. 36.121. He claimed that during the aedileship of Agrippa in 33 BCE there were already one hundred and seventy baths in the city of Rome alone, and a century later, when Pliny wrote, the number had increased infinitely.

34 Ibid., 33.153 (trans. H. Rackham; LCL; 10 vols.; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and London: Heinemann, 1938–1962) 9. 115.

35 Ibid., 29.26 (trans. W. H. S. Jones; LCL) 8. 201. For the meaning of pecten as “pubic hair, pubes,” see Adams, Latin, 76.

36 Quintilian, Inst. Oral. 5.9.14 (trans. Butler, H. E.; LCL; 4 vols.; London: Heinemann and New York: Putnam's, 1921–1922) 2. 201.

37 Balsdon, J. P. V.D., Roman Women: Their History and Habits (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1962; reprinted 1983) 269. See also idem, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969) 28. Erika Brödner similarly considers the bathing of men and women together a phenomenon of “the lower classes” (Die römischen Thermen und das antikeBadewesen: eine kulturhistorische Betrachtung [Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1983] 115). Margaret R. Miles, who cites Brödner among her sources, claims that “mixed bathing seems not to have been practiced by the upper classes or by women concerned for their reputation” (Carnal Knowing: Female Nakedness and Religious Meaning in the Christian West [Boston: Beacon, 1989] 2728). Nielsen (Thermae, 1. 147) states, “at that time [that is, of the Elder Pliny] only women of easy virtue were not past bathing with men.” See, however, Cantarella, Pandora's Daughters, 142.

38 Gardner, Jane F., Women in Roman Law & Society (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986) 127–31, see also 31–38. See also Ward, R. B., “Musonius and Paul on Marriage,” NTS 36 (1990) 281–89.

39 Balsdon, Roman Women, 269.

40 Martial Epigrammata 2.14; 2.48; 3.20; 3.36; 11.52; 12.83.

41 Ibid., 3.51 (trans. Walter C. A. Ker; LCL; 2 vols.; London: Heinemann and New York: Putnam's, 1919–1920) 1. 195. For a similar theme, see Martial Epigrammata 3.72.

42 Martial Epigrammata 11.75 (trans, in Kay, N. M., Martial Book XI: A Commentary [London: Duckworth, 1985] 229).

43 Balsdon, Roman Women, 269.

44 Martial Epigrammata 7.35, (trans. Ker 447–49).

45 For example, an anonymous epigram concerning a bath says: “To such women to whom there is desire (πóθoς), to all women, come here, that brighter charms shall arise. She who has a husband will gladden (τέρπω) her husband. If she is still unmarried, she will rouse most of the men to offer bridal beds. And she who produces her ways and means from her body will have a swarm of lovers at her front door, if she bathes here” (Anthologia Graeca 9.621 [my translation]).

46 K. J. Dover commented, “In an article published seventy years ago Erich Bethe observed that the intrusion of moral evaluation, ‘the deadly enemy of science,’ had vitiated the study of Greek homosexuality; and it has continued to do so” (Greek Homosexuality [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978] vii). The same may be said about the study of women bathing with men.

47 Cantarella, Pandora's Daughters, 140–41. See also Hallett, Judith P., “Roman Attitudes Toward Sex,” in Grant, Michael and Kitzinger, Rachel, eds., Civilization of the Ancient Medierranean: Greece and Rome (3 vols.; New York: Scribner's, 1988) 2. 1265–78. Sullivan, J. P. (“Martial's Sexual Attitudes,” Philologus 123 [1979] 296) goes so far as to conclude, “The evidence indicates that between the closing years of the Republic and the years when Christianity gained social, and then official, influence in Roman Society, the female sex, at least in the social strata most visible in our documents, enjoyed a personal, sexual and economic liberation unparalleled in civilized states before the latter half of the twentieth century in America and some parts of Europe.”

48 Adams, Latin, 98. On women's pleasure in clitoral stimulation see Ovid, Ars Amatoria 2.719–22. At Pompeii (at Region III, Insula 7.1) a certain Maritimus advertised his willingness to perform cunnilingus for four asses: Maritimus cunnu[m] li[n]get a[ssibus] IIII, virgins ammittit (CIL 4.8940); see also CIL 4.8939.

49 Juvenal, Satirae 6.419–25. Close to the same time, Plutarch (Cato Major 20.5–6) said that the Romans learned the practice of going naked from the Greeks so that men bathed naked even when women were present.

50 Sullivan's comments (“Martial's Sexual Attitudes,” 292) on sexual practices in Martial may be applied likewise to the satirical work of Juvenal: “if many of the epigrams refer to specific social or sexual behaviour on the part of Martial himself, of his subjects, or of his audience, it is reasonable to assume that such behavior was common, or at least not rare, even though the particular events and personages were invented for the sake of the poem.”

51 CIL 4.10678 (my translation).

52 CIL 4.10675.

53 CIL 4.10677.

54 CIL 4.10674.

55 CIL 4.10676.

56 Maiuri, Ercolano, 1. 173.

57 Deiss, Joseph Jay, Herculaneum: Italy's Buried Treasure (rev. ed.; New York: Harper & Row, 1985) 136. Archeological evidence for women in Roman baths comes also from the legionary baths at Caerleon, where women's hair pins were found; see DeLaine, “Recent Research,” 28. These baths were Flavian in date (Nielsen, Thermae, 1. 77 n. 19).

58 Dio Cassius 69.8.2; Cary, Earnest, trans., Dio's Roman History (LCL; 9 vols; London: Heinemann and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1914–1955) 8. 439.

59 Scriptores Historiae Augustae Hadrian 18.10 (trans. Magie, David; LCL; 3 vols.; London: Heinemann and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1922–1932) 1. 57.

60 Cary, Dio's Roman History, xxii, xxiii; A. H. MacDonald, “Dio Cassius,” OxCD, 345.

61 Syme, Ronald, Historia Augusta Papers (Oxford: Clarendon, 1983) 221 and passim.

62 Honoré, Tony, “Scriptor Historiae Augustae,” Journal of Roman Studies 77 (1987) 156–76.

63 Merten, Elke W., Bäder und Badegepflogenheiten in der Darstellung der Historia Augusta (Antiquitas 4.16; Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 1983) 100, see 79–100 for “Balnea Mixta.”

64 Although Nielsen cites Merten as arguing that these sources are “false interpolations” in a footnote, in her text she nevertheless refers to “the fact that Hadrian felt obliged to prohibit the custom [of mixed bathing]” (Thermae, 1. 147 and n. 23).

65 Of the four to six double baths cited above in n. 18, one is not dated and the rest are all earlier than Hadrian. Balsdon is certainly incorrect when he asserts (Roman Women, 269), “if mixed bathing had replaced the separate bathing of the sexes, this profound change must have been reflected in the lay-out of the baths themselves; and that is not the case.” Herbert Benario, commenting on Historia Augusta Hadrian 18.11, mistakenly asserts that “mixed bathing was never anything but exceptional at Rome and in the empire. The public bathing establishments normally had two sets of identical rooms… for the two sexes” (A Commentary on the Vita Hadriani in the Historia Augusta [American Classical Studies 7; Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1980] 115).

66 Yegül, “Bath-Gymnasium,” 217, 311 nn. 340, 342.

67 Carcopino, Jerome, Daily Life in Ancient Rome (trans. Lorimer, E. O.; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940) 254. Carcopino's theory may have been derived from August Mau, although Carcopino does not cite Mau. With reference to the Vipasca inscription, Mau wrote, ”In the smaller towns special rooms for women were not always available; this was resolved by reserving special hours for them” (“Bäder,” PW 2 [1896] 2750). In his classic work on Pompeii, referring to the Central baths that had only a single set of baths, Mau wrote, “It was doubtless built for men, although the use of it at certain hours by women may possibly have been contemplated, in case the women's baths at the two other establishments should be overcrowded” (Pompeii: Its Life and Art [trans. Kelsey, Francis W.; 1902; reprinted New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas, 1982] 208).

68 CIL 2.5181, “omnibus diebus calefacere et praestare debeto a prima luce in horam septimam diei mulieribus et ab hora octava in horum secundum noctis viris.”

69 Carcopino, Daily Life, 254. Nielsen (Thermae, 1. 135) states that men and women ”normally bathed at different times of day,” but arguing from Martial Epigrammata 10.48, she also states that the baths of Nero “were not open for women in the morning.” But later she indicates that women might bathe in the morning (1. 137).

70 Carcopino, Daily Life, 259, 315 n. 64.

71 Meiggs, Russell, Roman Ostia (2d ed.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1973) 406. Carcopino's theory has been transmitted to others by way of Meiggs. Thus Gounaris (BAAANEIO, 30) suggests that in the first century the baths at Philippi were used on different days by each of the sexes, with a citation from Meiggs.

72 Yegül, “Bath-Gymnasium,” 48; see also idem, Sardis, 8 where he cites Balsdon, Life, and Meiggs, Roman Ostia, in addition to Carcopino. Others have suggested segregation of women and men by time, but without citation, as in the case of Maiuri (see n. 40 above) and Barry Cunliffe who asserts that the “opening at different times for males and females… was frequently the practice at this time [of Hadrian]” (Roman Bath Discovered [rev. ed.; London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984] 129). Paul Veyne simply states, “The two sexes were separated, at least as a general rule” (“The Roman Empire,” in idem, A History of Private Life: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium [trans. Goldhammer, A.; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987] 199).

73 Scriptores Historiae Augustae Marcus Aurelius 23.8; Commodus 4.4; Elagabalus 31.7; Severus Alexander 24.2; Gallienus 17.8, 9.

74 Nielsen (Thermae, 1. 147), referring to Martial's frequent references to mixed bathing, says that “in his time it was very common.” She then states that because of the “magnitude of the problem,” Hadrian prohibited it. The prohibitions of Marcus Aurelius and Severus Alexander indicate it was a “persistent problem.”

75 Notable exceptions are Merten, Bä;der, and Nielsen, Thermae. DeLaine (“Recent Research, 28) notes “there is an enormous amount of untapped evidence in non-traditional sources, such as early Christian writing.” There are also Jewish sources on mixed bathing; see Epstein, Louis M., Sex Laws and Customs in Judaism (New York: Ktav, 1948) 2930.

76 Clement Alex. Paed. 3.5 (my translation).

77 Ibid., 3.9 (my translation).

78 Clement knew and used the teachings of the Stoic Musonius Rufus, who taught: “But above all it is necessary for the woman to be self-controlled (σώυρoνα). I mean that on the one hand she should be pure of unlawful ἀϕρoδίσια (“erotic activity”) and on the other hand she must be pure of the lack of self-control (ἀκρασία) concerning the other pleasures (ἡδoνή) not to serve desires, not to be contentious, nor extravagant nor one who adorns herself.” The text is from Lutz, Cora, “Musonius Rufus: the Roman Socrates,” YCS 10 (1947) 40, lines 17–20. On the ethics of Clement, see Lilla, Salvatore R. C., Clement of Alexandria: A Study in Christian Platonism and Gnosticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971) 60117. See also Brown, Peter, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988) 122–39.

79 Clement Alex. Paed. 3.5.

80 Ibid., 3.9.

81 Ferguson, Everett, “Didascalia,” Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (1990) 263; Connolly, R. Hugh, trans, and ed., Didascalia Apostolorum (Oxford: Clarendon, 1929) lxxxvii, lxxxix.

82 Didascalia 3.1.9 (trans. Connolly, 26).

83 Martial Epigrammata 3.36.

84 Cyprian De habitu virginum, 19 (my translation).

85 Ibid., 21 (my translation).

86 Robin Lane Fox comments about virginity with reference to Cyprian: “How could a woman remain virtuous when the whole organization of her social existence conspired against her? She had only to go to the public baths, where men and women bathed naked together” (Pagans and Christians [New York: Knopf, 1987] 373).

87 Acta et Symbola Conciliorum quae saeculo quarto habita sum (Textus Minores 19; Leiden: Brill, 1954) canon 30 (my translation).

88 Altaner, Berthold, Patrology (New York: Herder & Herder, 1960) 59.

89 Apostolic Constitutions 1.9.

90 Jerome Adversus Jovinianum libri II 2.36 (my translation). In the time of Jovinianus there were in the city of Rome ten thermae and eight hundred and fifty-six balnea, according to the Curiosum Urbis Regionum 4 (357–403 CE?); see Yegül, Fikret, “The Small City Bath in Classical Antiquity and a Reconstruction Study of Lucian's ‘Baths of Hippias,’” Archaeologia Classica 31 (1979) 109 n. 2.

91 Kelly, J. N. D., Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies (New York: Harper & Row, 1975) 180–81. Hunter, David G., “Resistance to the Virginal Ideal in Late-Fourth-Century Rome: The Case of Jovinian,” TS 48 (1987) 4564.

92 Hunter, “Resistance,” 48.

93 Socrates Historia ecclesiastica 6.22. Socrates, an orthodox Christian, had high praise for Sisinnius; see Chestnut, Glenn F., The First Christian Histories: Eusebius, Socrates, Solomon, Theodoret, and Evagrius (2d ed.; Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986) 184 n. 48.

94 See above, 139–42.

95 Jerome Epistulae 45.4.

96 Ramsay MacMullen estimates that about half of the population was Christian by 400 (Christianizing the Roman Empire [A.D. 100–400] [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984] 83, 86).

97 Jerome Epistulae 107.11.

98 Yegül, “Bath-Gymnasium,” 311 n. 340.

99 Nielsen, Thermae, 1. 57, 116, 148. For later baths and bathing see Berger, Albrecht, Das Bad in der byzantinischen Zeit (Miscellanea Byzantina Monacensia 27; Munich: Institut für Byzantinistik und neugriechische Philologie, 1982); Ward-Perkins, Bryan, From Classical to the Middle Ages: Urban Public Building in Northern and Central Italy, AD 300–850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984).

100 An example of this method is the excellent study of Meeks, Wayne A., The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983).

101 An example of this approach can be found in Staumbaugh, John E. and Balch, David L., The New Testament in Its Social Environment (Library of Early Christianity 2; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986) especially in chap. 5, but the reference to baths is rather brief.

102 Peter Brown, “Late Antiquity,” in Veyne, A History of Private Life, 245.

* I wish to acknowledge the support in 1989 of Miami University which granted me a Faculty Development Leave and of Harvard Divinity School which appointed me a Visiting Scholar, thereby making it possible for me to pursue the basic research for this article.

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