Baths & Bathing
The Culture of Cleanliness in Renaissance Italy

The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History

Clean: a history of personal hygiene and purity

Water and Society in Early Medieval Italy, 4001000

Medieval Muck (Smelly Old History)

Keeping Clean (Everyday History)

One tends to think of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as a period in which people never bathed – yet this is not the case. Not only did our ancestors bathe (and probably a bit more often than we give them credit for), but this became a sort of recreational activity in some settings.

There are also many images, such as those depicting the Nativity or the Birth of Mary, which show babies bathed in shallow washtubs.

Some articles on the subject: A Short History of Bathing before 1601; Tubbed and Scrubbed; Bedrooms, Bathing, and what did they do without indoor plumbing?; Cleanliness: Bathing and cleansing of the medieval woman; Medieval Bathing; Bathing and Washing During Medieval Times; and the Florilegium's notes on Roman hygiene, medieval hygiene, and bathing.

Bathing and Personal Hygiene in Ancient India includes several illustrations as well as an abstract on bathing in Karnataka.

What to wear to the bathhouse? Read about The Bohemian Bathhouse Babes from the Wenceslaus Bible and 14th Century Shift: Bohemian Bathhouse Babes Come to Life.