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Bill Thayer

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Roman Baths

[image ALT: A ruined spherical shell-like building about the size of a large living-room. It is the ruins of part of the Roman baths at Ocriculum, near Otricoli, Umbria (central Italy).]

The remains of the caldarium, probably, of the baths of Ocriculum (Umbria).

[Onsite link]

Balneae: A major article on Roman baths from William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, providing all the basic information: a detailed description of how baths were laid out and how they worked, based mostly on the small Forum Baths of Pompeii and the very large Baths of Caracalla in Rome; with diagrams, plans, and other interesting woodcuts.

[Onsite link]

[ 23 baths, some at great length ]

The Baths of the City of Rome: in-depth articles from Platner & Ashby's Topography of Ancient Rome describe the structures and provide a comprehensive list of primary sources and references in the archaeological literature.

[Onsite link]

In The Roman Era in Britain (1911), John Ward provides a quick survey of Roman baths in the sceptred isle; but much of it is just good general information for the student, applicable anywhere in the Roman world: how a bath was laid out and how it was used.

[Onsite link]

Now this isn't a very long text, but it is the only one we have by a Roman architect on how to build baths, so it surely deserves a place of honor: Vitruvius, Book V, Chapter 10.

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Site updated: 23 Aug 04