The Frankish settlers in Outremer adopted some of the bathing customs as well. Thus, while men and women bathed jointly in Western Europe, they probably bathed separately (either in separate spaces or at different times) in Outremer, although this is not 100% certain. The crusaders certainly adopted the custom of massages with scented oils stored in lovely glass vessels produced locally.
It wasn't only the bath houses that the Frankish settlers of Outremer inherited from their predecessors. They also inherited Roman aqueducts and sewage systems. The Greeks and Romans (both Ancient and Byzantine) were famous for building very sophisticated and extensive networks for bringing fresh water to the public fountains of their cities, often from many miles away. The Franks followed this example and built a number of their own. Thus while cities dating from the Roman period or earlier had Roman aqueducts that the crusaders merely needed to maintain, the construction of new castles, new towns or water-intensive industry such as sugar plantations, brought forth new aqueducts that clearly date from the crusader period.
|In crusader times, the city of Caesarea was served by no less than three Roman aqueducts.All photo copyrights: www.romanaqueducts.info|
To conclude, there may be a direct link between the hygienic conditions in Outremer and the hot-and-cold running water of Edward III and the Black Prince. The bulk of the crusaders, including Richard the Lionheart and Edward I of England, returned home, and by the time they went home they had probably become fond of the higher standards of hygiene enjoyed by the Frankish settlers -- the very standards that had induced the crusaders to ridicule the native "poulains" initially. (See Clash of Cultures) The large number of crusaders returning particularly to France, Germany and England may, in fact, explain the fact that Western Europe saw a flourishing of "bath house culture" in the 12th - 14th centuries.
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