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Soap
(184 words)

[German version]

Solid soap in the modern sense was unknown in Antiquity. For cleaning their bodies people used pumice, bran, bicarbonate of soda, oil, soda or clay - Cimolian earth was particularly well known (Aristoph. Ran. 712) - and water. The Greeks called these cleaning materials ῥύμμα/rhýmma or σμῆγμα/smêgma (there is no corresponding Latin term). In public bathing facilities washing materials were available on request from attendants (Aristoph. Lys. 377; Ath. 8,351e), or people brought them from home. As with modern soap, ancient wash…

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Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Soap”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 15 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1107030>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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