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N.S. Gill

What Did the Romans Use for Toilet Paper?

By July 28, 2011

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Bank of toilet seats serving both the Roman Arena and the Roman theatre in Merida, Spain. In response to an unrelated blog post, someone asked this question about Roman hygiene. You'll find the answer in this article on Hygiene in Ancient Rome.

Picture from Dan Reynolds showing a bank of toilet seats serving both the Roman Arena and the Roman theatre in Merida, Spain.

Comments

July 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm
(1) historyfanatic says:

To find out what the Romans used for “toilet paper”, one must not be too squeamish. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to be a slave working at the local foricae.

August 2, 2011 at 12:14 am
(2) Skipdallas says:

About the communal sponge: To us today it sounds gross, but at the time it was the height of sanitation. Without paper to waste on that function, a sponge on a stick was a good substitute. Also the diet of Romans was high in fiber, so there was not very much to wipe away. This made cleaning the sponge that much easier. Running water, and a system to carry away the waste of the city was a Godsend. It sure beat digging a trench and covering up every time someone had to relieve themselves.

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