[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
> While searching around ancient public bath links on the net, I came
> across this interesting picture of a Strigil (Could this be the small
> circular item held in a few of the bath scenes in the VMS?) Since I'm at
> work - I can't quote exactly what pages that would be.
That is a good lead! Indeed a bathing utensil of some sort would fit
the context quite well.
(I confess that I had never heard of strigils before.)
Below are some additional strigil images (courtesy of Google). All are
from classical Greek/Roman times; I wonder what bathing utensils were
in use in medieval Europe.
BTW, in several of the Greek images, from vases and statues, the
person holding the strigil also holds in the same hand a sponge and/or
a small amphora (aryabalos), presumably for oil. At least one of the
Voynich nymphs holds a spindle-shaped object; although the details
make it resemble a large flower, it could also be an amphora-like
vessel, possibly miscopied.
An interesting quote:
After the hottest stage of the bath a slave might have the chore
of scraping off the dirt with a strigil. Romans carried the
strigil on a big ring, like a key ring, which also held an oil
flask. Soap was unknown, so they used olive oil instead. Many
other things have been discovered in bath-houses: tweezers,
earpicks and nail-cleaners, as well as fragments of glass which
were once perfume and scented-oil bottles. Seneca lived above a
bath-house in Rome, and he complained of the `shouts, grunts,
slaps... and the screams of those who were having their armpits
plucked'. Seneca also thought that the baths were proof of
society's increasing decadence, and was nostalgic for the `good
old days', when men washed once a week and smelt of the farm and
... The unfortunate Seneca, who had to live above all this
activity, was bothered by the noise: `...the man who likes to sing
in the bath; men who jump into the water with an almighty splash;
and then the cries of "Cakes for sale" and "Hot sausages".'