The Ancient Baths
Inferences (1 of 3)
Julissa Mendez, Darren Peterson & Erna Schas
Ital333, Prof. Barbara
Nucci, March 1999
Baiae, named after
Baios, the navigator
of Odysseus who died near the shores of Baiae, is now largely under the
sea. The city is located in the Campania region of southern Italy,
on a hillside, towards the western end of the Bay of Naples. Once,
it was one of the most luxurious and fashionable resort areas in the Roman
Empire. Prominent members of the Roman aristocracy, such as Julius
Caesar, Nero and Gaius, had villas built there.(Guido
Events in Italy
BC - 1300 AD
AD - 1998 AD
| Some of the most notable events in Roman history
occurred in Baiae; Nero murdered his mother Agrippina, Hadrian died
there in 138 AD, Gaius, better known as Caligula, built his famous bridge
of boats and Claudius built a great villa for his wife, Messalina.
It is said that
Cleopatra was staying in Baiae at the time of Julius Caesar’s death
in 44 BC. It was Baiae’s mild climate, attractive surroundings
and medicinal springs that attracted some of the most important names in
Roman society.(Blanchard 186)
|| Today little remains of the thermal establishments,
terraces, promenades and porticoed gardens. What does remain can
be seen at the Archaeological Park of Baia. In order to better understand
the history of this ancient city, we decided to visit the archaeological
What is now known as the villa of the "Ambulatio"
is the first complex we encountered as we began our tour of the archaeological
park. The villa of the "Ambulatio", which dates back to the
end of the 2nd century BC, gives a general idea of what a typical Roman
Villa might have looked like. The "Ambulatio" was intended for leisurely
walks, reading, and to serve as a retreat for its wealthy owners.
Along the portico, we found numerous architectural fragments that have
been brought up from the waters of the port of Baia.
We noticed along the fourth terrace two parallel
corridors and the original wall which were the foundation of the villa.
The parallel corridors lead to a series of rooms that have been interpreted
as servants’ quarters. The wall that is the basis of the villa, visible
along the western side, is made up of an architectural facade with blind
arches and semi columns.
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