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Regio III - Insula I - Terme della Basilica Cristiana (III,I,2-3)

The Baths of the Christian Basilica were built during the reign of Trajan (opus latericium). Restorations took place in the early third century AD. It is not known whether it was related to the adjacent Christian building.

The interior was reached from Via della Foce to the east, through a long and narrow corridor (1), flanked by Caseggiato III,I,1. It leads to a courtyard, possibly a small palaestra (2). Behind the courtyard is a room with benches (3). The rooms in the west part of the building are arranged around a hall (4). The hall contains a basin, with on the outside semicircular niches, decorated with marble. In this hall is a statue of a female figure with a cornucopiae, probably a statue of Fortuna that was found in room C of the Basilica Cristiana. To the east is a frigidarium with a large basin (5). On the floor is a black-and-white mosaic from the early third century. Depicted are marine monsters carrying Nereids and an Amorino (of the latter figure only a leg has been preserved). To the west are three heated rooms, with suspensurae (6), that would later become part of the Basilica Cristiana. The praefurnia (7) are nearby. Along the Decumanus four shops were built.

Plan of the baths. After SO I.


Hall 4 seen from the south-east. Note the basin with niches and the statue.
Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.

The mosaic in frigidarium 5. SO IV, Tav. CXLI.

[jthb - 27-Sep-2004]