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Without the Banya We Would Perish – A History of the Russian Bathhouse - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Without the Banya We Would Perish: A History of the Russian Bathhouse

Ethan Pollock


The story of the pervasive and resilient Russian bathhouse (banya) offers new perspectives on the evolution of Russian identity, conceptions of health and hygiene, and forms of community, sexuality, and sociability. The meanings that have formed around the banya over its thousand-year history make it a unique prism through which to understand the effects of broad social, economic, and political changes on the everyday lives of Russians and to understand how Russians have seemed at times barbaric and at times enlightened to outsiders. Sources ranging from the earliest recorded Russian chronicle ... More

Keywords: banya, bania, steam bath, history of Russia, hygiene, health, violence, sex, Soviet everyday life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780195395488
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780195395488.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ethan Pollock, author
Associate Professor of History and Slavic Studies, Brown University