Shameless Shitting In Rome

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The Romans came to northern Tunisia for one main reason: to kick the shit out of the Phoenicians who were based in Carthage . They tried three times before completely succeeded. They took over existing towns, which is why these are unusual for Roman towns. The Romans were kind of obsessive in their town planning, all grid fashion and usually built on the flat.

They did like the luxury of a quality toilet, however, and equipped it usually with running water. They were also totally shameless when it came to bodily functions, even in private homes.

Bulla Regia was a semi-underground city, built that way due to the excessive heat in summer and cold in winter. The rooms below ground were always a pleasant temperature; this no doubt added to the pleasure of taking a lengthy dump while chatting to one of your kinfolk.

They even had a smart mosaic floor:

Dougga is another strange town. Built on a hillside, the streets are all higgledy-piggledy, which must have annoyed the crap out of the grid freak Romans. Being quite a large town, it had some communal toilets, but they were single sex ones as far as is known.

This fine example is just a minute`s walk from a massive brothel….maybe for the men, then.

There can`t have been too many fat Romans around, as the bomb bays are damned close together. There was a channel of running water which was used for dipping sticks with cloth tied to them to wipe with – an early form of TP.

Again, there was a large mosaic, which is pretty much gone now, and there would have been frescos on the walls. All those hard surfaces must have made a hell of an echo chamber, what with all the trumpeting going on. Hard to concentrate on what your neighbor was saying, I`d imagine.

There was even a basin for cleaning hands in; it`s very unusual to see one as well preserved as this. At least they cleaned their hands before going down the road for a bit of fun with the sporting ladies.

13 Comments on "Shameless Shitting In Rome"

C Everett Poop's picture
j 1000+ points
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My hawg would get trapped in that 3" wide slot at the front if I tried to sit on that smoker.

pnuttycorn's picture
k 500+ points
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Very interesting. You would have made a good history teacher. Or were you?

But where did the poo go? Water took it somewhere. Maybe like a septic tank like thing?

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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I hope T-Box got bonus points for "higgledy-piggledy"


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Deja Poo's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I wonder whether the walls were higher when originally built. It's a wonderful view of the surrounding terrain, which would certainly make for a serene dumpfest. However, I wonder whether the casual crapper might have been put off by passing throngs who had an equally clear line of sight at the toilets and their seated patrons.
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daphne's picture
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I can't remember where it is in the forums, but your comment reminded me of a certain porta-potty on a mountaintop, Deja. If you take a dump with the door open, the view is of an entire vast valley and mountains surrounding. How cool is that?


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MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Excellent article, splendid pictures; very good historical insight. It is truly amazing that these structures are still in such fine shape. Does anyone still use them?

flushette's picture
l 100+ points
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I bet that room smelled great.


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Rowan's picture
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I grew up in Bath, England, which has an extensive Roman history. As a schoolgirl I did a presentation on Roman "running water" (I just wanted to talk about ancient loos) and when I got to the bit about a communal wiping stick my professor stood up and said "Cheers, Rowan, that'll do." Aah, censorship.

ChiliKahKah's picture
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I think the Romans also created the idea of heated floors.

sittingpretty's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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I thoroughly enjoyed this little history lesson. What does higgledy-piggledy mean? That cut in for the woo woo is large. They must have had big ding dongs in those days.
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Thunderbox's picture
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Pnutty, I`m not patient enough to be a teacher!

Some of the toilets had another water channel below the seats to get rid of the turds, but others were just pits that slaves cleaned out each day.

They would have been proper enclosed rooms, Deja. Maybe small windows or openings higher up to get some air in. There`s shamelessness and there`s exhibitionism!

They also used slaves to stoke the fires that heated the floors. The bathhouses had heated walls as well - clay pipes were built into them to let the hot air through.

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Anonymous Coward's picture
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smelly