Years ago a fellow Latinist told me that singing in the shower is not a new invention. He mentioned some ancient (Roman, I believe) writer mentioning that singing is convenient while bathing due to the echo amplifying and altering the voice. I no longer remember the details, but I would like to locate such a text and verify this singing tradition for myself. So, can anyone point me to a passage in ancient Roman literature about singing while bathing?

  • 1
    I found a 14th century reference to it from Ibn Khaldun, but no luck with classical sources so far...
    – brianpck
    May 6, 2016 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Found one reference!

Petronius, Satyricon, 73

Deinde ut lassatus consedit, invitatus balnei sono diduxit usque ad cameramos ebrium et coepit Menecratis cantica lacerare, sicut illi dicebant, qui linguam eius intellegebant.

He then became tired and sat down, and the echoes of the bathroom encouraged him to open his tipsy jaws to the ceiling and begin to murder Menecrates's songs, as I was told by those who could understand what he said. (Heseltine's translation)

  • Brilliant! This may well be the passage I originally heard of.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 6, 2016 at 20:03

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