(From to cast away, and grief). This word properly signifies the hot bath only; and under this head we shall consider only the general and partial warm baths, referring for cold bathing to the article Bathing, q. v.
In Greece and Rome the baths were of considerable importance both in preserving and restoring health; nor can the practical regulations of the ancient physicians be properly understood, without a description of the different parts of their apparatus. It was reduced to a system; and its effects must necessarily be more powerful than the simpler mode in which warm bathing is now practised.
The baths consisted of four parts, (Galen, Methodus Medendi, lib. x. cap. 10). In the first, the person was gradually heated in hot air until a sweat was produced; and generally at this time anointed and rubbed. The apartment was called laconicum; the operation assa, and assae sudationes. When the baths were more simple, they had one hot room, or stove only, which was round, and covered with an hemispherical roof, (Vitru-vius, v. 10). Others had two rooms, the tepidariumand caldarium; and many three, which were placed in succession. The first was used as a dressing room, apody-terium, when there were more than one stove.
The hot rooms were heated from a stove underneath, by means of flues carried round within the walls. From the hot bath, which was adjoining the hottest room, the floors declined, that the water thrown over the side might cover each room, and keep the air full of warm vapour.
After the sudae sudationes, they went into the hot bath; then into a warm one; and gradually into a cooler. The first two were called also caldarium and tepidarium; but there was a third part called frigida-rium. The patient commonly sat on a low seat, called the solium, with the legs, and sometimes the thighs, covered with water. At the same time the servants poured the water from pitchers or urns on the heads. If any part was particularly affected, a larger quantity of water was thrown on it. This mode of using the bath is preserved in various antiques and bas reliefs, as well as in the descriptions of Galen. Sometimes they were anointed during this period, and returned again to the bath. After bathing in the cooler water they were rubbed with cloths, and gradually-accustomed themselves to meet the cooler air of the atmosphere by a short stay in the frigidarium. The curious reader may find in Galen (Method. Medendi, i. 4. and x. 10), a particular description of the management of the bath, in disorders of the head, and in hectic fevers.
The term frigidarium implied comparative cold only, for the stove was continued under this part of the bath also. Vitruvius expressly orders three cauldrons to be placed in the furnace, in such situations that the water may fall from the frigidarium into the tepidarium, and from the latter into the caldarium. The hearth also was lowest at the praefurnium, and gradually ascended under the caldarium, tepidarium,and frigidarium, for the purpose of keeping the fuel under the first, and that its effects might extend with diminished power through the whole cavity. Not only from its situation, but from the continuance of the sweat after bathing in the cooler water, which was expected (see Galen 1. c), it may be concluded that the chill of the water was taken off in the frigidarium, and that the term, as we have said, was comparative only. Avicenna, the implicit follower of Galen, gives a particular caution, ne aqua multum frigida: imo ut sit temperata, (lib. 1. canon. fen. 3. doct. 2. cap. 6). In the baths, built rather for pleasure than for medicinal purposes, the water in the frigidarium seems to have been quite cold; and it certainly must have been so in the baths described by the younger Pliny, lib. v. epist. 6.
In Baccius de Thermis, and Mercurialis de Arte ' Gymnastica, balnea pensilia are mentioned; and physicians have been greatly divided respecting the meaning of a term which would seem to imply that some exercise was occasionally employed during bathing. We find however in Vitruvius, that any buildings supported by pillars were called edificia suspensa; and before the more complicated construction just described was introduced, in the time of Sergius Orata, the co-temporary of Crassus the orator, about 700 years ab urbe condita (Valerius Maximus Memorabil. ix. 1.), the water was probably heated in common vessels; and the baths, supported by these pillars, then acquired the name of balnea pensilia. There is a remarkable passage in Pliny's Natural History which seems to support this idea. He is speaking of the rude method of exciting sweating previous to the time of Asclepiades, by clothes, the sun, or large fires, and adds, that the baths which he introduced were infinitely luxurious, and received with the greatest avidity: "lmo vero toti Italiae imperatrici, turn primum pensilium balnearum usu, in infinitum blandiente." Again, "Balneas avi-dissima hominum cupiditate instituit."seneca supposes the invention to have been first known in his time, but he unites the suspensuras balnearum and im-pressos per parietes tubos,(sencc. epist. xc). Vitruvius, also, in his directions for the hearth of the stoves, adds a reason,"quo facilius flamma pervagaretursub suspen-sione."it is singular that Baccius and Mercurialis should have supposed that these balnea pensilia were suspended by ropes. We find no instance in the ancient physicians of the management of exercise during bathing, and the words of Valerius Maximus, in the passage formerly quoted, are almost decisive. "Balnea pensilia Orata primus facere instituit; que impensalevi-bus initiis capta, ad suspensa aquae calidae tantum non aequora penetravit. "What ropes could support such oceans of hot water?
The whole of this arrangement appears to be very judicious. We are not acquainted with the degrees of heat employed, as the ancients had no instruments to measure it. There is reason however, from the effects, to think it considerable; and when people are used to bathing, the extremes of heat constitute the luxury. In general, the bath consisted of vapour only, since the water was only occasionally and partially poured on; and we know that the degrees of heat that can be borne either in hot air or in vapour are very considerable. M. Tillett's experiment on the heat endured by a girl in a hot oven, and the heat which Dr. Fordyce and his companions experienced in their hot rooms, were almost incredible. See Heat.