Roman Baths

Apollo and Quintus

History of Roman Baths

Public baths were a feature of ancient Greek towns but were usually limited to a series of hip-baths. The Romans took the idea to incorporate a variety of facilities and baths that became common in even the smaller towns of the Roman world, where they were often located near the forum. In addition to public baths, wealthy citizens often had their own private baths constructed as a part of their villa and baths were even constructed for the legions of the Roman Army when on campaign. However, it was in the large cities that these complexes (balnea or thermae) took on huge projects with vast colonnades and wide-spanning arches and domes. Baths were built using millions of fireproof terracotta bricks and the finished buildings were usually sumptuous affairs with fine mosaic floors, marble-covered walls, and decorative statues.

Roman Baths

The Roman Baths were massive creations meticulously crafted to please roman society. Generally opening around lunchtime and open until dusk, baths were accessible to all, both rich and poor. In the reign of Diocletian, for example, the entrance fee was a mere two denarii - the smallest denomination of moeny. Sometimes, on occasions such as public holidays, the baths were even free to enter.

Bath of Diocletian

The bath of Diocletian was made as a brick structure with a beautiful mosaic flooring. It was made with marble and pink granite. It was the biggest of Baths in Rome. It was also built and dedicated to Diocletian in the year 306. This bath takes up 120,000 square meters in total and the central hall was 280 by 160 meters. Diocletian consisted of many rooms like the Frigidarium, which was the swimming pool area that was used to cool down from the hot baths, or a place for meetings. After many years, the baths of Diocletian is still partially standing. A good modern counterpart for these baths would be a Recreational Center or a gym. I say this because at a rec center people take baths, swim in pools, workout, and gather for a community. Just like they would in a bath.

Bath of Caracella

The baths of Caracella differs slightly from Diocletian, being the second largest Bath in Rome while Diocletian is the largest. It was built in 212 AD and named after the Emperor Caracella who reigned in 216. The type of structure is called "Thermae" and is surprisingly still standing today. It also consisted of many different rooms filled with hot rooms and cool rooms and could hold a little bit less than 3,000 people.


Baths of diocletian. Digital image.

Http://, n.d. Web. 7 May 2015.

Carpiceci, Alberto Carlo. Rome 2000 Years Ago. Firenze: Bonechi-Edizioni "Il Tourismo", 1981. Print.

Diagram acient roman baths. Digital image., n.d. Web. 7 May 2015.

Hypocaust under the floor in a Roman villa in Vieux-la-Romaine, near Caen, France. Digital image., n.d. Web. 7 May 2015.

Roman baths of caracalla. Digital image., n.d. Web. 7 May 2015.