10 ‘scary’ facts about how the ancients bathed and went to the toilet make us silently thank we were born in this era

Nowadays, everyone probably thinks that showering and going to the toilet is a private moment. Some people even use the toilet as a peaceful place to escape from tiring realities.

But that’s the thing for now. And in the 19th century, that story was really a luxury. For those who don’t know, bathrooms and toilets with water supply appeared in Europe in the late 1800s. Before that, what the ancients used were public toilets. And “public” here is quite literally, when people have to “go” together, then talk together while doing what is inherently very private in this day and age.

All in all, the way the ancients went to the toilet is full of interesting and rather… creepy facts, and we should be glad we were born in the present day.

1. Only public places, and all must share

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From ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, women and men who wanted to bathe had to go to public baths, run by the government. Even in their culture, the bathhouse is the perfect place to increase social ties.

In general, except for having to share a bath, these baths are also quite interesting, with hot and cold water baths, even integrated gyms and libraries. Some bathhouses are so large that they can accommodate 1600 people at once.

2. Forget about privacy

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Same with hygiene story. This era will have public toilets built in the city center, and without a partition. The ancients considered this to be a very collective action, used to chat with each other while performing.

3. Bathrooms are like swimming pools today

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Nowadays, many people like to go to the bathroom to enjoy their private moment. As for the ancient Romans, they brought food, toys, even toothbrushes into it. They do not hesitate to handle the most sensitive and basic needs, while still talking to others.

Moreover, the ancient Romans believed that the bathroom was a very suitable place to meet and make friends. According to one study, they were even willing to party in the bathroom, just like today’s swimming pools.

4. Sharing… cleaning sticks

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In ancient Rome, toilet paper did not exist. The ancients dealt with the consequences after “going to the toilet” with a wooden stick attached with a sponge to clean… the place that needed to be cleaned. But the problem is, they don’t have their own cleaning sticks. All cleaning sticks with sponges are reusable. After use (cleaning), they are dipped in a bucket of salt water or vinegar to clean for the next person.

But I don’t know if it’s really clean.

5. “Chief chess” on the street

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Preparation for bathing is usually done at home, before officially going to the bathroom. Therefore, the sight of a man walking naked or wearing only his underwear on the street is quite common in this era.

6. Open-air toilets

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In the Middle Ages, you didn’t even have a toilet to use. If you want to solve it, find a stairs, or go under the bridge, or stand in broad daylight.

As historian Carole Rawcliffe explains, towards the end of the Middle Ages, people became more concerned with health and hygiene. Therefore, the authorities began to fund the construction of “defecation” areas in public places, to help the city cleaner. People – mostly men – can settle through holes built in the bridge, with the aim of discharging what needs to be discharged into the river below.

7. The smell will be the most haunting thing

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In this era, toilet design would be based on social status. Castles will have a special place with a hole placed right in the floor. That hole was connected to the ground outside the castle, so that the official could discharge directly into it.

This model of toilet has a disadvantage that… the smell. It was many times more horrible than today’s toilets, especially in the summer.

8. Must clean by hand

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The use of toilets became popular, and a new job was born. They are people who specialize in cleaning up society’s unclean products, working in 24-hour shifts in large areas. In poorer places, cleaning frequency is also less.

9. Pour straight into the street

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In the past, access to the best methods of decontamination also depended on social class. Along with the lack of toilets in the house, people in Edinburgh (Scotland) often pour unclean products directly out.

People then, whenever they heard the word “Gardyloo”, immediately dodged, because it was a warning sound before people poured feces or urine out the window.

This practice was very common, until the aqueduct appeared in the 19th century.

10. When the toilet is a collection of samples

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After the sewerage system was installed in Europe, the number of deaths from cholera and typhoid also decreased rapidly. It turned out that the reason was also because people used to discharge directly into water sources, causing pollution and health hazards. It sounds obvious, but it took scientists a long time to understand this.

The first person to discover it was Dr. John Snow. Dr. Snow found that the source of the infection in London was a sewage tank near a residential area that leaked into a feeding well.

Source: BS, Vt.co

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