The Story of Roman Bath

The Story of Roman Bath

by Patricia Southern




When the Romans built the bath-and-temple complex of Bath in the late first century AD, they called the place Aquae Sulis, the waters of Sulis, a British deity who was equated with the Roman goddess Minerva. It was unlike any other town in Roman Britain, and it had no specific town status, compared to nearby Cirencester, which was a chartered town set up as a tribal administrative centre. All classes of people came to Aquae Sulis, to visit the temple of Sulis Minerva, the hot springs and the Great Bath. Soldiers on sick leave came to convalesce; Romans, Britons and slaves recorded their visits on various inscriptions since discovered during archaeological excavations. Gaius Calpurnius Receptus, a priest, was commemorated by his widow; Priscus, a stonemason from Chartres in Gaul, may have repaired some of the buildings; Vettius Romulus and his wife mourned the loss of their three-year-old daughter, Successa Petronia.Following the Romans’ departure, from the fifth and sixth centuries the rise of Christianity ultimately caused the decline of pagan worship, and as the old gods were neglected, so were the buildings of Aquae Sulis, which disappeared under an accumulation of silt and mud. The baths and the temple of Sulis Minerva were rediscovered in the eighteenth century and the Roman baths that we see today were rebuilt by the Victorians. Patricia Southern’s history charts the rise and fall of Roman Bath and examines the baths as they are today, part of a major World Heritage Site.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781445643793
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Patricia Southern is an acknowledged expert the history of ancient Rome. Her interest began very early, fostered by books and the wonderful epic films that they don't make any more. This obsession with the Romans has never waned, so whilst working full time as a librarian she studied for a BA degree in Ancient History with the external department of the University of London, and for an MPhil in Roman Frontier Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she was Librarian of the Archaeology Department for many years. She has written many books on Roman history and contributed numerous articles on Roman history to the BBC History website and the academic Roman studies journal Britannia.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

1 Bath Before the Romans 8

2 The Romans Arrive 25

3 Bath Begins 58

4 Bath Flourishes 97

5 Bath People 141

6 Bath Declines & Revives 194

Notes 220

Bibliography & Further Reading 223

Index 237

Customer Reviews