Medieval people bathed

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…and as a result London got Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s sewage system in 1865. Here is the Crossness Pumping Station, where the main engine for pumping sewage was named ‘The Prince Consort’ after Queen V’s hubby, Albert…

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So OK, clearly, fucking clearly medieval people bathed and were clean and into it. So why am I telling you all of this? Well the idea that medieval people didn’t bathe is a persistent myth that some basics on twitter will come at me with at least once a week. Why is that?

Who fucking knows.

Yes. Called ‘culo couplets’.

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I’m bathing right now!

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The real question is, did they remember to wash behind their ears?

I’m looking at you, Hildegard of Bingen!

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Before the dark ages…

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That was … somewhat surreal.

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Basead on a japanese comic book. So, surrealism is expected.

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and yet another:

this was just for regular ass people.

all of which ‘insists upon’ an xkcd reference

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I blame, lately, Bill Bryson:

There’s a whole chapter devoted to bathing and not bathing.

At Home Key Idea #5: Ancient Romans loved taking baths, but medieval thinkers thought dirt brought you closer to God.

A bath can either be a cozy, soothing retreat from the stresses of life or a time-consuming, albeit necessary, hygienic measure. Yet taking a bath today is nothing like it was in ancient Rome.

Many Romans delighted in spending time in grand bathing halls, a practice that was a lifestyle choice for socializing and not just a necessary habit to keep clean.

Bathing was so much a part of everyday life that some ancient Roman bath houses even had libraries, barbers, tennis courts and brothels.

Importantly, bathing wasn’t just an indulgence of the rich and famous but a pastime that was accessible to people of all classes.

Such a social tradition, however, didn’t last. Many early Christians thought that an unwashed man was a holy man.

It was no accident that in 1170, the undergarments of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, were discovered full of lice on his deathbed. English monk Godric became a saint after making a pilgrimage from England to Jerusalem without taking a single bath.

Events would further solidify medieval society’s aversion to bathing. The bubonic plague, which began around 1350, eventually raised awareness of the benefits of good hygiene – yet at the time, people hadn’t made the connection between hygiene and disease.

Learned men pondered the scourge, wondering how to stop the spread of deadly disease. Yet they concluded that bathing was bad , as a hot bath opens up the pores on a person’s skin, making the body susceptible to infection.

So for hundreds of years, bathing was synonymous with disease. People felt much “safer” covered in sweat and dirt, as their pores would remain closed and illness would stay at bay. Skin rashes and persistent itching were just a part of life…
(source: https://conscioused.org/books/at-home-bill-bryson-review-summary )

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This tv show have some poignant and thoughtful episodes about hygiene in ancient times.

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ass-people:

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The third one doesn’t bathe, the fourth does, but in what?

In ass? Perhaps he bathes in ass.

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Please tell me that other pumping stations have names like Grumpiness and Irritability.

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Medieval people bathed, yes - and enjoyed being clean. What I read, though, was that lasted until the Church shut down the public bath houses because people also had sex there. After that - no, people weren’t as clean.

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The tears of the libs, duh.

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medieval people bathed MOM so in order to be modern i must not take a bath nononono

I think the crux of the issue is the definition of “bathing regularly”. To us, that would mean bathing daily. But that is very recent. My grandfather, who grew up in the early 20th century on a farm took a bath once a week, as bathing meant heating water on a stove and pouring it into a tub. Without hot running water, bathing was not very convenient. Sure, maybe medieval people living in cities would have access to bathhouses where the water was heated for them, but the majority of people would be rural and would find bathing at least as inconvenient as my grandfather did.

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