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Apodyterium of the old baths at Pompeii.
Apodyterium at Bilbilis, abandoned second century CE.

In ancient Rome, the apodyterium (from Ancient Greek: ἀποδυτήριον "undressing room") was the primary entry in the public baths, composed of a large changing room with cubicles or shelves where citizens could store clothing and other belongings while bathing.[1] Privately owned slaves, or one hired at the baths, called a capsarius, would look after belongings while citizens enjoyed the pleasures of the baths. A contemporary Roman schoolbook quotes a wealthy young Roman schoolboy who entered the baths, leaving his slave behind in the apodyterium: "Do not fall asleep, on account of the thieves." (ne addormias propter fures, CGL 3.651.10)

This was used in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee.


  • Fagan, Garrett G. (2002). Bathing in Public in the Roman World. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472088652. 

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