chapter  10
Pages 13

The baths came second only to the dinner table as a place of regular social gathering, and the construction of urban baths was a key act of public benefaction. The taste would appear to have been acquired from early Greek practice, with origin in the Greek gymnasium, and developed from mid fourth century BC onwards. The main typological and technical developments took place in central Italy in the period c.100 BC (Fabbricotti 1976). The heated baths remained a central aspect of urban life in the Byzantine east, and outlived the empire to become the Turkish baths of today.