Sunday, February 18


The Roman city of Bath was known throughout the ancient world, by virtue of it being endowed with an impressive complex of baths, built around the prodigious natural hot springs (the only natural geothermal ones in Britain.)

The baths were dedicated to the goddess Minerva Sulis, and the most sought-after R&R place in Roman Britain -- surrounded by country villas as well as temples of healing and worship. The waters from its spring were believed to be a cure for many ancient and medieval afflictions. As late as the 1770s, we find personages like 'Baron' Clive 'of Plassey' going to Bath to take the hot water cures.

Bath was a major focus in the Roman road system and was also served by the sea-port of Abona (Sea Mills) i.e. the mouth of the River Avon.

In the early second century Ptolemy's Geography attributed three towns to the Belgae tribes of Avon and Hampshire, one of which was named Aquae Calidae Sulis or The Hot waters of (Minerva) Sulis -- which in Britain can be nowt else but Bath. Ptolemy also mentions the capital Venta (Winchester) and the hitherto unknown town of Iscalis.

Bath and its temple-spa were sacked by the Saxons once the Romans withdrew in the 400s.

The bust is that of Minerva, found in the 1700s by workmen digging near the Roman ruins; the stone carving of Gorgon was at the pediment of the temple to Sulis; the spring source can also be seen 4th from top.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Romans invaded Bath, destroyed, and stole everything. From the Bath family. They never withdrew, and didn't stop conquering till making the United Kingdom.

8:48 AM  

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