The word sapo, Latin for soap, likely was borrowed from an early Germanic language and is cognate with Latin sebum, "tallow". It first appears in Pliny the Elder's account. Historia Naturalis, which discusses the manufacture of soap from tallow and ashes, but the only use he mentions for it is as a pomade for hair; he mentions rather disapprovingly that the men of the Gauls and Germans were more likely to use it than their female counterparts. Aretaeus of Cappadocia, writing in the first century AD, observes among "Celts, which are men called Gauls, those alkaline substances that are made into balls [. . . ] called soap". The Romans' preferred method of cleaning the body was to massage oil into the skin and then scrape away both the oil and any dirt with a strigil. The Gauls used soap made from animal fat.
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