Did the Ancient Romans Have Designated Vomit Rooms?

There is a common misconception that the Ancient Romans created rooms called vomitoria for the sole purpose of vomiting food, which they would do regularly as part of a decadent binge and purge cycle.

In actuality, such a gluttonous practice was never common in Rome, and although vomitoria did exist, they were not used for actual vomiting. Rather, the vomitorium was an entranceway through which crowds entered and exited a stadium.

Behold the decadent vomitorium.

The world vomitorium comes from the Latin verb vomitum, which means “to spew forth” — thus a vomitorium was designed to rapidly spew forth a large number of people. Given the loose application of the word, and the widespread stereotype of Rome as a center of moral decay and debauchery, it’s an understand misconception

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