The Secret History of Public Latrines in Ancient Rome: The Fascinating Techniques Behind These Public Facilities

They were part of the Scholastica Baths and built-in 1C AD. They were the public toilets of the city. There was an entrance fee to use them.

In the center, there is an uncovered pool and the toilets are aligned along the walls. The columns surrounding the pool supported a wooden ceiling. There was a drainage system under the toilets.

Public toilets in the ancient city of Ephesus

Almost every Roman city had large public latrines, where many people – often 20 or more – could relieve themselves in remarkably opulent settings.

This video by toldinstone explores how the use, decoration, and (many) hazards of Rome’s latrines.

“Ostia public toilet,” which shows a well-preserved public latrine in Ostia’s Forum Baths

Reconstruction drawing of public Latrine at Forum Hadriani, Aurelium Cananefatium/Forum Hadriani, Germania Inferior, Netherlands

Reconstruction drawing showing the original arrangement of the Latrine, Barracks, Isca Augusta

A line of timber seats was set over the drain, and in front was a gutter for the soldiers to wash the sponges which served them for lavatory paper.

Reconstruction drawing showing the communal latrines in use, Housesteads Roman Fort (Vercovicium)

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