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Document Details :

Title: Toilets with a View
Subtitle: The Luxurious Toilets of the Emperor Hadrian at his Villa near Tivoli
Author(s): JANSEN, Gemma
Journal: BABESCH
Volume: 82    Issue: 1   Date: 2007   
Pages: 165-181
DOI: 10.2143/BAB.82.1.2020767

Abstract :
An investigation of the many toilets at the villa of the Roman emperor Hadrian, near Tivoli (Italy), both multiseat and single-seat varieties, shows that the emperor preferred to have some privacy in his toilet. The multiseat latrines found there were for servants. For Hadrian himself, his family and especially his guests, the emperor built toilets with space for a single person. These were vast rooms with high ceilings and large windows providing light. They were equipped with sophisticated water systems and very luxurious decorations. A special feature of some of these toilets with large windows was a spectacular view. All toilets are different in shape and decoration, and many have no equal elsewhere in the Roman Empire. It is well-known that the emperor Hadrian loved to entertain and surprise his guests. It looks like his toilets were part of the surprise too.

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