This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Underfloor heating system in Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Underfloor heating system in Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily
Underfloor heating system in Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily

Remains of the Roman floor heating system – hypocaustum – in the Roman Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily. The floor rested on visible brick pillars (pilae) about 80 cm high, and in the visible space warm air, which was generated by heating in the furnace, was supported. The system was expensive and required constant servicing of slaves; therefore only richer citizens could afford it.

Hypocaustum was used in private villas to heat floors and walls, and in thermal baths.

The pools in which the patients stayed were heated from below. A room called caldarium allowed you to immerse yourself in hot water; in turn, laconium was a dry sauna with a temperature of around 60 degrees Celsius. The Tepidarium was used to relax in warm water. The Roman villa also had a frigidarium, a place with cold water pools where you could refresh yourself.

Tepidarium was probably the first place visited by bathers and it was a kind of introduction to further hot (caldarium) or cold (frigidarium) baths.

It is usually believed that hypocastum was invented by Sergius Orata, although this is not fully confirmed. Vitruvius describes its construction and operation according to the work of Sergius Orat around 25 BCE, adding detailed information on the fuel. It also describes the heat regulation device – a bronze fan in the dome of the ceiling.

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: