While I was doing houseworks I thought:
"Pavimentum et quoque latrina sordidi sunt" XD
This course is so precious!
Sordidus also mean very vile (figuratively: dirty), like the English sordid and the French sordide, where it comes from. Sordere : to be dirty, shaddy.
Sordido in loco sedere (as a locution), means to poop!
= literally, to sit (sedere) in a dirty place (in loco sordido).
Not really hygienic.
Possibly both, as Roman public loos were usually communal and open!
AFAIK, a Roman loo had a raised stone channel, with wooden boards covering the top. The boards had holes at about arms' length distance. You therefore entered a room, greeted the seated, stepped up to the bench and sat down, and chatted(?) to your neighbors. You used a sort of sponge on stick instead of paper, IIRC. When the job was finished, there was either a flow of water in another channel below, or a large tub of standing water, and a scoop: you used the water to rinse away 'the dirty poop sitting in the latrine', so that it flowed under the other sitters, without disturbing their contemplations, so presenting a clean seat for the next user, with no dirty poop staring back as they gazed down the hole.
For two thousand years ago, a fairly sophisticated, hygienic, and environmentally-sustainable system, you might agree. Well, unless you are the slave with your day-job at the lower end of larger channel...
But, to be fair, somebody has to do something fairly similar today, with the 'fatbergs' clogging modern sewers: at least the Romans didn't pour congealing animal-fats and non-biodegradable wet-wipes into their sewers, so the cleaning task then may actually have been easier.
Please pitch in, if anyone disagrees with the essential details, or -even better - has a photo of a Roman latrine...
Seemed a kind of social activity...(the modern lady is not part of the picture)
PERCE, That picture on the top looks like a fancy latrine! The older latrines at Ft Leonard Wood were similar, long wood plank with holes, only the holes were way too close! Like thigh touching other persons thigh close. It didnt have that fancy 'flush' system though. The whole rickety 'building' would be set over a big hole in ground. Thanks for sharing those interesting historical pictures!
In Trento in northern Italy (I go there 3-4 months a year; I am there now, in fact), there is an underground museum of the remains of the old Roman city, then called "Tridentium". In one part, you see the remains of the toilet, but it is actually inside a private residence, not a communal area. So, at least some people had indoor, private toilets during the Roman era. Also indoor plumbing and heating. Lead pipes though!
I remember well a stay on a farm somewhere near Arras in northern France in the late 1970s. There was a communal toilet (with just two seats, side by side) in an outhouse. Very well kept, though. No manky bogs here! And definitely not to be confused with a transatlantic bathless bathroom.
When I was young the relief facility for most people around was in a separate stone building as far from the house as possible. This was called the lav(atory), though it had nowhere to wash your hands. In the 40s the sit-upon was a ceramic bowl with a water tank over and a chain to pull. The water dropped up to a metre and a half and was very effective. Mum would call out as you returned, "Did you remember to pull the chain? When these terrace houses were built, in the late 1800s, they were much like the Roman country latrines, just a seat with a pit below. Access from a back street or a passage through the terrace from the street allowed the night soil-carts to clear these pits out once or twice a week. Public sewers were a novelty to my parents, as were fixed baths and hot water systems. In many parts of our world they are yet to arrive. "Bathroom" (with no bath) is a euphemism very akin to our "lavatory" with no handwash. A crude reference to an overweight person being "built like a brick ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤" shows that some people did not go for euphemism.
I think the reference is to Americans calling toilets (the rooms) bathrooms despite there being no bathing facilities there. Those of us from the other side of the Atlantic would normally only call it a bathroom if it had a bath in it. (Whether a shower cubicle counts is a matter of debate.)