Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

Throughout the Roman Empire, citizens answered the call of nature in multi-seat public toilets. By the second century B.C.E. public latrines had become common in Roman cities, and they soon became remarkably standardized; the second-century C.E. latrine at Ephesus (on Anatolia’s Aegean coast), for example, is almost identical in design to the early second-century C.E. example from Rome’s port city of Ostia. The benches of Roman latrines were made of wood, stone or marble, and the apertures led to sewer lines that flushed away the waste.