Scholastica Baths

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These baths were originally built in the 1st century AD then restored in the 4th century AD with stones brought from the Prytaneion.  The restoration was funded by a Christian lady called Scholastica. Her statues still sits on the left of the eastern entrance, though the head of the statue has not yet been found.

Baths were used to socialize and discussion while bathing was highly valued in Roman culture. This custom was continued during the Byzantine era and reached its height when the Turks arrived. The Scolastica Baths were the largest ones in Ephesus. These baths could house a thousand customers and contained a library and entertainment rooms along with public bathing areas. Private rooms were available if visitors wished to stay for several days. The second floor would have been used as a salon offering massage therapy and therapeutic scrubs. Romans used olive oil massages then drew the oil off of the skin using a curved iron instrument called a strigilis.

An L-shapped dressing room with ten cabins is visible from the entrance. This was known as an apodyterium. The rich would leave their valuables in these cabins while they relaxed in the bathes. These items would be looked after by slaves.

The bath is built in typical Roman style with a cold pool, a tepid pool and a hot pool. The round pool used in the frigidarium was overlaid in white marble. It can still be viewed today. Water and steam arrived through a series of clay pipes buried below the structure or built into the walls. Slaves would have kept the furnaces burning to ensure the water was the proper temperature in each room.

When initially constructed the baths would have had three stories. The original structure boasted three entrances, two of which would have been public access. One led in from Curetes street and the second from a smaller street which crossed Curetes. Today only the ground floor and the arch of the third floor can be seen. The upper two stories have collapsed.

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