History of Bathing

The Timeless Tradition of Bathing - A Journey Through History

Bathing: a practice as ancient as civilisation itself, has woven its way through the tapestry of human history, offering insights into the cultures, innovations, and personal habits of societies across the globe. From the steamy onsens of Japan to the sprawling bathhouses of Rome, the act of bathing has evolved to embody relaxation, healing, and even social status. Let's embark on a journey through the rich history of bathing and uncover why this revered tradition continues to play a crucial role in our lives today.

The Dawn of Bathing in Ancient Greece

The legacy of bathing begins in Ancient Greece, a society that placed immense value on cleanliness and physical fitness. The epic poet Homer, often hailed as the pioneer of the Western canon, is credited with the first recorded mention of a stone bath. His works, sprinkled with references to bathing, highlight its significance in Greek culture. The Spartans, renowned for their rigorous training and martial prowess, were among the first Greeks to incorporate regular bathing into their routine, recognising its essential role in hygiene and relaxation after the toils of war and exercise.

The Bathing Revolution in Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome took the tradition of bathing to unprecedented heights, integrating it into the very fabric of Roman life. The advent of aqueducts, an engineering marvel, facilitated the widespread availability of running water, paving the way for the construction of over 900 public baths by 300AD. These bathhouses were more than mere places for cleanliness; they served as vibrant social hubs, where Romans of all classes mingled, engaged in political discourse, and indulged in leisure. The Baths of Diocletian, capable of accommodating 3,000 people, stand as a testament to the grandeur of Roman bathing culture.

    History of Bathing: Romans

    The Spiritual Essence of Bathing in Japan

    Japan’s bathing culture, deeply influenced by Buddhism's emphasis on purity and cleanliness, offers a unique perspective on the ritualistic and communal aspects of bathing. Initially a practice reserved for Buddhist monks, it soon extended to the public, evolving into a revered tradition. Japanese bathhouses, or sentō, emphasise the importance of washing before entering the communal bath, ensuring both physical and spiritual cleanliness. The country's natural hot springs, or onsens, provide a serene escape, embodying Japan's profound connection to nature and the divine pleasure of bathing, encapsulated in the expression "Gokuraku, gokuraku."

      History of Bathing: Japan

      Bathing in Modern Times: A Reflection of Historical Greatness

      Today, the act of bathing transcends mere cleanliness, embodying a sanctuary for thought, rejuvenation, and holistic healing. The historical journey of bathing from ancient civilisations to our modern-day rituals reveals its enduring significance. It's a testament to bathing's universal appeal and its power to soothe the mind, heal the body, and invigorate the soul.

      In embracing the rich history of bathing, we connect with the ancients—be it the intellectual pursuits of the Greeks, the communal spirit of the Romans, or the spiritual cleanliness of the Japanese. Let this ancient tradition inspire you to rediscover the joys of bathing, not just as a routine but as a pathway to wellness and a deeper connection with the past.

      And for those looking to elevate their bathing experience, consider incorporating luxurious soaks and salts into your routine. These modern-day amenities pay homage to the ancient traditions, offering a contemporary twist on the timeless art of bathing. Engage with history, embrace tradition, and transform your bath into a haven of relaxation and renewal.


      The history of bathing is a fascinating journey through time, reflecting the evolution of human civilisation, culture, and wellness practices. As we continue to explore and integrate these ancient traditions into our modern lives, we not only pay homage to our ancestors but also rediscover the profound benefits of this timeless practice. So, take a moment to indulge in the art of bathing—a simple act that connects us to the past, nourishes the soul, and rejuvenates the body in the present.