Greek Baths

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"The history of public baths begins in Greece in the sixth century B.C.," said by Françoise de Bonneville in his book The Book of the Bath. Greeks original form of bathing consisted of nothing more than a quick plunge into icy water until the people of Laconica came upon the idea of a hot-air bath. The hot-air bath later came to be known as a laconica bath. The people of Laconica were from the Sparta area.[1] With this bath came the idea of a Spa along with Public bathing.

Laconica Bath[edit]

The water for the laconica baths was heated one of two different ways. The first being by direct coal burning fires and the other being the hot rock method, which consists of heating up rocks in another room and bringing them inside the bath.[2]


Greek baths can be found throughout the Mediterranean. In Greece they can be found in Olympia, Corinth, Athens, Delos, Epidauros, Messene, Nemea and several other sites. They can also be found in other countries: Alexandria, Egypt and Syracuse, Italy for example.

Floor Plan[edit]

Using the bath at Olympia as an example, a Greek bathhouse started off as nothing more that a single rectangular structure 20 meters long and four meters wide. A well was situated at one end of the room where the athletes could draw water. The bath was renovated upon several occasions. The first being around the 5th century BC saw a smaller room added where small built tubs were put along the north and east side and an adjacent swimming pool. The second around the end of the 4th century BC another room was added on the west side with three of the walls being lined with additional tubs and hot water. The third renovation took place around the 1st century BC which saw an addition of a large apsidal room to the south along with a hypocaust system.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mediterranean Baths: Early Greek and Roman Baths". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Mediterranean Baths: Early Greek and Roman Baths". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Description of Olympia Greek Bath". Retrieved 30 October 2014.