The Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla
The baths of Caracalla were enormous buildings, with huge frescoed vaults covering the massive rooms. Constructed which began in 212AD and took approximately five year to complete. The original name of the bath was called the Thermae Antoninanae. (power) The baths of Caracalla was a great accomplishment in Greek history and was shown evidentially threw the benefit for the people, novelty and uniqueness and the Architecture.
The baths of Caracalla was a great project who had been all started by Emperor Septimus Severus in 206AD and then was later completed but his son Caracalla and was created because the emperor had a duty to provide entertainment for their people, baths were great for socialization purposes (power). The Roman baths have a long varied past. In early history Romans used baths for health and cleanliness. The baths that most people think of like a tub didn’t come into play until 25BC, with the First Thermae built by Emperor Argippa.
Until then Romans bathed in neighbourhood baths with an average of five bath houses per block. So the baths of Caracalla were nothing new to the people. The Emperor made it only to improve on design, grandeur and popularity of the ones before him. The baths were open sunrise to sunset; most commoners went only once a day. It was normal for an emperor to use it for luxury and bath as many as seven to eight times a day. A common routine for the Romans were; easy exercise in the palaestra, then continue to attend the baths, after anoint themselves in oil and then finish by eating. unknown, The baths of caracalla) The baths of Caracalla severed as the new “ideal” baths for romans; it could hold over 1,600 people and allowed them a new place to go. It contained the grandest and most elaborately decorated buildings, and was also the last major building project undertook in Rome until nearly 100 years later. The baths differed from predecessors by its large scale and its imposing facade, no other bath or building in Rome could compare. Much of its original building is standing, which has been destroyed by an earthquake in 847 .
The bath was built on the outskirts of the southern part of the city, near the Circus Maximus and the imperial palace. (unknown, The baths of caracalla) The baths consisted of a series of massive rooms, over an area of 26 acres. It took on the shape of any normal bath house, it was rectangular and very systematically. (unknown, The baths of caracalla). Rooms that were in the bath were vestibules which acted as a lobby between the interior of the building and outer space.
Apodyterium which were considered the dressing rooms , and was the first stop for bathers before getting in the water , and a slave would commonly stay on watch over belongings. The calidarium was a hot room with a pool of water at a 35m diameter, Tepiberium was considered just a warm room kind of like a sauna we have today. Frigidarium was the cold room and the opening air swimming pool was called the natatio. The outside of the Baths are covered with gardens which included statues and fountains.
Other rooms where the gymnasia and the study room. The building system combined the use of baked brick with concrete called opus caementicium which was a mixture of small pebbles and sand and lime motar. The water for the baths was brought from the springs of Subiaco, 100km from Rome through the aqueducts. It was distributed by tubes, the bath consisted of three network tunnels, for facilities water, sewage and wood which was used in 50 furnaces to heat the water.
The floors were covered with black and white mosaics which can still be seen somewhat today. (Zeballos) Compared today with the baths, everyday you don’t see hundred of men in a bath together, nor with women. Today we have individual baths in our homes. The discussion of policy or philosophy is all done in offices now a day , but back then it was all done by a group of people sitting in a bath together. Generally they were washed by slaves or eunuchs, instead of depending on their selves for their own cleanliness.
Water was a constant for them, because it was always there for them when here now a days we have to pay for our water supply. The baths of Caracalla are looked at by people in a numerous amount of way , now what of left of it after the earthquake, is now a monument to Roman history, its persistence to benefit the people which kept them clean and the beautiful architecture that was done to make this one of the most memorable accomplishment in history today, and the way that its uniqueness and novelty has different from today’s society.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 September 2016
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