New book – A Cultural History of Bathing in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium by Michal Zytka, ed. Routledge

This book discusses social, religious and medical attitudes towards bathing in Late Antiquity. It examines the place of bathing in late Roman and early Byzantine society as seen in the literary, historical, and documentary sources from the late antique period. 

The author argues that bathing became one of the most important elements in defining what it meant to be a Roman; indeed, the social and cultural value of bathing in the context of late Roman society more than justified the efforts and expense put into preserving bathing establishments and the associated culture. 

The book contributes a unique perspective to understanding the changes and transformations undergone by the bathing culture of the day, and illustrates the important role played by this culture in contributing to the transitional character of the late antique period. In his examination of the attitudes of medical professionals and laymen alike, and the focus on its recuperative utility, Zytka provides an innovative and detailed approach to bathing.

Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1: Baths and Roman society
  • 2: Baths, bathing and religion
  • 3: Bathing in medicine
  • 4: Final conclusions
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Michal Zytka, having obtained his MA at Lódz University, Poland, continued his research career at Cardiff University where he completed his doctoral thesis. Following a period of freelance editorial and translation work, he is now also pursuing a career in the Civil Service. He is a co-translator and the English language editor of Cereals of Antiquity and early Byzantine times: Wheat and Barley in medical sources (second to seventh century AD), published in the Byzantine Lodziensia series, Lódz 2014, and of the forthcoming The Bulgarian State in 927–969: The Epoch of Tsar Peter I.

More infos on the editor’s website


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