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The Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman ItalyToilets, Sewers, and Water Systems$
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Ann Koloski-Ostrow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621289

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621289.001.0001

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Pinpointing Behaviors, Attitudes, and Ideals for Roman Toilets

Pinpointing Behaviors, Attitudes, and Ideals for Roman Toilets

(p.84) 4 Pinpointing Behaviors, Attitudes, and Ideals for Roman Toilets
The Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman Italy

Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores Roman toilets and assesses basic facts about their use and function during earlier times, relying strictly on archaeological observation and literary references. Combining the archaeology of Roman toilets with literary references regarding matters of sanitation provides sufficient information for assumptions about how Romans used their toilets and even what rituals of hygiene they followed. The chapter states that the driving force behind the construction of the fancier latrine architecture of the second century AD did not result from the social forces outlined in writings that favor regimentation to promote order. Rather, it was a natural progression from much older Roman cultural notions combined with the more effective usage of water to remove dirt.

Keywords:   Early Roman toilets, sanitation, Roman hygiene rituals, latrine architecture, regimentation, Roman cultural notions

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