Thursday, October 20, 2016

Roman Country Clubs

One thing I found interesting while doing research for the presentation, was the Roman Imperial Baths. These "baths" had hot and cold swimming pools, gymnasiums, restaurants, bars, walking paths, libraries, shops and more. The baths were open to everyone, and were a common hang out spot for the Roman citizens. The baths seem very progressive and close to modern day country clubs that would be open to the public. The Roman rulers were expected to give back to the people in some way, and the imperial baths were a way to build something to provide entertainment for the citizens of Rome. Today country clubs and community centers are similar, but I do not think either draw as much attention as the imperial baths did. The sense of community also most likely strengthened Roman culture.

7 comments:

Joseph Martin said...

I agree with Dylan on the usefulness and the luxury of these baths. They are similar to modern day resorts because they include multiple amenities and are not just about washing yourself. Going to the baths would have been as big a social experience as a cleansing one. Also, they often had shops near the baths, which make it more of a resort. I believe Dylan is correct in saying modern country clubs have descended from these Roman baths. This also links to the Roman identity that we discussed in class and also how social classes were less evident in these baths.

Rickeia Coleman said...

While the Romans did have new activities such as the baths and many different hang out areas, we have to remember how different roles were in society. The Roman women actually had an outlet to talk and gossip which we did not see earlier in Athenian Greece. not having such outlets lead women to become disgruntled which we saw represented in stories such as Medea. We also saw children becoming more talked about an noticed and society. We must not forget that the baths also mean a new freedom for Roman women.

Savannah Watermeier said...

I agree with what Rickeia said. The built up anger that Medea had was a result of not being allowed to express herself. However, we must remember that women were still not important parts of society. They were still expected to be obedient to their fathers and husbands. Even in a sine manu marriage, they were to report to a guardian their whole lives. It is also important to note that people walked around naked at the baths. It was perfectly acceptable. Overall, Rome was much more progressive than Greece.

Brooke Williamson said...

Rickeia makes an interesting and significant point here. While the baths symbolized new freedoms for the Roman women, they also represented a form of oppression. These popular locations were the source of gossip and criticizing other people. Instead of using free time to better the city, people often critiqued one another which shows an inclination to judgment. I like how Rickeia connects this to Medea because I completely agree that Medea's situation was greatly impacted by what people thought and said about her. In all, I find it interesting that drama and gossip are a distinct parallel between Roman society during this time period and today's school cultures, like STM to some extent.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

The baths seemed like a place where people could go to get away from the strict class system of Rome at the time. In the baths, everyone was equal as it was open to all citizens. Nonetheless, outside of the baths there was still a lot of inequality based on strict social classes. The society is more progressive than something like early Athens, but it is still far from the level of equality that we have today.

Julia Scofield said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia Scofield said...

I agree with Brookes point, the baths were a form of oppression. The baths were a place were people gathered to gossip. Just because everyone was given an opportunity to go out and intermingle between classes doesn't mean that the class structure wasn't affirmed by the gossip and musings of those who attended the baths. Giving people the freedom to intermingle did not take away that the women still had to report to their husbands, it just gave them the ability to criticize each other publicly.