How Ancient Greek Hygiene Was Similar To And Different From Today

…And Large, Public Bath Houses

Mosaics decorate the floor of ancient Greek public baths.
DeAgostini/Getty Images
DeAgostini/Getty Images

Some of the oldest ancient Greek archaeological sites are bathhouses. The Greeks created special chambers for bathing, and they adopted washing bins and foot baths from the Minoans. Baths were often large enough to accommodate multiple people.

Many Greek baths were public, placed next to gymnasiums, pools, or sports arenas. Some bathhouses were separated by sex; others weren’t. However, Plutarch mentioned many smaller, private bathhouses throughout Greece. According to Homer, the Greeks would often offer their baths as an act of hospitality.