It turns out that not everything that was early Roman was cool.One place that probably could have used some improvement was a few of the public toilets.
Photo credit: The Atlantic
We’ve all walked into a neglected gas station bathroom and found ourselves estimating how much longer we could hold it without doing permanent damage, but that fluorescent horror show’s got nothing on the latrines of old. The toilets of ancient Rome were a true test of one’s fecal fortitude, consisting of a stone bench with a rough hole leading to the city’s primitive sewer system. This direct connection meant all manner of vile critters could sink their teeth into the exposed buttocks of an unfortunate bathroom visitor. Worse yet, the methane buildup meant that it was not uncommon for toilets to spontaneously erupt into flame.
To quell this embarrassing epidemic, Romans would scribble images of Fortuna, the goddess of luck, and incantations meant to ward off evil spirits on bathroom walls. Believing laughter also repelled these demons, caricatures of religious figures were used as well, beginning the noble tradition of inappropriate bathroom stall graffiti.
Come to thin of it, some of the early outhouses (or Thunder boxes) were not that far removed from the Roman days, I reckon.
Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?