There are many modern marvels that make life today so much more comfortable and convenient than it was for previous predecessors and generations. One huge aspect of life in the 21st century is all the options for walkin tubs and showers. Bathing is a very important part of personal hygiene and daily routines, and it’s so nice to have walkintubs to make the process of keeping clean so much easier. In honor of walkin tubs and the huge difference they’ve made to the world, let’s take a look at five fascinating facts about the history of bathtubs.
The benefits of a hot bath have long been celebrated and promoted across civilizations, cultures and centuries. Even in Homer’s Book XXII of the Iliad, bathing is referenced as Hector’s wife warms up a large pot of water over a fire to allow him to soak and recover after his intense fight with Achilles. Even so, Hector winds up “beyond the reach of baths”.
Through all the historical discoveries made over the years, the oldest bathtub that’s been found sits in the palace of Knossos on Crete, dating back to 1500BC. Situated in the Queen’s bathroom, this bathtub was made from fired clay, and was in one of the first bathrooms with water flushing. Nowadays, it’s not just royalty who can enjoy the advantages of fancy bathtubs! Everyone can get in on this clean and content lifestyle.
Of course, bathing is very important for hygiene and staying sanitary and healthy, but it’s also carried a religious meaning for thousands of years. The majority of religions use water in both a literal and metaphorical sense to wash away sin and purify people and their bodies. For example, the Ancient Egyptians bathed twice a day to honour their God, while Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and ancient Greek mythology involved washing heads to encourage dreams.
While today most people prefer to bathe in the privacy of their own home, public baths have been very common over the course of history. As the interest and demand in bathing grew, so did the amount of public baths, and by the time fifth century AD rolled around, Rome boasted around 900 public baths. Although the Romans first constructed these communal bathing places for the poor, considering the wealthy had private ones at their homes, it wasn’t long before aristocrats and emperors took interest. Soon, the richest Romans were visiting these public baths and turning them into social hubs where friends gathered to drink, eat and visit with one another.
Private baths found in homes across America look a bit different then the magnificent and majestic baths of Caracalla. The Romans built these baths in 212AD, and 1,600 bathers could be accommodate across the 33 acres of cold, warm and hot baths. There was even a steam room! Shops and libraries could also be found at the baths, which continued to be used for many years following the fall of the Roman empire. While the walkin tubs in many American homes today may not be as luxurious, they still keep people clean and happy, ready for the day ahead!