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Regio II - Insula II - Terme dei Cisiarii (II,II,3)

The Baths of the Coachmen were built during the reign of Hadrian and modified in the third century. They have not yet been the subject of a monograph.

In frigidarium C is the mosaic that gave the building its name. The border consists of a city wall (referring to Rome?). In the centre is a further city wall, with gates and towers (referring to Ostia?). Towers at the four angles are supported by telamones (figures of Atlas, "male caryatids"). Around this wall are small, two-wheeled wagons or carriages, called in Latin cisia, driven by coachmen (cisiarii). They were drawn by mules, and the names of some of these are inscribed: Pudes ("Modest"), Podagrosus ("Gouty"), Potiscus (?), Barosus ("Silly"). Around the wagons are some marine figures.

The wagons were cabs, used for transport to and from Rome. Apparently these cabs were stationed outside the baths, near the Porta Romana. The guild of the cisiarii may have owned the baths.

To the east of the frigidarium is room D, containing a black-and-white mosaic with geometric motifs. To the south-west of the frigidarium is heated room B, with in the west part an apse that was added in the third century. A black-and-white mosaic in this room is also an addition from the third century. Depicted are a Nereid on a sea-monster, and in the apse a naked, winged amorino on a sea-cow.

In room F (c. 13 x 8 m.) is a basin on a foot. In this room many fragments were found of stucco reliefs that once decorated the ceiling. Depicted are gorgoneia, sea monsters, Nereids, Mercurius, and erotes (late second century AD). To the east are rooms A and E. Room A was heated, and contains a Hadrianic mosaic of wild animals hunting. Room E contains the remains of a mosaic depicting athletes, with a mutilated Greek inscription. In room G a waterwheel was found in the 1990's. To the east of the wheel is a rectangular basin. The water may have been taken to a reservoir above a room to the north.

The building contains two bars. In the west part of the building is bar H, in the east part bar J. The bar counter in the south-east part of the latter room has disappeared almost completely. Room H contains remains of a bar counter in the north-west corner, a dolium defossum in the south-west corner, and next to this a masonry structure that was lined with marble.

In the building two mediaeval lime-kilns were found, with several statues.

Plan of the baths

Plan of the baths. After SO I.


General view of the mosaic of the cisiarii in frigidarium C.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Detail of the mosaic of the cisiarii in frigidarium C.
Photograph: Jos Janssen.

Detail of the mosaic of the cisiarii in frigidarium C.
Photograph: Jos Janssen.

Detail of the mosaic of the cisiarii in frigidarium C.
Photograph: Jos Janssen.

Detail of a cisium with two passengers.
Photograph: Bill Thayer.

General view from the north-east, overlooking room D.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Mosaic with Nereid in heated room B. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Mosaic with Amorino in heated room B. From SO IV, Tav. CLX.

Mosaic with wild animals hunting in the heated room A.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Basin in room F. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

Stucco relief from room F: sword between columns, and Mercurius with caduceus and purse.
Mielsch 1975, Taf. 87,2.

Stucco relief from room F: Nereid on a sea-bull and Gorgoneion.
Mielsch 1975, Taf. 87,1.

Mosaic of athlete with mutilated Greek
inscription from room G.
Photograph: Eric Taylor.

[jthb - 14-Jun-2003]