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THERMAE 100.00%
The name given by the Romans to the public buildings, founded in and after the time of Agrippa, which combined, with warm baths, the arrangements of a Greek gymnasium. These included open and covered colonnades for conversation, instruction, and different exercises, especially the game of ball. The most extensive and splendid establishments of the sort were to be found in Rome, and are still to be seen, though, for the greater part, in ruins. Of the existing remains the most important are those of the Thermoe of Caracalla. (Cp. ARCHITECTURE, fig. 14, p. 56; and see BATHS.)
The Greek name for the place where the youths who had alreadyreat variety of gymnastic exercises, and the increasing inclination of grown men to look on at them and take part in them, the gymnasia often adorned with beautiful sculptures, grow in extent and splendour of equipment. (Seecut.) The great court comprised a number of spaces serving a variety of purposes: for instance, the ephebeion, or hall where the ephebi practised, rooms for dressing and anointing, sanding or dusting the body, cold-water baths and dry sudatoria, spaces for playing at ball, open and covered passages for running, wrestling, or walking. Attached to the colonnades on the outside were semicircular niches, furnished with stone seats, called exedra,. In these philosophers and rhetoricians would sit and talk with their disciples. A stadion, with a space for spectators to look on, and walksplanted with trees, were often attached to the gymnasium. The whole was under the superintendence of a gymnasiarchos. The conduct of the youths was under the supervision of sophronistoe. At Athens these officers were ten in number, and elected annually. The exercises were directed by the gymnastoe. For similar arrangements under the Roman empire see THERMAe.
Architecture of the Etruscans and Romans. In architecture, as well as sculpture, the Romans were long under the influence of the Etruscans, who, though denied the gift of rising to the ideal, united wonderful activity and inventiveness with a passion for covering their buildings with rich ornamental carving. None of their temples have survived, for they built all the upper parts of wood; but many proofs of their activity in building remain, surviving from various ages, in the shape of Tombs and Walls. The latter clearly show how they progressed from piling up polygonal blocks in Cyclopean style to regular courses of squared stone. Here and there a building still shows that the Etruscans originally made vaultings by letting horizontal courses jut over, as in the ancient Greek thesauroi above mentioned; on the other hand, some very old gateways, as at Volterra (fig. 7) and Perugia, exhibit the true Arch of wedge-shaped stones, the invention of which is probably due to Etruscan ingenuity, and from the introduction of which a new and magnificent development of architecture takes its rise. The most imposing monument of ancient Italian arch-building is to be seen in the sewers of Rome laid down in the 6th century B.C. (See CLOACA MAXIMA.) When all other traces of Etruscan influence were being swept away at Rome by the intrusion of Greek forms of art, especially after the Conquest of Greece in the middle of the 2nd century B.C., the Roman architects kept alive in full vigour the Etruscan method of building the arch, which they developed and completed by the inventions of the Cross-Arch (or groined vault) and the Dome. With the Arch, which admits of a bolder and more varied management of spaces, the Romans combined, as a decorative element, the columns of the Greek Orders. Among these their growing love of pomp gave the preference more and more to the Corinthian, adding to it afterwards a still more gorgeous embellishment in what is called the Roman or Composite capital (see ARCHITECTURE, ORDERS OF). Another service rendered by the Romans was the introduction of building in brick (see POTTERY). A more vigorous advance in Roman architecture dates from the opening of the 3rd century B.C., when they began making great military roads and aqueducts. In the first half of the 2nd century they built, on Greek models, the first Basilica, which, besides its practical utility served to embellish the Forum. Soon after the middle of the century, appeared the first of their more ambitious temples in the Greek style. There is simple grandeur in the ruins of the Tabularium, or Record-Office, built B.C. 78 on the slope of the Capitol next the Forum. These are among the few remains of Roman republican architecture; but in the last decades of the Republic simplicity gradually disappeared, and men were eager to display a princely pomp in public and private buildings; witness the first stone theatre erected by Pompey as early as 55 B.C. Then all that went before was eclipsed by the vast works undertaken by Caesar, the Theatre, Amphitheatre, Circus, Basilica Iulia, Forum Caesaris with its Temple to Venus Genetrix. These were finished by Augustus, under whom Roman architecture seems to have reached its culminating point. Augustus, aided bu his son-in-law Agrippa, a man who understood building, not only completed his uncle's plans, but added many magnificent structures--the Forum Augusti with its Temple to Mars Ultor, the Theatre of Marcellus with its Portico of Octavia, the Mansoleum, and others. Augustus could fairly boast that" having found Rome a city of brick, he left it a city of marble." The grandest monument of that age, and one of the loftiest creations of Roman art in general, is the Pantheon (q.v.) built by Agrippa, adjacent to, but not connected with, his Thermae, the first of the many works of that kind in Rome. A still more splendid aspect was imparted to the city by the rebuilding of the Old Town burnt down in Nero's fire, and by the "Golden House" of Nero, a gorgeous pile, the like of which was never seen before, but which was destroyed on the violent death of its creator. Of the luxurious grandeur of private buildings we have ocular proof in the dwelling-houses of Pompeii, a paltry country-town in comparison with Rome. The progress made under the Flavian emperors is evidenced by Vespasian's Amphitheatre (q.v.) known as the Colosseum (figs. 8, 9, 10), the mightiest Roman ruin in the world, by the ruined Thermae, or Baths, of Titus, and by his Triumphal Arch (q.v.), the oldest specimen extant in Rome of this class of monument, itself a creation of the Roman mind (fig. 11). But all previous buildings were surpassed in size and splendour when Trajan's architect Apollodorus of Damascus raised the Forum Traianum with its huge Basilica Ulpia (fig. 12) and the still surviving Column of Trajan. No less extensive were the works of Hadrian, who, besides adorning Athens with many magnificent buildings, bequeathed to Rome a Temple of Venus and Roma, the most colossal of all Roman temples (fig. 13) and his own Mausoleum (q.v.), the core of which is preserved in the Castle of St. Angelo. While the works of the Antonines already show a gradual decline in architectural feeling, the Triumphal Arch of Severus ushers in the period of decay that set in with the 3rd century. In this closing period of Roman rule the buildings grow more and more gigantic, witness the Baths of Caracalla (fig. 14), those of Diocletian, with his palace at Salona (three miles from Spalatro) in Dalmatia, and the Basilica of Constantine breathing the last feeble gasp of ancient life. But outside of Rome and Italy, in every part of the enormous empire to its utmost barbarian borders, bridges, numberless remains of roads and aqueducts and viaducts, ramparts and gateways, palaces, villas, market-places and judgment-halls, baths, theatres, amphitheatres and temples, attest the versatility, majesty, and solidity of Roman architecture, most of whose creations only the rudest shocks have hitherto been able to destroy.
BATHS 14.18%
Warm baths were for a long time only used by the Greeks for exceptional purposes, to take them too often being regarded as a mark of effeminacy. It was only after the introduction of artificial bathing-places, public and private (balaneia) that they came into fashion, especially before meals. Such baths were often attached to the gymnasia. The Greeks, however, never attained, in this matter, to the luxury of the Romans under the Empire. To take a hot dry air-bath, in order to promote perspiration, followed by a cold bath, was a peculiar fashion of the Lacedaemonians. The ancient custom at Rome was to take a bath every week in the lavatrina or wash-house near the kitchen. But after the Second Punic War bathing establishments on the Greek model made their appearance, and the afternoon hour between two and three was given up to the bath, which, with gymnastics, came to be one of the most important proceedings of the day. The public baths were under the superintendence of the aediles. A small fee (balneaticum) was paid for their use: a quadrans (=about half a farthing) for men, and rather more for women. Children were admitted free. The baths were open from 2 p.m. till sunset; but outside the city precincts they were sometimes lighted up after nightfall. Under the Empire the baths became very luxurious. The splendour of the arrangements, especially in private houses, steadily increased, as did the number of public baths. 170 of these were added by Agrippa alone in his aedileship, and in the 4th century A.D. the number was reckoned at 952 in the city of Rome alone. From the time of Agrippa we find thermae or hot baths, fitted up in the style of those attached to the Greek gymnasia, in use in Rome, Italy, and the provinces. No provincial town was without its baths; indeed they were found in many villages, as is proved by the remains scattered over the whole extent of the Roman empire. The baths of later times consisted of at least three chambers, each with separate compartments for the two sexes. (1) The tepidarium, a room heated with warm air, intended to promote perspiration after undressing; (2) the caldarium, where the hot bath was taken in a tub (solium) or basin (piscina); (3) the frigidarium, where the final cold bath was taken. After this the skin was scraped with a strigilis, rubbed down with a linen cloth, and anointed with oil. This took place either in the tepidarium or in special apartments, which were often provided in larger establishments, as were rooms for dressing and undressing. Round the basin ran a passage, with seats for the visitors. The Laconian or dry airbath was a luxury sometimes, but not necessarily, provided. The heating was managed by means of a great furnace, placed between the men's and the women's baths. Immediately adjoining it were the caldaria, then came the tepidaria and the frigidarium. Over the furnace were fixed a cold-water, warm-water, and hot-water cistern, from which the water was conducted into the bath-rooms. The caldaria and tepidaria were warmed with hot air. The heat was conducted from the furnace into a hollow receptacle under the floor, about two feet in height (suspensura, hypocaustum), and thence by means of flues between the double walls. The Romans were so fond of the bath that if the emperor or a rich citizen presented the people with a free bath for a day, a longer period, or in perpetuity, he won the credit of exceptional liberality. It was not uncommon for a person to leave a sum of money in his will for defraying the costs of bathing. Some towns applied their public funds for this purpose. The accompanying cuts give the ground-plan of the hot baths at Pompeii, and of a private Roman bath found at Caerwent (Venta Silurum) in South Wales. (For a restoration of the Baths of Caracalla, see ARCHITECTURE, fig. 13.)
Type: Standard
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