Steam bath, Forum Baths, Pompeii (Unesco World Heritage List, 1997), Campania, Italy, Roman civilization, 1st century BC

Getty Images/DeAgostini

Terme Stabiane


At this typical 2nd-century-BC bathing complex, bathers would enter from the vestibule, stop off in the vaulted apodyterium (changing room), and then pass through to the tepidarium (tepid bath) and caldarium (hot bath). Particularly impressive is the stuccoed vault in the men's changing room, complete with whimsical images of putti (winged babies) and nymphs.

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