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Stink and dirt in ancient Rome

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman military latrine
Roman military latrine

Ancient Rome is known for beautiful villas and majestic buildings in which the elite of the country lived. Most, however, of Roman society lived in small apartments, single rooms or apartments without any facilities. They collected water from public wells or fountains fed by aqueducts. Certainly no water was taken from the rivers, as they were aware of their strong pollution.

Of course, hygiene in Rome could raise many objections, as (especially in multi-storey residential buildings) there were no passages and impurities were poured straight onto the streets. There was even a law that for pouring the excrements on passers was inputting a penalty.
It was similar to garbage. For the most part, all waste was collected in streets between buildings, which sometimes resulted in numerous congestion. For washing the body, Romans went to public or paid baths. As there were no urban cleaning services, the area was certainly filled with uninteresting scent, and to make matters worse, the dogs and cats that were spread caused numerous illnesses.

Sometimes the apartments had latrines, but as a rule they were located next to the kitchen annex, which naturally caused the transfer of microorganisms to the food they eat.

  • Connolly Peter, Dodge Hazel, Antyczne Miasta
  • Juwenal, Satire, 3

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