Antiquity. Ancient Greece and Rome.
Recently I thought about one question: what will be my bathroom if I inspired time and life of the ancient Greeks and Romans? The more I again immersed in ancient times, the more I wanted to know not only about the premises, but also about the traditions and life of that time. My sketch above shows my impression about antiquity, and here I want to tell some peculiarities of life of those times.
The first thing that came to my mind, this is a public baths. So I wanted to create a bath in the floor, reminiscent of the pool. The ancient Greeks and Romans spent all his free time in the bath, where they not only washed, but also talked, feasted, read, engaged in creative work and sports. For each of activity were separate rooms. For reading, for example, was a library. The procedure of washing, especially among the Greeks, was an important religious ceremony, and as an integral part of the cult of healthy lifestyle.
The easiest way to have a wash was a basin with warm water. They used natural soap and sponges. Also used scrubs made of wood and ivory or sand using vegetable oils. Hippocrates recommended daily massage of the body.
In the times of Ancient Greece incense used as an important part of religious rites, which were intended only for the gods. In the Roman Empire incense steel generously to use for themselves. Incense rubbed in the body, impregnated fabrics and clothing. Infusions were made from marjoram, lily, thyme, lavender, sage, anise, rose, iris and other plants. The base was from oils (olive, almond, peanut).
The most famous perfume of the Greeks was called Megaleion. This substance was used not only for incense, but also to heal wounds and skin treatment. Also in the interior was loved tree for its fragrance. Its abundance in the room was a sign of luxury. It was difficult to find high trees around.
The mild climate allowed most of the time to be outdoors. Houses had no great importance, therefore residential buildings was simple. In ancient Greece, unlike Rome, home of the rich is not particularly different from the poor citizens. The walls were built of reed and clay or wood, or sun-dried earth bricks. The windows were narrow and small.
Often was dirt floor. During the construction of a floor was used a mosaic. Originally made of pebbles, which is mostly found in black and white colors. Floors villas and temples were decorated with marble or used several different materials. Is widely used carpets, come with the East. According to Vitruvius herringbone pattern (Opus spicatum) is the most durable option for floor laying. He wrote about it in his books.
The walls of the houses were decorated with plaster and painted by horizontal strips. Wall painting looked like a masonry or marble. Sometimes one of the walls was completely painted in bright colors, such as red, or depicted landscape and other motives. Also the walls were decorated with bright fabrics. All these techniques have been used to visually expand small spaces. Ceiling – coffering, painted.
Motives for painting was greenery and flowers, animals and birds, deity, astrological stories. The images were not symbolic. Primary colors: green, red, saffron, gold, purple, crimson and purple (the color of the kings), later Egyptian blue.
The house had a sewer and water pipes, the pipes were made of baked clay. For heating of premises, people used portable jugs of hot coals. The light came from the courtyard and portable metal or clay lamps.
The windows in the house was closed with wooden shutters, metal bars or stone plates. Roman blinds were damp cloth on the windows, protecting from a dust and a scorching sun. Later invented a common mechanism that allows slightly lifted the curtains. Instead of doors, especially indoors, often were curtains made of cloth.
The atmosphere in the house was modest. The furniture was rich painted and decorated, often strongly colored, especially during the Roman Empire. The furniture was made of wood (maple, beech, cedar, cypress, and others), sometimes made of marble or bronze. The design was simple and details expertly handled. The Greeks already knew how to bending wood using steam.
Later the Romans for a wealth of furniture began to use gold and silver, ivory, marble, horn and tortoise-shell. The furniture was without upholstery, but there were used different coverlets and animal skins. For storing clothes were chests. The most common type of furniture was a bed (Greek word “klinikos”). The bed was intended to sit, eat, write, sleep and relax. It was a custom – ate lying. At the end of the repast, low dining tables were hiding under the bed.
In everyday life were popular vases, which kept oil, wine, grain and other products. We can imagine how they lived the ancient Greeks through the beautiful paintings on vases.
When guests came to the repast, they had to took off the shoes. Slaves washed their feet and poured water from the pitcher on his hands. They eat with fingers, and fingers wiped with pieces of bread. Bad manners was considered to get drunk, for this reason the wine diluted with water. During repast talked on the intellectual and philosophical themes. Bad luck among the Greeks, this is not to offer the guest something to eat or drink.
Women’s freedom was limited, but the household activity was completely under her control. Only in the presence of the servants she could go into the city. The purpose of the marriage was procreation. It was not an event of love or the merging of the two loving hearts.
Sale of roses and weaving wreaths in Greece has been an honorable work. Guests, invited to dinner, adorned themselves with wreaths. The winners of the competition were awarded with wreaths. Messengers brought good news with a wreath in his hands. Boys hung a beautiful wreaths over the door of his beloved.
Rosemary was a symbol of affection, love and death. Rosemary was used in Ancient Greece and Rome at marriage, and burial. In funeral wreaths it was like a symbol of memory, and the wedding flowers as a symbol of faithfulness. It was believed that if you touching of your beloved with a sprig of rosemary, he will be faithful.
The Greeks are very appreciated peppermint. In Rome it was believed that the smell of mint uplifting, stimulates thought processes that promotes lively conversation. Before the feast banquet hall was filled with mint aroma. Tables were rubbed with mint leaves.
Near the temples dedicated to the goddess Venus, grew myrtle bushes. Flowers myrtle sacrificed to the goddess. Juice of fruits and infusion of buds added to the wine. According to the Romans, this wine was considered to be the elixir, which possessed properties to save youth, beauty, vivacity and health.
Rose was a symbol of courage and roses were awarded only brave soldiers. Rose was also a symbol of silence. Common among the Romans the phrase “it is said under the rose” meant: “it is said in confidence”.
Now back to the topic about antique bathroom. Below some more inspiring pics.
Source of pictures: mostly pinterest.com