Roman Building Types Part 01 | Roman Architecture | Second edition

Roman Building Types Part 01 | Roman Architecture | Second edition

Roman Building Types | Roman Architecture | Second edition | (Part-01)

A purely chronological and geographical approach neglects the development of particular building types. Therefore their historical and geographical development is summarised in this chapter.

Town planning

A surveyor (mentor or agrimensor) used a surveying staff (groma)1 to sight along the line to be laid out (Figure 4.2a). This method was used to survey the two main axes of a city, the documents Maximus (main EW street) and the Cardo Maximus (main NS street), which usually intersected in the middle. From these, the lesser streets, parallel to them, could be surveyed. The groma was also used to survey the territory around the city, commonly in squares measuring 2400 × 2400 Roman feet, theoretically the equivalent of 100 small holdings. Levels were also used by surveyors, especially when laying out aqueducts (Figure 42b). In the center of the city were the basilica, forum, and main temple, often built as a single complex over three city blocks, the so-called ‘tripartite forum’.2 The temple, surrounded on three sides by colonnades, faced across the forum to a basilica built across one short side. Early examples include Augusta Bagiennorum (Benevaggiena), 5–4 bc; Lugdunum Convenarum (St.-Bertrand-de-Comminges), Augustan or Tiberian; and Velleia near Modena, Augustan or Tiberian. Other examples are Augusta Raurica (Augst in Switzerland) (Figure 2.1), Virunum (Zollfeld in Austria), Bagacum (Bavay in France), Lutetia (Paris), Conimbriga (Portugal) and Herdonia (Ordona), while a variation of the plan can be seen at Leader (Zadar in Croatia).

Religious buildings

Frontality, a feature of Etruscan temples, was assimilated into Roman temple design (Figure 1.1b). For example, in the fifth-century bc Belvedere temple at Orvieto dominated the rectangular enclosure in front of it and had columns only at the front. Large temples like the late sixth century bc Capitoline temple in Rome had columns along the sides as well (Figure 1.1a). Etruscan temples usually had overhanging wooden roof beams decorated with brightly painted terracotta revetments, often with terracotta statuary on the roof. Up to the second-century bc, the Romans followed the Etruscan design and building methods. The Capitolium (c. 150 bc) at Cosa, a Roman colony in Tuscany founded in 273 bc, had three cells at the rear, with the staircase and all of the columns at the front (Figure 1.8). It was usually reconstructed with overhanging wooden roof beams in the Etruscan fashion.

In 146 bc Greece became part of the Roman Empire and, in the words of Horace, ‘conquered Greece took her conqueror captive and introduced her arts into rustic Latium’ (Epist.

Figure 2.1  Augusta Raurica (Augst, Switzerland), restored view of the center of the town, mid-second century ad with later modifications. (After A. Boethius and J. B. Ward Perkins, Etruscan and Roman Architecture [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970], figure 131.)


2.1.156–7). However, although the Romans adopted the Classical orders, the temple layout remained traditional. The Greeks preferred a low stylobate, usually with three steps, whereas Roman temples still stood on a high podium. In Greek temples, the columns and steps ran all around the building so that every side had equal value and there was no strong emphasis on the façade. A good example is the Parthenon in Athens. When first seen through the Propylaea (entrance gateway) the back of the temple faced the viewer; the entrance was at the other end. Also, it is noticeable that the Parthenon was not set axially within its enclosure. As in many other Greek temples, the first view of it was a three-quarter view. The Romans, on the other hand, almost invariably continued to emphasize the frontal aspect of temples in the old Etruscan manner, even though they were now using the Classical Greek orders. A common layout was to have columns only at the front, an arrangement termed ‘prostyle’. For example, the Temple of Hercules at Cora (Cori), built around 100 bc, was a prostyle temple with a high podium but used a pure Hellenistic Doric order (Figure 1.18). The late second-century bc Temple of Portunus in the Forum Boarium (Figure 1.16) used the Ionic order but was also a prostyle temple, although it did have half-columns attached to the cella walls all round, a system called ‘pseudo-peripteral’. The circular temple of Vesta at Tivoli, ancient Tibur (Figure 1.17), used an Italic version of the Corinthian order, but the columns stood on a high podium. In each case the Classical order was Greek, but the layout of the temple was Etruscan or what is often termed ‘Italic’. The Maison Carrée at Nemausus (Nîmes), one of the best-preserved of all Roman temples, is a fine example of this (Figure 2.2). A material associated with Greek temples, particularly in Athens, was marble. It came into use in Rome in the second-century bc, for example, in the Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium dating to about 120 bc (Figure 1.16). Once the Luna (Carrara) quarries were opened by Julius Caesar, the white marble was used on a large scale, especially at the time of Augustus.

The Roman temple was not adopted as a model by the early Christians for their places of worship because, like the Greek temple, it was designed to house only cult images, not congregations. Christian worship required a great deal of interior space to accommodate the

Roman Building Types | Roman Architecture | Second edition | (Part-01)

Figure 2.2  Nemausus (Nîmes, France), Maison Carrée, begun c. 19 bc.

the congregation, which led to the Roman basilica being chosen because it could be most easily adapted to Christian needs. This does not mean that there were no congregational buildings before Christianity. The underground basilica near Porta Maggiore in Rome was built for a neo-Pythagorean sect in the first-century ad and has a nave flanked by two aisles with an apse at the end, an arrangement reminiscent of the Christian church. Temples of Mithras (mithraea) followed a similar pattern. A long nave flanked by banqueting couches terminated in a recess containing a sculpture or painting of Mithras slaying the bull in the cave.

Public buildings

As Rome grew from a small town into the capital of a great empire her institutions became increasingly complex. Law courts, money exchanges, treasuries, record offices, and assembly places had to be built in provincial towns as well as in the capital. These and other public buildings stood in the forum (marketplace), an open space usually rectangular in shape and often surrounded by colonnades on one story or two, as at Pompeii (Figure 6.2). Official weights and measures were often kept there, as at Pompeii. Important temples faced it, as well as various public offices and the meeting places of the curia (town council) and securities (councilors). Shops (tabernacle), bars (Thermopolis), and sometimes a macellum (provisions market) were built nearby.


The basilica, an aisled building with clerestory lighting and a high, roofed nave, acted both as money exchange and a law court. It was surrounded by aisles, usually on all four sides and the tribunal for the magistrate’s court faced the entrance. Its position depended upon whether the long or short side faced onto the forum area. Examples of both types of the basilica are common, the Pompeii one (Figure 2.3) presenting its short side to the Forum, and the two in the Roman Forum their long sides (Figure 3.5). Vitruvius tells us he designed a basilica of the latter type at Fanum (Vitruvius, de Arch. 5.1.6–10). Trajan’s Basilica Ulpia with its twin apses (Figure 3.2) and positioned across the main axis of the Forum represents a striking variation of the normal basilican plan, and one which was followed by Septimius Severus in his forum at Lepcis Magna (Figure 9.13). The Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum (Figures 12.17 and 12.18) was unusual in that its layout was based on the frigidarium of a Roman bath. However, Christian churches, such as St. John Lateran (begun ad 312), were based on the conventional Roman type.

The word basilica is a Greek adjective meaning ‘kingly’ and the noun it originally qualified is likely to have been stoa (Strabo, Geo. 5.3.8). Although several Roman basilicas in some ways resembled stores, they were quite different internally. They had the advantage of being a covered hall where magistrates could conduct their cases uninterrupted, unlike stoas, which are porticoes open to the weather and the noise of the street. Despite the Greek name, the earliest known basilicas are found in Rome. However, it is often assumed that the Romans encountered them in a Greek context and adopted them because they had no other building so well suited to their legislative and commercial needs. There is no reason why the Greeks should not have developed such a building. Buildings of the same general type were known in Delos and Alexandria, and Vitruvius’ Egyptian oecus has a similar layout (De Arch. 6.3.9).

Figure 2.3  Pompeii, basilica, 100–90 bc.

Commercial buildings

The oldest known warehouse was the early second century bc Porticus Aemilia (Figure 1.13), a vast building composed of row after row of barrel vaults pierced with arched openings to create a roofed enclosure measuring 48.7 × 87 meters.3 Numerous warehouses have been found at Ostia, of which the best known is the Horrea Epagathiana (c. ad 145–150) with its fine dressed-brick doorway which opens into a courtyard with storage rooms on all four sides (Figure 4.11). Later warehouses at Ostia were more compact and had rows of rooms back to back (Figure 6.22c).

The simple one-roomed shop (taberna) had a wide opening to the street, almost as wide as the shop itself, which could be closed using removable slats and a wooden door. It was lit by a window above the door. Inside there was often a mezzanine floor for storage or sleeping, accessible using a staircase. A wide variety of shops survive in Pompeii and Ostia, such as bakeries, which had counters near the street where the bread was sold, while at the back of the shop there was storage space for the grain, mills for grinding it, tables for kneading the dough and ovens for baking the bread. Fish shops found at Ostia had marble slabs for preparing the fish, water tanks, and sometimes facilities for cooking them. Fulleries (fullonica) had presses and complex systems of washing tanks. Shops that sold food and drink were called Thermopolis. They had solid masonry counters with wide-mouthed jars (dolia) sunk into them, where the foodstuffs were kept (Figure 2.4). The counters were usually L-shaped for sales both on the street and in the shop. Although Roman writers, such as Juvenal (Sat. 3.8.171–8) or Horace (Sat. 2.4.62), stressed the squalor of such places and delighted in a gluttonous emperor like Vitellius frequenting Thermopolis (Suet., Vit. 13.3), the importance of such outlets in the story of the Roman city has recently been pointed out.4

Figure 2.4  Pompeii, Pompeii, bar where hot food and drinks were sold (Thermopolis).

Shops were often built in rows facing the Forum or could occupy ground floor rooms in a house or insula, like the one at Terracina (Terracina) (c. 100 bc), which had a row of shops at street level and apartments above. The House of the Lararium at Ostia is a well-designed complex combining shops on the ground floor and apartments above. Early shopping centers built around 100 bc can be seen at Tivoli, and at Ferentinum (Figure 1.15), which has a row of five shops opening off a barrel-vaulted concourse. In the early empire, when the Forum became a focus of civic pride, there was a tendency to remove shops, especially those which sold fish or animal products, to a macellum, an enclosure containing counters for the sale of fish or meat, with a circular pavilion in the middle equipped with a pool or fountain. The first macellum seems to have been built by M. Aemilius Lepidus and M. Fulvius Nobilior in 179 bc (Livy, 40.51.5) and occupied the area where the Templum Pacis and the Forum of Nerva were later built. Good examples of macella can be seen at Pompeii, Puteoli (Pozzuoli), Lepcis Magna, Hippo Regius (Annaba), Cuicul (Djemila) and Thamugadi (Timgad). The most important planned shopping center in the Roman world was the Markets of Trajan, a multi-story complex built behind Trajan’s Forum (Figures 8.3–8.6) which contained about 150 shops, as well as a substantial warehouse and administrative center.

Domestic buildings

The Romans at first borrowed heavily from both Etruscans and Greeks when it came to domestic buildings. Etruscan houses probably resembled rock-cut tombs such as the Tomb of the Shields and Thrones at Caere (Cerveteri) or the Tomb of the Volumnii at Perugia (Figure 1.2a). Excavations along the Sacred Way in Rome have shown that large aristocratic houses of cappellaccio stone were built on the north slopes of the Palatine at the end of the sixth-century bc. At Pompeii, the focal point of the house was a large room (atrium) with an inward-sloping, rectangular opening in the middle of its roof (compluvium). A shallow rectangular basin (impluvium) was set into the floor immediately below the compluvium to catch the rainwater from the roof, which then ran into a vaulted underground water cistern (Figure 6.7). At the edge of the impluvium was a cistern head from which the water could be drawn. However, excavations in the oldest atrium houses at Pompeii, such as the House of the Surgeon, have shown that the impluvium is a secondary feature, dating to the second-century bc. This fact has given rise to considerable controversy about the origin of the atrium. Whether this means that the original atrium was testudinate, completely roofed over like the Tomb of the Volumnii at Perusia (Perugia), and had a hearth in the middle of the floor, or was an open courtyard is a matter of debate. The opening or compluvium may have been a practical step to allow the smoke from the hearth to escape, which is, incidentally, an argument for connecting the word ‘atrium’ with the Latin ater (black). Seneca (Epist. 44.5) remarked that an atrium ‘crammed with smoke-blackened images’ was a sign of the old nobility. There were three other types of atrium apart from the testudinate and complicate types: the diluvial atrium, where the roof around the opening in the roof sloped out rather than in; the tetrastyle, with a column under each of the four corners of the compluvium; and the Corinthian, with a row of columns which gave it more the character of a small peristyle than an atrium (Vitruvius, de Arch. 6.3.1–2).

The main external feature of an atrium house was the front door, which was often of great height and singled out for special decoration. The passageway (fauces) into the atrium did not normally give access to the rooms on each side. These were usually either service rooms opening into the atrium or shops (tabernae) opening onto the street (Figure 2.5). As the principal rooms drew most of their light from the atrium (Figures 1.2b and 6.7), windows

Figure 2.5  Pompeii, House of the Painted Capitals, second-century bc: plan.

seldom found on the street facade, and those which did exist were usually high up or barred. There were two or three bedrooms on each side of the atrium and at the far end was a pair of recesses or wings (alae) which gave extra prominence to the three rooms opposite the front door. Usually, the outer ones were dining rooms (triclinium), while the central one was the principal room of the house, the tablinum, and the main reception room, which was also used for records and personal documents. Roman kitchens were small, rather dingy rooms, containing a large masonry bench on top of which the cooking was done, and underneath which the cooking pots were stored. There was usually a water basin in a corner and the overflow often flushed the lavatory, which was in an adjoining room.

Until the second century, bc Roman houses must have greatly resembled Etruscan ones. However, they developed a great deal during the second-century bc, a time when the Romans were very much involved in Greece and many Italian merchants set up businesses there, particularly on the island of Delos. It was then that peristyles of the kind found in houses at Rhodes and Delos were introduced to Italy. However, the peristyle did not take the place of the atrium, which was a venerable room showing the wealth of the owner by the area (money chest) which was kept there; the lararium, where the owner’s household gods were kept; and the imagines, which indicated pedigree. Instead, the peristyle was built behind the atrium, as in the House of the Faun (Figure 6.5) or the House of the Painted Capitals (Figure 2.5), both of which had two peristyles. Whereas the center of the Greek peristyle was usually paved or covered with mosaic, the Romans preferred to make it a frigidarium (garden), as in the House of the Gilded Cupids (Figure 6.6). Like many other building types, the Roman house was the product of outside influences, but the result was unmistakably Roman. The atrium became the public part of the house ‘which anybody could enter’ while the bedrooms and bathing rooms were kept more private (Vitruvius, de Arch. 6.5.1–2). The peristyle, a peaceful oasis far from the bustle and din of the atrium, was open to the public, but surely a more select public.

The slaves, on the other hand, were crammed into dark and dingy parts of the house. This can be seen in the House of M. Aemilius Scaurus near the Arch of Titus, built around 58 bc. Although the house itself was considered the height of luxury, the dark basement underneath contained 50 tiny cells with beaten floors and a stone bench for a bed. In the second-century bc House of the Faun at Pompeii looked more egalitarian (Figure 6.5). There were two atria, Tuscan on the left and tetrastyle on the right. The latter was the slaves’ quarters, but behind the atrium, they rapidly tapered off, with the result that they occupied only a small fraction of the space available to the family. The same pattern can be seen in the enormous villa at Oplontis, where the slaves were concentrated in a dingy area around the kitchen, which is distinguished by the simple zebra-stripe decoration of the walls. In the House of the Menander at Pompeii the slaves’ quarters, shown hatched (Figure 6.8), were discreetly tucked away behind the main rooms so that the slaves would always be on hand to appear and disappear. It will be observed that their quarters occupied only a fraction of the total area of the house.

By the first-century ad pressure on land led to many large mansions being divided up into apartments. At the same time, the disastrous fire of ad 64 dramatically changed the appearance of the city of Rome. The old winding alleys lined with dangerous and dilapidated tenement houses were swept away and replaced by broad straight avenues of brick and concrete apartment blocks (insulae). The use of timber was discouraged, and concrete vaulting became more common. Ostia underwent a transformation similar to that of Rome in the prosperous years following the opening of the Trajanic harbor, so that by the end of the second-century ad the majority of its inhabitants lived in apartments. The Marble Plan (Figure 12.1) reveals a similar pattern in Rome, confirmed by the Regional catalogs, which show that by the fourth-century ad there were only 1,790 Domus in Rome compared to 46,602 insulae. Ostia is the best place to see insulae, with their plain, austere facades of brick-faced concrete, sometimes relieved by balconies over ground-floor rooms (Figure 6.20). They rarely exceeded four or five stories, probably to comply with regulations governing building height, 70 Roman feet (20.72 meters) under Augustus and 60 feet (17.76 meters) under Trajan. Ground-floor rooms either faced an inner courtyard or were open to the street as shops, and staircases led directly to the upper rooms (Figure 6.21). A water cistern in the courtyard served all the residents of the block, and there was usually one lavatory on each floor.

Country residences ranged from working farms to large luxury villas used by their owners as an occasional retreat. The Villa Sambuco at San Giovenale is an example of the simplest type of farmhouse with timber and mud brick walls and earth floors. Intermediate types include the late Republican villa Rustica at Boscoreale, which had a small, but luxurious residential section adjoining a large industrial area used for oil and winemaking, and the San Rocco Villa at Francoise in Campania (50–25 bc) with separate residential and working quarters of roughly equal size. The Villa of the Mysteries at Pompeii was a suburban villa with a very small industrial section, which had many features of a large atrium/ peristyle house, except that it had more outward-facing porticoes, especially to the west, which commanded splendid views over the sea. Several villas at Tivoli were built on a series of terraces climbing the hill with fine views of Rome. The Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum revived as the J. Paul Getty Villa at Malibu was purely a pleasure villa built close to the sea. Another was Tiberius’ Villa Jovis at Capri (Figures 5.2 and 5.3). Seaside villas, illustrated in many Pompeian wall paintings, could be of the peristyle or the porticus type. The Damacuta villa at Capri, with rooms opening off a long colonnade overlooking the sea, is an example of the latter. Pliny gives a detailed description of his seaside villa at Laurentium, near Ostia which contained a bath and a ‘hippodrome’ with a stadium (curved dining couch) at one end (Pliny the Younger, Epist. 2.17 and 5.6). The very large Villa San Marco at Castellammare had an atrium, porticus, and peristyle with a large piscina in the middle. The enormous villa at Oplontis, whose full extent is still unknown, had a vast piscina, bathing suit, and seemingly endless porticoes. Nero’s Golden House, set within a huge park that contained vineyards, woodlands, and a large lake, was essentially a villa, despite its urban surroundings. The surviving Esquiline wing (Figure 5.7) had a combination of features belonging to the terraced, the peristyle, and the porticus villa. Even more complex was Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli (Figure 8.13), whose baths, pools, libraries, nymphaea, and pavilions followed several unrelated axes and were scattered over an area that measured 1,000 × 500 meters. During the second century ad, there was a tendency to reject the sprawling landscape villa in favor of a more tightly planned complex following the pattern of the rather tower-like villa of Domitian at Albano. Examples include the Villa at Sette Bassi and the Villa of the Quintilii on the Via Appia. However, the landscape villa never died out, as can be seen in the early fourth-century ad Villa at Piazza Armerina in Sicily (Figure 12.16). Outside Italy, the atrium is rarely found, but some splendid peristyle houses have been found at Visio (Vaison-la-Romaine) in France, and peristyle villas have been found at Glanum (St. Rémy). There are some enormous villas in northern Europe, such as the late first-century bc villa at Fishbourne, with rooms ranging around a vast peristyle courtyard (Figure 10.14). Most British villas were later in date, such as the beautiful and extensive villa at Chedworth, which belongs mainly to the third and fourth centuries ad. A large residential villa at Anthée near Namur was part of a large estate with rows of small working farm buildings nearby. One of the largest villas of northern Europe is at Nennig in Germany (third-century ad) with its tower-like wings enclosing a colonnaded central section.

Recreational buildings

Gymnasia provided facilities for exercise and sometimes for swimming. One of the largest is the Augustan palaestra at Pompeii, which measures 141 × 107 meters. There were also facilities for ball games, running, and wrestling in the Campus Martius (Strabo, Geo. 5.3.8). The best-known recreational buildings were baths, which offered facilities for exercise as well as for bathing. Women attended the baths in the morning and men at about the eighth hour (2:00 p.m.), which was considered the best time to bathe (Martial, 10.48.1–4), although some were forced by the pressure of business to bathe later (Suet., Aug. 76.2). The normal bathing procedure was for bathers to change in the apodyterium, oil themselves and exercise in the palaestra (Pliny the Younger, Epist. 9.36.4). They then passed into the sweating rooms (sudatorium), after which they took a hot bath in the caldarium, cooled down in the tepidarium and passed into the frigidarium and notation (swimming pool) for a cold dip. However, the bath was not so pleasant for those who had to live nearby. Seneca lived over a public bath and talked of the noise made by people exercising and swinging weights, the groans they made, their hissing and gasping, the noise of flesh being slapped, and the shouts of people splashing in the water. He describes the hair plucker with his shrill, high-pitched voice and the shrieks of clients when their armpits were being plucked. In addition, there were the cries of people selling drinks, sausages, and pastries (Seneca the Younger, Epist. 56.1–2).

Greek baths were very simple, consisting of rows of sitz baths filled and emptied by hand. An important link between Greek and Republican Roman baths has been revealed by excavations in the Stabian baths at Pompeii, where a row of sitz baths dating to the fourth-century bc was found on the north side of the palaestra. The water for these early baths came from a deep well and was raised by a water wheel. The baths were enlarged in the later second-century bc when a tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot room), and apodyterium (changing room) were added along the east side of the palaestra (Figure 2.6). The hot rooms were fitted with hypocausts, or underfloor heating, an invention attributed by Pliny (Nat. Hist. 9.79.168)

Figure 2.6  Pompeii, Stabian Baths, second-century bc: plan.


to Sergius Orata, a Campanian who lived in the late second-century bc. At the same time, the walls of the hot rooms were lined with tegulae mammae which created a hollow space through which the hot air from the hypocaust could rise, providing an additional source of heat. Hot rooms usually faced south to take advantage of the sun and the furnaces heated metal tanks behind the plunges. The hot water flowed into the plunge while the cold water settled back into the tank to be reheated.

Despite these improvements, heat transfer was still poor and windows remained small to conserve heat. The result was that Republican baths were poorly lit even on bright days, as Seneca observes, comparing the small dark bath in the villa of Scipio Africanus with the luxurious ones of his day (Seneca the Younger, Epist. 86.6–12). Scipio’s baths would probably have looked rather like the Stabian Baths in Pompeii, which were small and dark compared with the later Imperial baths. The complex (Figure 2.6) consisted of a palaestra, although Vitruvius points out that this was not in the Italian tradition (de Arch. 5.11.1), an apodyterium (changing-room), a frigidarium (cold-room), a tepidarium (warm-room) and a caldarium (hot room). In older baths, the caldarium had an apse with a stone basin for cold water (schola labri). Vitruvius says (de Arch. 5.10.5) that a laconicum (dry hot-room) should adjoin the tepidarium. It should be circular with a hole in the dome which should be hung a bronze disc suspended on chains. This could be raised or lowered to regulate the temperature of the room. Such circular rooms are found in the Stabian and Forum baths at Pompeii but are thought to have become cold rooms because there is no trace of underfloor heating in them.

Three remarkable transformations altered the appearance of bath buildings in the first-century ad: the growing number of aqueducts that provided the running water essential for plunge baths and swimming pools; the invention of window glass; and the introduction of hollow wall tubes, which allowed more hot air to circulate than tegulae mammatae (tiles with lugs or nipples). Hot gases were drawn under the hollow floor, up the tubes lining the walls, and out through chimneys in the vault (Figure 2.7). As the tubes heated up more quickly than the floor, which was usually 0.40–0.50 meters thick, the walls became a significant source of radiant heat. The importance of these developments cannot be understated as they caused almost a revolution in the appearance of Roman baths in the late first-century ad. Many of these changes were taking place at the time of Nero (ad 54–68) when so much else that was novel was happening in architecture. Unfortunately, Nero’s baths in Rome (ad 62–64) were later rebuilt, a great loss because they may well have been the first to take advantage of these technical innovations, and may have pioneered the double-circulation system used in the Baths of Titus 15 years later. Although little survives, the plan of the Baths of Titus is known from Palladio (Figure 8.1). The main block was symmetrical about its shorter axis and the rooms were arranged in the axial sequence later to become standard: caldarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium. The frigidarium was flanked on each side by a palaestra and the caldarium projected from the block to take full advantage of the sun. The Baths of Trajan (ad 109) covered over six times the area of those of Titus and the bathing block was surrounded by a walled precinct containing libraries, halls, gardens, and a running track. The addition of a swimming pool (natation) to the sequence of bathing rooms resulted in the two main axes of the building intersecting in the frigidarium. The third-century ad Baths of Caracalla (Figure 12.4) and of Diocletian (Figure 12.7) mark the culmination of the development of the double-circulation type of baths. Both followed much the same layout as the Baths of Trajan, except that the bathing block was completely detached from the surrounding precinct. Baths of the double circulation type sometimes appeared in large provincial cities, some of the finest examples being the Hadrianic Baths at Lepcis Magna (Figure 9.12), the Antonine Baths at Carthage, and the Imperial Baths at Trier (Figure 12.13). Greece and Asia Minor followed a different tradition from that of the west, with the main bathing block being planned on rectilinear lines. Usually, a considerable portion of the complex was taken up by a gymnasium, frequently featuring a marmoreal, a room lined on three sides with tiers of columns and niches with

Figure 2.7  Diagram to illustrate the heating system of a Roman bath.

an open columnar screen on the fourth. A good example can be seen in the Harbour Baths at Ephesus. Lucian gives a detailed description of a bath house of the eastern type designed by Hippias (Lucian, Hippias 5–8).





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