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Roman Religious Mask - Bath

Roman Religious Mask - Bath

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Top 10 Religious Practices in Ancient Rome

The Romans had their own unique religion and religious observance was important for both family and state. Festival and ritual were commonplace and were occasions of great merriment. Every Roman house had a sacred fire, and people believed that the lit fire would protect the family. When the fire went out, they thought that something terrible would happen in the family. The Romans had their own gods too such as Jupiter (Zeus), Juno (Hera), Minerva (Athena), and many others. During the first century AD, the Romans copied the Greek gods, changing their names and attributes to suit their own needs. Although Roman religion changed profoundly after the introduction of Christianity, here, we are focusing on the 10 major religious practices in ancient Rome before Christianity:

Cosmetic in Roman Empire

While history will forever remember that Egypt was first civilization that used cosmetic products as important part of their lives, it was Roman empire who embraced it and managed to build around it impressive array of fashion, religion and even laws. With many advances made by Egyptians, Romans managed to import much of their products and gain their secrets and recipes. In the height of the Roman Empire, women of all statuses used cosmetics, and were not viewed as pretty if they did not use them. Such extravagant way of life and the military might of Rome soon enabled rich noblewoman to acquire extremely expensive and exotic cosmetic products from China, Germany and Gaul. As such expensive products caused much controversy in high Roman society, famous “LexOppia” law from 189 BC tried to limit their use and control the maximum wealth of the women and their appearance in public. For example, they were forbidden to own more than an ounce of gold, ride in an animal-drawn vehicle near cities (except in religious ceremonies) and wear multicolored garments. However this law lasted only 6 years, and was repelled after large amounts of wealth started being brought to the Rome from the destroyed Carthage.

Cosmetic use in Roman Empire covered all areas of human body, both with beauty products and perfumes. Women used products for skin, rogue, eyes, nails, teeth’s, wore extravagant clothes and used elaborate setup of mirrors, containers and other items to host all of their cosmetic needs. Of course, no matter what fashion product was used by royalty and aristocracy, cheap knockoffs soon appeared and were used by majority of Roman women, especially prostitutes who intentionally used excessive amounts of cosmetics on them.

As the Egyptians and many other civilizations after them, Romans believed that fair and white skin represents wealth and high position. Because of that, women usually prepared their skin with beauty masks before starting to apply makeup. Even though they knew that lead based whiteners can be dangerous for health, they continued using them with belief that white skin is more important. They also had wide range of fashionable remedies that fought against sunspots, skin flakes, blemishes, wrinkles and freckles. Rogues viewed as a sign of attractiveness and good health, and eyes were painted in many colors to produce effect of longer eyelashes. Also, eyebrows that met in the middle were fashionable and were created with a little coloring. White teeth were of course prized as a sign of beauty, and they even managed to create prosthesis with false teeth made from ivory, paste and other ingredients. Breath fresheners were used regularly.

One large difference between Egyptian and Roman fashion was in lipsticks. While Egyptians used lipstick regularly, there is no historical or archeological evidence that Romans ever did the same. On the other hand, coloring of the hand nails was done only in the higher circles with colors that were imported from far away India.

Men did not use a lot of cosmetic products, except if they were openly feminine. Usually, men wore perfumes that were socially acceptable and moderately removed their hair (but not too much).

Roman Religious Mask - Bath - History

Hot baths, saunas, steam rooms, hot springs – spa culture takes on various forms throughout the world, and learning to relax like a local is a top attraction in many destinations. But as entwined as bathhouse culture has become with many modern day societies, the seemingly omnipresent practice of using heat to release toxins is actually tens of thousands of years old, dating back to the Neolithic Age when nomadic tribes would find relief from the bitter cold by soaking in the various natural hot springs they stumbled upon around the world.

One of the world’s earliest known public baths was built in the Indus Valley around 2500 BC in the lost city of Mohenjo-daro. Called the “Great Bath”, this large pool constructed of baked brick was excavated in the early 1900s by archaeologists in present-day Pakistan. Anthropologists say it may have been used as a temple, since bathing and cleanliness may have been linked to religious beliefs.

Much later, around 300 BC, the practice of public bathing was adopted by the Romans, and the bath became a vital part of society, visited by rich and poor. For many it was the only place to rinse off after a long week of manual labour and at the time, crowds of men and women bathed naked together, as the bath was a primary place to gather and socialize.

The tradition of the public bath has since spread around the world, adapting to evolving cultures and social norms with differing customs and etiquette for each destination.

Turkish hammam
Turkish baths, called hammams, were likely derived in part from Roman and Byzantine baths -- an export of the Roman Empire that extended to Turkey in the 7th Century. The concept was predicated on having places of extreme cleanliness, where purifying the body went hand-in-hand with purifying the soul. Popularized around 600 AD, hammams were also spaces where major life events were celebrated, and bathing rituals were incorporated into weddings and births.

The hammam is still a common gathering place for socializing and relaxing today. Upon entering, visitors may be given a towel, a pair of sandals and an abrasive mitt, a keşe -- meant for exfoliating the skin. The hammam typically consists of three main areas: a hot steam room with a large marble stone at the centre, where bathers lay as attendants scrub them and administer massages a warm room for bathing and a cool room for resting. Areas are typically gender-separated and nudity is optional.

One historic hammam worth visiting is Istanbul's Cagaloglu Hamami, a palatial marble bathhouse that was built in 1741.

Russian banya
Early historical accounts place the Russian banya, or bathhouse, in a central societal role by the 900s. In Slavic mythology, there was even a banya spirit, named Bannik, who was believed to hide under bathhouse benches, only to reveal himself if a visitor was disrespectful or misbehaved -- in which case, Bannik would throw boiling water or hot rocks at the disruptive bather.

Throughout Russian history, the banya has been enjoyed by all classes. Villagers who did manual labour used to visit a public bathhouse, often the only place to wash off, while wealthy Russians would sometimes indulge in private banyas. Bathhouses were also visited as a spiritual experience, often on Sundays, a tradition that continues today. The act of bathers hitting themselves with bunches of birch twigs called veniki, for example, is with the intended purpose of opening pores and increasing circulationas well as an act of self-flagellation.

Today, most banyas are gender separated and nudity is optional. They typically include a cold plunge pool and a hot steam room with wooden benches at varying heights -- the higher you go, the hotter the steam gets.

One of the oldest banyas in Moscow (and one of the most famous) is Sanduny Banya, built in 1806. It’s a large complex today, with swimming pools, a fitness centre, a beauty salon and a restaurant.

Japanese onsen
Japanese onsen are natural hot springs, born from the country’s plentiful volcanic activity, and the practice of soaking in these thermal baths for healing, spirituality and rejuvenation stems back to when Buddhism spread to Japan in the 500s. Some evidence suggests that Buddhist monks had a hand in founding some of the earliest spa-like spots around the country.

Since Japan’s onsen are based around natural formations, some have been around for thousands of years. One such place is Dogo Onsen, located on the island of Shikoku, believed to have been in use for at least 3,000 years. Mentions of the onsen have been found in texts from early Japanese history, illustrating it as the great leveller, welcoming gods, emperors and peasants alike. There is a certain cultural protocol to keep in mind when visiting a Japanese hot spring resort (nudity is required, for example). Before taking the plunge, refer to this guide to onsen etiquette.

Korean jimjilbang
Disrobing is also mandatory in jimjilbangs, or Korean bathhouses, which are always separated by gender. Jimjilbangs are a family affair in South Korea, with everyone from children to the elderly joining in on the pastime.

The origins of this tradition could be linked to the country’s natural hot springs, some of which have been in use for more than a thousand years. Today, many jimjilbangs are open 24-hours and offer lodging for the night, perfect for weary travellers. Also unique to Korea are the materials used in the saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs. For instance, jade may be used in the sauna to relieve joint pain and stress, while baked clay may be used to promote detoxification. Body scrubs are also very common, using a mitt similar to the Turkish kese, but with milk and water to moisturize the skin while promoting circulation.

One of the more famous jimjilbangs in Seoul is the massive Dragon Hill Spa, a seven-storey spa featuring a seawater bath, a salt room, saunas, baths, a swimming pool, a fitness centre, gardens, a food court, a nail salon, a golf course, an internet cafe and a movie theatre. The primary draw is the main sauna, heated by charcoal and infused with an oak aroma.

Native American sweat lodge
The earliest accounts of sweat lodges in Native American culture appear in writings by European settlers from the 1600s, and according to anthropologist Raymond A Bucko, author of The Lakota Ritual of the Sweat Lodge, sweat lodges have not changed significantly since that time. Participants in the sweat ritual gather inside a dome-shaped hut or tent, where a pile of heated rocks lies in the middle. A sweat leader tends to the rocks and may pour water on top to fill the lodge with steam. He also leads the group in prayer and song. During the ceremony, offerings such as tobacco may be made to the spirits.

Unlike other bathhouses, sweat lodge rituals can last up to several hours. There are often multiple 30-minute rounds, with breaks in-between to let the outside air in and drink water.

The Native American sweat experience, a ceremony expressly and wholly focused on the spiritual, pushes both the body and the mind to its limits. Suffering for the sake of moral strengthening is one important theme that permeates throughout the sweat lodge, Bucko explained in his book.

Finnish sauna
Saunas are ubiquitous in Finland, a country with around two million saunas, or approximately one sauna for every two or three people. Nearly all Finns “take a sauna” at least once a week (even those in incarceration) and many families own portable saunas to take on camping trips. “Sauna” is even a Finnish word, meaning a hot steam bath -- the steam for which is created by pouring water over heated stones.

Although the origins of the Finnish sauna are murky, Finland’s cold climate likely contributed to the creation of this heat-filled structure. According to the documentary Steam of Life”, a film focused on Finland’s spa obsession, some of the first saunas were heated huts that also served as homes. In addition to bathing, saunas would have been used for chores requiring high heat, such as curing meats, and practices requiring sterile environments, such as preparing to bury the dead.

The traditional Finnish sauna -- which dates back to at least the 12th Century - is a smoke sauna, heated by a wood stove with no chimney. After soaking in the heat, many locals will head outside to roll around in the snow or jump into a hole in a frozen-over lake, since going from hot to cold is thought to stimulate blood circulation.

The oldest public sauna still in use in Finland is the Rajaportin Sauna, a smoke sauna dating back to 1906 and located in the southern city of Tampere. To stay in Finland and not take a sauna would be like visiting Ancient Rome and not stopping at the local bathhouse. What better place to experience this age-old tradition than a historic spa that helped shape the customs of today?

A Brief History Of Rome's Trevi Fountain

Rome’s most iconic fountain is a wonder to behold. Standing 26 meters tall, 49 meters wide and intricately decorated in the Baroque style, the Trevi Fountain is an unmissable sight in the city. Built on top of an ancient water source, it has recently gone through an intensive restoration and cleaning by the Fendi luxury fashion house. There’s no better time to visit the Trevi Fountain and learn about its history.

The Trevi Fountain is as curious as it is splendid. In spite of its grandeur, it lies sandwiched between small streets, where you barely hear the sound of rushing water before you round the corner and are greeted by this monumental structure. The fountain is located at the junction of three roads and more specifically it is built upon the ‘terminal point’ of the Acqua Vergine, one of Rome’s most important aqueducts that transports drinking water to the Eternal City. Acqua Vergine is the modern aqueduct that evolved from the Aqua Virgo, developed by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in 19 BC out of a desire to provide citizens with access to quality public services.

The Roman Empire had a unique and illustrious relationship with water, and Ancient Romans were skilled engineers who were able to orchestrate incredible feats for their time. With carefully devised aqueducts, water from surrounding hills flowed to the city thanks to the laws of gravity, and was subsequently stored in cisterns that created an energy vacuum, propelling the water to spray out of dedicated fountains. Rome is famous for its hundreds of nasoni, or ‘nose-shaped’ fountains with continuously running water, though these are relatively simple in design. The city’s elite often choose to demonstrate Rome’s cultural finesse through aesthetic means and the Trevi Fountain indeed follows this trend.

Though a fountain had existed at the location of the Trevi Fountain since ancient times, it wasn’t until 1629, Pope Urban VIII commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch renovations, that the fountain began to take its current shape. When the pope died, the project was abandoned, though some of Bernini’s suggestions were incorporated in designs a century later. In 1730 Pope Clement XII held a contest to re-design the fountain, and the Roman-born architect Nicola Salvi was ultimately awarded the project. Work began under Salvi’s direction in 1732 and was completed in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini after Salvi’s death in 1751.

Intricately carved out of Travertine stone sourced from nearby Tivoli, the fountain depicts Oceanus, god of water, in the center niche, flanked by Abundance and Salubrity. Below the gods are a number of hippocampus and tritons adding symmetry to the fountain. At the top of the fountain sits the Papal Coat of Arms, suspended by angels.

Ancient Rome: History Facts for Students

Become and Expert about the History of Ancient Rome and Its People by Reading Interesting and Important Facts the History of Ancient Rome on's History of Ancient Rome Homework Help Resource Page.

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Topics about Ancient Rome to Help with Homework Assignments

10 Facts about Ancient Rome: Informational Sites about Ancient Rome

PBS: Roman Empire in the First Century: Meet ordinary (and extraordinary) Romans and learn about their lives, view a timeline, play the "Emperor of Rome" game, access classroom resources and more

Rome: Explore people, mythology, daily life, death and burial, writing, and archaeology.

Roman Empire: An Illustrated History: The Founding of Rome, The Kings, Early Republic, Late Republic, Early Emperors, The High Point, The Decline, The Collapse, Constantinople, Religion, Society, The Army

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Interesting Facts about the History of Ancient Rome

**Rome is located in Italy on a peninsula that sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea.

*Rome was a Roman Kingdom for over 200 years a Roman Republic for about 500 years, and the Roman Empire for about 500 years.

*Rome throughout its history had more than 75 Roman Emperors.

*The road system of the Ancient Rome had 50,000 miles of paved roads which is considered one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of all time.

*Roman Baths were a part of day-to-day life in ancient Rome.

*Ancient Roman gladiators fought to the death, and in ancient Rome, gladiator fights were considered a form of entertainment.

*Daily life in ancient Rome was rooted in custom and tradition..

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Bath Abbey and Churches

There are an enormous number of beautiful churches and cathedrals in Bath and most are in superb condition.

Bath Abbey

Address: 13 Kingston Buildings, Bath, North East Somerset, BA1 1LT, England
Tel: +44 (0)1225 422462
Bath Abbey is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the south-west of England and was founded in 1499. Built in the centre, the Abbey actually stands on a site with religious connections dating back to the 4th century. This parish church is also known as the 'Lantern of the West' because of the light that floods the interior through the abbey's many stained glass windows. The coronation service for Edgar, the first King of England, took place in a small Saxon church on this site, and the church was soon replaced by an enormous cathedral, so big that the present Bath Abbey could have actually fitted inside it. That soon fell into disrepair and was later rebuilt as the current, impressive Bath Abbey.

In 1539, King Henry VIII gave orders for Bath Abbey to be destroyed, along with many other churches in the country. His daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, later restored the abbey, which is when the abbey started its long service as the city's principal parish church. Attractions at Bath Abbey include magnificent fan vaulting above the nave, carved stone angels climbing down ladders on the west front, the Edgar window on the east wall of the end and the large courtyard outside, surrounded by benches.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday, winter - 10:00 to 16:00, summer 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: free, donations suggested

St. John the Baptist Church

Address: St. John's Road, Bathwick, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA2 6PT, England
Tel: +44 (0)1225 447450
St. John the Baptist Church is located in central Bath and was originally built in 1862. As the church's congregation began to grow, the church was extended and the original church can is now actually the North Aisle. Attractions at Bath's St. John the Baptist Church include countless stained-glass windows, paintings and a decorated pipe organ.

St. Mary the Virgin Church

Address: Pulteney Road, Bathwick Hill, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA1 2RH, England
Tel: +44 (0)1225 447450
The St. Mary the Virgin Church was built almost 200 years ago and is one of the most impressive Gothic-Revival style churches in the area. This church has a number of interesting features and attractions, including detailed architecture, frescoes, paintings, the Lady Chapel, an elaborate high altar and a grand pipe organ. St. Mary the Virgin Church is situated in the city centre.

St. Michael with St. Paul Church

Address: Broad Street, Bath, North-East Somerset, BA1 5LJ, England
Tel: +44 (0)1225 835490
The grand St. Michael with St. Paul Church is situated in central Bath and is one of the most stunning churches here, popular with photographers. Close to many shops, including the Podium shopping centre, the St. Michael with St. Paul Church was built in 1839 and is actually the fourth church to be built on this religious site. Highlights at the church include spectacular architecture, stained-glass windows, regular services and lunchtime readings on Thursdays.

Cleanliness - Did Vikings Take Baths?

The Vikings have long had the reputation of being filthy, wild animals. Even in modern day films the Vikings are usually portrayed as dirty savages. However, close examination of the facts seem to dispel the myth of the filthy Viking.

It's important to remember that most of our accounts of the Vikings come from Christian writers. A Viking writer would not be likely to give an account of the general cleanliness of his people as a whole. The Christian writers were writing about a fearsome group of pagan people who were ravaging Europe. A Christian writer would have had a strong bias to present the evil pagans in the worst light. To this day it is the writings of these Christians which give us the impression that Vikings were physically powerful, terrifying, and dirty savages. (This is not unlike the Roman habit of portraying Hannibal as a great and gifted military commander because it made the Roman victory more impressive. While there is no doubt Hannibal was masterful general, he did make make more than one strategic error.) The reality of what a Viking was seems to be very different than conventional wisdom.

What we do know from the excavation of Viking burial mounds is that personal grooming tools are some of the most common items found. Items such as razors, tweezers and ear spoons have been found. In fact combs seem to be the most common artifact found from the Viking Age. We also know that the Vikings made a very strong soap which was used not only for bathing, but also for bleaching their hair. Vikings bleached their hair as it seems blond hair was highly valued in the Viking World.

Accounts of Anglo-Saxons describing the Vikings who attacked and ultimately settled in England suggest the Vikings might be considered to be ‘clean-freaks’, because they would bathe once a week. This was at a time when an Anglo-Saxon might only bath once or twice a year. In fact the original meaning of Scandinavian words for Saturday (laurdag / lørdag / lördag) was ‘Washing Day’.

A later writing often credited to the Abbot of St. Albans reports that "thanks to their habit of combing their hair every day, of bathing every Saturday and regularly changing their clothes, were able to undermine the virtue of married women and even seduce the daughters of nobles to be their mistresses."

There are also early 10th Century writings describing the cleanliness of the Vikings. The Persian explorer/geographer Ibn Rustah comments on their cleanliness. The report by a later Arab writer Ibn Fadlan may be a little misleading. He is particularly offended by the Viking approach to defecation and urination, along with their failure to wash after sex (orgasm). It can be considered likely that Ibn Fadlan's opinion was guided by the requirements of his Islamic faith and its specificity regarding certain cleaning rituals as described in the Quran. (for example An-Nisa 43, 5:6). Zoroastrianism also contains some specific cleansing rituals.

He further observes that every day Vikings must wash their faces and head. He notes that he is disgusted by the fact that Vikings sharing the same bowl to wash their faces and blow their noses. Again, his opinion reflects Islamic custom. His notes do confirm that Vikings washed each day at a time when European Christians did not.

The Viking approach to communal washing would not have appealed to a member of the Islamic faith.

Renovation efforts to repair the crumbling floors at Bath Abbey, in the English town of Bath, have offered experts the opportunity to excavate the area below the structure, where they have found a wealth of historically relevant artifacts and architecture. The work has brought to life the storied history of one of England’s most famous cathedrals.

The modern Bath Abbey stands on the site where one of the largest medieval cathedrals in England once loomed over the landscape. The current iteration of the structure stands atop the remains of the Anglo-Norman cathedral that preceded it, but its history does not begin with the Normans, but with the Roman-influenced Saxons.

Current Archaeology explains, in their report of the dig, that at its inception the site was home to a 7th-century community of “holy virgins,” who may have cared for the property alongside a male religious community — as was the practice of the time. Evidence also suggests, however, that the male community may have arisen as a natural change, for instance if the female order could not replenish their numbers.

In the 8th century, the building came under ownership of the King of Mercia, and the property was converted to something of a royal manor. At some point in the next 200 years, however, the property was converted back to a church building, as King Edgar chose the Bath Cathedral for his coronation, in 973.

Evidence from the 10th century suggests that this era was marked by a thriving religious community. The finds included expertly crafted masonry designs and an extensive cemetery. Among the graves, excavators found two rare examples of a burial process that would cover the body or coffin in charcoal.

Wessex Archaeology | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Senior Osteoarchaeologist Kirsten Egging Dinwiddy explained the process:

After the Norman conquest of England, the property was purchased by John of Tours, Bishop of Wells. He transferred the seat of his bishopric from Wells to Bath, and then he began the immense undertaking of restoring the area, an effort that would include the deconstruction of the church and the construction of the cathedral.

The bishop would not see the cathedral completed, as he died in 1022 and the construction would not be complete until the 1160s. While there is little left of this cathedral in the modern Abbey, the building that stands today was designed around its foundation.

The Norman period was marked by impressive sculptures, many of which are of saints, but others are suspected to be self-portraits of the masons who crafted the cathedral.

The cathedral was an important religious site for the rest of the Middle Ages, as is evidenced by the constant renovation and beautification. An incredibly rare discovery, which Current Archaeology called a “once-in-a-lifetime find,” of a beautiful, well-preserved tiled floor — depicting artistic motifs of kings and creatures with vivid coloring — suggests that a lot of money was poured into the effort.

Wessex Archaeology | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

The heyday of the Bath Cathedral would last until the 15th century, at which time King Henry VIII disbanded the monasteries of England. The property fell into the hands of a private buyer, but was sold back to the City of Bath by the mid 16th century, when the local government started making some repairs, which included the addition of a Tudor style roof.

The roof was changed again to the Victorian style in the 1860s, but traces of the Tudor ceiling have been discovered by the archaeologists working the site. They have found enough evidence to digitally recreate what the Tudor roof may have looked like.

Today, the experts and volunteers working at Bath Abbey routinely find the intricately carved marble remains of the church’s previous iterations. These discoveries shed light on the many cultures that inhabited the site at different historical times, as well as some of the methods by which they constructed the many enormous iterations of the church structure.

In order to bring the community together in the effort, the site directors train volunteers in the proper archaeological techniques required for excavation and preservation. The entire community of Bath is welcomed to share in the educational mission to uncover the full extensive history of this important English Christian site.

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Roman Religious Mask - Bath - History

England looked very different 1,600 years ago when the Anglo-Saxons came to our shores.

Most of England's one million people lived in the countryside where they made a living from farming.

There were many kings, each one ruling over a different area of England.

Why did the Romans abandon England ?

The Romans had invaded England and ruled over England for 400 years. In 410, the Romans left England because their homes in Italy were being attacked by fierce tribes and every soldier was needed.

The people of England were sad when the Romans left because they had no professional soldiers of their own to protect them from the sea-raiders, who were growing bolder in their attacks upon the coast.

The Dark Ages describe the centuries after the end of the Roman rule. It is a time in history we have less evidence from. It is the time in history when the Saxons and Vikings came to Britain.

With the breakdown of Rome's control of Britain it became possible for the Angles, Saxons and Jutes from across the North Sea who had been raiding the coast of Britain for a hundred years to increase their pressure. Instead of raiding and then withdrawing, by about 450 A.D they were beginning to settle here. The invasion consisted of a series of attacks on different parts of the country over a period of years and under a number of leaders.

Two British men fighting a Saxon

The Saxon chieftains Hengist and Horsa led a massive attack on Kent in about the year 455. They marched from Thanet through Faversham to Canterbury and eventually arrived at Aylesford, near Maidstone, where a fierce battle took place.

British man jumping on two Saxons trying to stop the Saxons.

Watch the video: Οι 12 Άθλοι του Αστερίξ Νεα μεταγλώττιση (August 2022).