The Romans developed sophisticated methods for managing hygiene,
including aqueducts for moving water from one place to another,
sewers for removing used water from baths and runoff from walkways
and roads, and public and private latrines. Through the
archeological record, graffiti, sanitation-related paintings, and
literature, Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow explores this little-known
world of bathrooms and sewers, offering unique insights into Roman
sanitation, engineering, urban planning and development, hygiene,
and public health. Focusing on the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum,
Ostia, and Rome, Koloski-Ostrow's work challenges common
perceptions of Romans' social customs, beliefs about health,
tolerance for filth in their cities, and attitudes toward privacy.
In charting the complex history of sanitary customs from the late
republic to the early empire, Koloski-Ostrow reveals the origins of
waste removal technologies and their implications for urban health,
past and present.