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 p532  Thermae Suranae

Article on pp532‑533 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Thermae Suranae: baths on the Aventine in Region XIII (Not. Cur. Reg. XIII and Append.), which were built by Licinius Sura, the fellow-countryman and friend of Trajan (Cass. Dio LXVIII.15: ὂστις ἐς τοῦτο καὶ πλούτου καὶ αὐχήματος ἀφίκετο ὤστε καὶ γυμνάσιον Ῥωμαίοις οἰκοδομῆσαι, if γυμνάσιον here means thermae;1 cf. Thermae Commodianae), or by Trajan himself and dedicated in the name of his friend (Vict. Caes. 13; Epit. 13). This establishment is represented on fragments of the Marble Plan (FUR 41, 258, 329, 387; Atti del Congresso storico i.49), and its site is thereby identified with that of the modern restaurant of the Castello dei Cesari, just north of S. Prisca, where some remains have  p533 been found and a fragmentary inscription (CIL VI.1703) recording the restoration of a cella tepidaria by Caecina Decius Acinatius Albinus, praefectus urbi in 414 A.D. (cf., however, Merlin 433, who makes this inscription refer to the thermae Decianae). A previous restoration by the third Gordian is proved by the discovery in 1920 in S. Sabina of part of a marble block, probably the architrave over a door, with a fragmentary inscription — Imp. Caes. Marcus Antoniusº Gordianus Augustus Balneum Surae ornandum curavit — in which this restoration of the text seems justified, especially when compared with a passage from Hist. Aug. Gord. 32.5: Opera Gordiani Romae nulla extant praeter quaedam nymphia et balneas. sed balneae privatis hominibus fuerunt et ab eo in usum privatum exornatae sunt (NS 1920, 141‑142). This Sura had a house on the Aventine, presumably close to the thermae (Mart. VI.64.12‑13), or perhaps converted into them by Trajan (but see RE XIII.481‑2). The latter are not mentioned after the fourth century (HJ 156‑157; Merlin 314‑316 and older literature cited; cf. BC 1914, 348, for the Renaissance conjecture Varianae for Severianae).

The Authors' Note:

1 Cf. lxix.4, and see Gymnasium Neronis, Thermae Agrippae.

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Page updated: 6 Dec 04