Although considered by some to be an effete and degenerate practice, “an hote bath of swete watre” presented medieval bathers with the opportunity to clean and preen themselves, while medicinal baths were also prescribed to treat the symptoms and ease the pains of the sick. Manuscripts list when and with whom baths might be taken, and give details of the most effective herbs and potions to be added to the water. The rich might bathe in marble or stone baths. More commonly, portable wooden tubs were used.


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