The Baths at Bath

The same day we went to Stonehenge, we went to the city of Bath. Bath, a resort city in the English countryside for several hundred years, was, about 2000 years ago, a major Roman center where, among other things, there were (and are) active hot springs that provide mineral waters which are viewed as medicinal. And the Romans built public baths there, which is something they were very fond of doing wherever they established themselves. The baths at Bath were special, however, in that they were fed by natural hot springs and not fueled by fire, as was the normal thing for Roman bath houses. More about all of that in the next couple of days, because it is going to take me a couple of days, or so, to publish all of the photos I want to put up about Bath. So first, I want to show you some interesting stuff 'around' the baths; things that stuck out and struck me, for one reason or another.

This wall is a compilation of gravestone carvings that were discovered during the excavations in and around the baths. They are translated and carved into the slab you see suspended in this picture. Click on the photo and pop it out so you can read the inscriptions. Then click your 'BACK' arrow and come back here. These inscriptions are two thousand years old - to me, they 'humanize' the Romans. Suddenly, they aren't so much Romans as they are just people, like you and me.

This next photo is of a mosaic floor, or part of one anyway, found during the excavations of the main bathhouse. 2000 years ago, people walked on that piece of floor, probably wet, leaving wet footprints across it.

This next photo is of the head of the Goddess Minerva. She was found during excavations along the main road into Bath. Actually, she is Sulis-Minerva, and is found nowhere else in the Roman world. The ancient Celts saw the place of the spring as the work of their Goddess Sulis; the Romans identified Sulis with Minerva. Minerva, otherwise, was the virgin Goddess of warriors, poets and medicine. I like a woman that wears many hats.

And this last picture (for today) is something really, really cool. Or warm, depending on your point of view. Can you guess what your looking at?

Those clay tiles supported a 'raised floor', like you would find in a computer room. Into the space under the floor, the Romans forced heated air, thereby warming the floor. Heated floors. How cool is that? Or warm. Depends on your point of view.


Sandy C. said...

I'm speechless at how advanced and innovative everything was 2000 years ago. I would love to see all of this in person :) Truly amazing!

Elizabeth said...

Great pictures! That floor is amazing. I bet it looks more fantastic in person.

Nicole said...

It always amazes me what they did those days.
The art and architecture. Simply awesome!

Veronica said...

I really really like the mosaic. Are they sylised horses in it?

Huckdoll said...

Wow to all of it. Nothing short of stunning.

LceeL said...

Sandy: Yes, exactly so. Amazing. Another of those places I could have spent DAYS exploring.

Elizabeth: Looking at that floor, I can just SEE the wet footprints.

Nicole: I see things like brick walls, and I can't help but see, in my minds eye, someone laying the brick, scraping away the excess mortar, sighting along a plumb line.

Veronica: Those are stylized sea horses.

Huckdoll: I know EXACTLY what you mean.