Tuesday, March 28, 2017

EMPEROR NERO'S TOILET

The latrine inside Villa Poppaea, an opulent Roman villa owned by the Emperor Nero in the Roman town of Oplontis, is fairly large, there would have been room for several seats around the U-shaped space.
It's the classic Greco-Roman design as seen at Ephesus and elsewhere — a fairly deep waste channel against a wall, a raised seating surface (apparently of wood or otherwise not surviving today), and a low water channel for washing flowing past the users' feet. 
Europeans didn't have toilet paper until recently. The Romans, at least the higher classes and certainly Nero, used a tersorium, a sponge mounted on a stick. The sponge could be dipped into a water channel running in front of the row of communal toilets in the latrine, and rinsed off in that channel after use. If there was no channel of running water, a bucket of salt water or vinegar water would be used.

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