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  • The Naked Christ - Did Christians Visit the Roman Baths?

    The Naked Christ - Did Christians Visit the Roman Baths?


  • #2
    The Naked Christ - Did Christians Visit the Roman Baths?



    • #3
      christ preached to the jews,with a few exceptions' the jews tradtion at time [and still?] was never to be fully nude when bathing[where underwear came from?].when gentiles were invited [peter being the first to receive the command to go to the gentiles] everything changed so to speak,the expression"when in rome---" comes from this time. so very likly early christians did vist the roman baths,since it was the mission of early christians to preach the christ as savior
      not to"put clothes on the heathens". really a lot of this stuff came when king james started the church and we got the kjv bible.the english simply did not bathe,and wore all these clothes to protect their outer garments.geetting windy here so---


      • #4
        Yes Christians visted the Roman Baths. This is very well documented.

        Bishop Sisinnius in 400 AD enjoyed the public baths so much he attended them twice a day. When asked why he went two times a day his reply was because three times a day would be inconvenient. The monk Jovinianus went on record approving ?baths in which men and women bathe?. Jovinianus came under attack after he began to develop a following. Yet with the exception of Jerome the main criticisms were that he did not hold celibacy as a higher calling and that Mary did not stay a virgin.


        • #5
          BTW, there was a very good article some time ago in the Fig Leaf Forum on this. If you don't already subscribe I highly recommend it. calls Fig Leaf Forum "The Foremost Christian Nudist Publication".

          Email subscriptions are free.
          Fig Leaf Forum



          • #6
            Originally posted by tarsus:
            [qb]. . . . really a lot of this stuff came when king james started the church and we got the kjv bible. . . . [/qb]
            Huh? What church did King James start?

            King James authorized a group of scholars to produce a new translation of the Bible, but he didn't start any churches.


            • #7
              I guess I'm just curious....When God commanded the Jewish men of old to be circumsised, as an outward sign to other nations, how can the circumsission be "viewed", if it was under the wraps of a robe?

              DeweyND [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]


              • #8
                Dewey, good question! How can something that is covered up be an "outward sign"? There are a lot of "signs" in the world that advertise, and not one of them is hidden. They have to be seen to be effective and to get their message across.

                If there was a message that God wanted to get across to people by way of circumcision, didn't He mean for people--at least the men--to be nude?


                • #9
                  Dewey and Jon-Marc ...Sure sounds like it to me...Odb [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


                  • #10
                    Actually the Catholic bishops almost universally condemned the baths. In the year 195, Clement of Alexandria said, "The baths are opened promiscuously to men and women. And there they strip for licentious indulgence (for from looking, men get to loving). It is as if their modesty had been washed away in the baths. Those who have not become utterly destitute of modesty shut out strangers."


                    • #11
                      NakedGary?s question was ?Did Christians visit the Roman Baths?? and the answer to that is without a doubt ?Yes?.

                      According to ?Roman Bath Renaissance?, by John Kundert and printed in The Fig Leaf Forum issue 27, ?In 177 AD Christians in Lugdunum and Vienna in Gaul were undergoing persecution. They sent a letter to the churches in Asia and Pyrygia complaining that, among other things, they were not permitted to use the public baths.? In addition, according to Kundert, ?Many public baths bore Christian dedications, an example being: "I, Thomas, [acting] for the sake of all property owners, have given this bath, presenting this memory. What is the name of the bath? Health. Through this entering, Christ has opened for us the bath of healing.""

                      One must wonder if the Church universally condemned the baths why some would have been dedicated to Jesus.

                      Uugru wrote:
                      Actually the Catholic bishops almost universally condemned the baths.
                      While Clement of Alexandria may have been against the baths that doesn?t mean the bishops were universally against them. Again according to Kundert, ?A sense of ambivalence concerning the Roman baths seems to best sum up the attitude of Church leadership after the time of the Bible writers. Little appears to have been written on the subject, and the opinions expressed in what was written varied widely. Little evidence exists that would indicate either substantial support or substantial condemnation of public bathing during the first several centuries of the Church's existence.? He goes on to write, ?There was never anything like a universal ban leveled against public bathing by the Church.?

                      Uugru, do you have a source that states it was universally condemned? I've never seen one and would be interested in reading it.


                      • #12
                        I'd say it is reasonable that Christians used the baths. Of course they were not doing it for naturist motives. It was the way people cleaned themselves. But it was not looked upon favorably by Christian leadership of the time. Cyprian, in the year 250, said, "What of those unmarried women who partonize indecent baths? They who disgracefully look at naked men and are seen naked by men do they not themselves afford enticement to vice?"

                        He also says, "Do we believe that a man is lamenting with his whole heard...who from the first day of his sin daily frequents the bathing places with women?"

                        From the Apostolic Constitutions, year 390, it says, "Women should also avoid that disorderly practice of bathing in the same place with men."

                        Dont get your panties in a bunch over this because it does not condemn mixed nudity, just that of the public baths. John Kundert--is he a Christian--must be equating the use of baths as nudism. But early Christians were not free to do it. There are other writings that show that church baptisms were done nude but that was not in the public baths I do not think.


                        • #13
                          Roman baths were used for five centuries and the behavior of the bathers varied from place to place and varied over the course of time.

                          I am most familiar with Aquae Sulis, the Roman resort in what is now Bath, England. It had a long history before the Romans, but I will save that for another day. The Emperor Claudius commissioned the construction of a public bath there about the year 43 A.D.)

                          Originally (first century A.D.) women and children bathed at separate times, but the restrictions relaxed and everyone bathed together. The baths were not a place of open sexual activity, it was a place for family nudity. It was a shrine to the goddess Minerva as well.

                          The baths had what amounted to a police detachment to supervise behavior there. The regimen of the baths at Aquae Sulis would tend to discourage sexual activity. A quick dip in the icy waters of the frigidarium would calm things down right away.

                          Aquae Sulis was a public bath until the Romans left Britain and the baths were abandoned in the social chaos of the dark ages.

                          It was not until the 300's that body shame became rampant in the Christian community.

                          Clement was from Alexandria Egypt, a man of patrician citizenship in a city where many Christians were found among the aristocracy. His remarks about the baths should not be universally applied. He obviously criticized licentious behavior at the baths in Alexandria, but he was not a Stoic and he did not say that Christians should not go to the public baths, merely use them in moderation and modesty.
                          It would be unfair to characterize all Roman baths as licentious throughout their entire history.


                          • #14
                            Dont get your panties in a bunch over this because it does not condemn mixed nudity, just that of the public baths.
                            First, a simple disagreement is not the same as getting my "panties in a bunch". I simply expanded on my position and asked for sources to support yours.

                            Second, I never said that the baths had anything to do with supporting modern mixed nudity. Whether the Early Church did or didn't advocate the baths is simply a historical curiosity. IMHO, it has no "baring" [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] on whether social nudism is morally acceptable.

                            John Kundert--is he a Christian--must be equating the use of baths as nudism.
                            John Kundert is indeed a Christian and is the editor of the Fig Leaf Forum.
                            Fig Leaf Forum Web Site

                            Trailscout, you made very good points your post.


                            • #15
                              All good points. Are you saying that Clement's views were not relevant? What about the other examples I provided?