PompeiiinPictures

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. Terme repubblicane. Republican Baths.

Excavated 1882, 1950 and 2015. (Strada dei Teatri 6).

 

Part 1        Part 2

 

According to SAP, this is the oldest of the public baths in Pompeii.

Aside from initial superficial excavations under Sogliano in 1882, the first systematic investigations of the Republican Baths were carried out under Amedeo Maiuri in 1950 who documented the layout.

See Maiuri A., Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, pp. 116-136

Following this research, the building remained largely forgotten for several decades and the standing remains were visible, but largely obscured by covering vegetation.

New excavations began in 2015 by Freie Universität Berlin - Institut für Klassische Archäologie in collaboration with University of Oxford and Parco Archeologico di Pompeii.

 

According to Fagan, this small establishment occupies the south-east corner of insula VIII.5, with an entrance at 36. It was advantageously situated near the entrance to the triangular forum and the theatre. It was a double building with a palaestra like the other two baths, but on a much smaller scale, occupying only a section of the insula in which it stood. In 1999 it was overgrown and inaccessible.

 

Maiuri postulated a construction date of c. 90-80 B.C. This was based on the building materials and the primitive form of the hypocaust – whereby the floor was raised not on pillars but on continuous walls broken by diagonal openings. Maiuri thought it had been a privately-owned facility as, unlike the Stabian and Forum Baths, no public inscriptions have been found, if any ever existed. It seems to have been abandoned in Augustan times, after half a century of operation, perhaps put out of business by the improvements in the comfort and amenities of the Stabian Baths in the Augustan extension. Seneca condemns a fickle public that abandoned older baths as more luxurious ones became available.

 

According to the Parco Archeologico di Pompeii website, the [recent] excavations in the Republican Baths have allowed them to obtain new important results for the knowledge of the urban development of Pompeii, since the whole area has been used since the Archaic period. The thermal complex was built during the II century BC, on an area previously occupied by industrial plants. The building has two stages of modification, which demonstrate the effort made by builders to adapt the building to new technological standards. Despite this, the building was abandoned by the end of the 1st century BC to be merged with the neighbouring Casa della Calce, of which it came to constitute a second garden. In the last phase, just before the eruption of 79 AD, the whole area seems to have been converted into a sort of building materials deposit, where building materials were extracted and selected.

See Terme Repubblicane on SAP web site

 

See Fagan G. G., 1999. Bathing in Public in the Roman World. Ann Arbor: Univ Michigan, p. 59-60 and note 64.

See Seneca Ep. 86.8-9. Moral letters to Lucilius (Epistulae morales ad Lucilium) - Letter 86 - on Wikisource

See Maiuri A., Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 116-136.

 

2015-2016 excavations

 

The project is a research collaboration between the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Oxford.

 

Archaeological levels can be traced back to the Mercato Eruption (Pomici di Mercato) of Vesuvius around 7000 BC. The earliest traces of human activity, in the shape of isolated sherds, date back to the Bronze age. More regular use of the area can be traced to the Iron Age, for which occupation evidence in the form of isolated postholes and a hearth could be identified. Before the mid-2nd century BC, the site was used for some form of industrial activity as indicated by several water features and dumps of fuel ash. The baths themselves were not constructed until the middle or latter half of the 2nd century BC and underwent several modifications until there abandonment and demolition in the late 1st century BC. The area then became part of the Casa della Calce and was used as a garden surrounded by porticoes and rooms. In the last period of use, probably post-dating the earthquake of AD 62, several large quarry pits were dug across the site, some of which were refilled with building waste once they were no longer used.

 

All excavated areas had been affected by trenches dug by Maiuri, resulting in incomplete or disturbed stratigraphic sequences. Nonetheless, it was possible to identify and reconstruct a substantial overall Matrix of contexts reaching from the Bronze Age through to 79AD. While most data remains preliminary at present and requires further analysis, some interesting observations can already be made: the laconicum (identified as room 30) appears to have been constructed by the 2nd century BC, probably during its the earliest years. It underwent a major phase of reconstruction from an initially rectangular space to its current rounded interior shape. This is likely also to have occurred during the 2nd century BC. A further phase of rebuilding and modification dates to the 1st century BC. The development of the various identified phases of the praefurnium (identified as room 17) remains far more problematic: created originally as a rectangular space with six heating ducts for the two sets of caldaria and immersion pools, it was repeatedly modified, reduced in extent and reconstructed in order to modify heat flow and firing accessibility, as well as in response to the changing needs of the modified baths complex as a whole in its various phases.

See Freie Universität Berlin - Institut für Klassische Archäologie

-      2015 season report

-      2016 season report

See FastiOnline folder fastionline.org Pompeii Republican Baths VIII.5.36

See Bathing Culture and the Development of Urban Space: Case Study Pompeii Freie Universität Berlin - Institut für Klassische Archäologie

 

VIII.6. Pompeii. September 2015. Vicolo delle Pareti Rosse looking west. VIII.5.36 side wall, on right.

VIII.6, Pompeii, on left. September 2015. Vicolo delle Pareti Rosse looking west. VIII.5.36 side wall, on right.

 

VIII.6. Pompeii. December 2004. Vicolo delle Pareti Rosse looking west .VIII.5.36

VIII.6, Pompeii, on left. December 2004.   Vicolo delle Pareti Rosse looking west.       VIII.5.36 side wall, on right.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.
Maiuri describes this as “free of later construction”.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 117, fig. 1.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.

Maiuri describes this as “free of later construction”.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 117, fig. 1.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of phase II of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.
According to Maiuri, with the closure of the baths, the area came into the hands of the owner of the adjacent "Casa della Calce" and was transformed into a dwelling area, by demolishing at least 2/3 of the high wall of the thermal baths and the raising of a little less or a little more than a meter on the floor of the rooms of the original building. After the first transformation follows a second that mutates and alters completely the character and the plan of the first dwelling, intersecting and overlapping the walls of the baths, it is not easy to untangle and determine the limits, the nature and the character of the two houses. You could still recognize three periods: a first transformation occurred in the Augustan age shortly after the baths were closed; a second in the Claudian era before the year of the earthquake; a third in the last years of the city with a few adaptations related to the use of the area as a garden.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 133-4, fig. 11.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1947, p. 157.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of phase II of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.

According to Maiuri, with the closure of the baths, the area came into the hands of the owner of the adjacent "Casa della Calce" and was transformed into a dwelling area, by demolishing at least 2/3 of the high wall of the thermal baths and the raising of a little less or a little more than a meter on the floor of the rooms of the original building. After the first transformation follows a second that mutates and alters completely the character and the plan of the first dwelling, intersecting and overlapping the walls of the baths, it is not easy to untangle and determine the limits, the nature and the character of the two houses. You could still recognize three periods: a first transformation occurred in the Augustan age shortly after the baths were closed; a second in the Claudian era before the year of the earthquake; a third in the last years of the city with a few adaptations related to the use of the area as a garden.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 133-4, fig. 11.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1947, p. 157.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of phase III of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.
According to Maiuri, after this first transformation, which for the entire Augustan age and perhaps also Tiberian, gave the closed baths a distinctly noble character not unbecoming to the rest of the nearby home, there was a subsequent transformation inspired by a more practical use of space: inspired by family reasons, more than anything else. At the large oecus or triclinium hall (n. 1) another minor oecus of the eastern side was added (4) overlapping one of the walls on the last five intercolumns of the garden portico (t1-t2), also equipped with an access threshold towards the peristyle of the "Casa della Calce". The date of this second transformation can be fixed to the Claudian or Neronian age on the basis above all to the many elements of the 4th style wall decoration found in the remains.
See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 135, fig. 12.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. 1950 Maiuri plan of phase III of Terme repubblicane or Republican Baths.

According to Maiuri, after this first transformation, which for the entire Augustan age and perhaps also Tiberian, gave the closed baths a distinctly noble character not unbecoming to the rest of the nearby home, there was a subsequent transformation inspired by a more practical use of space: inspired by family reasons, more than anything else. At the large oecus or triclinium hall (n. 1) another minor oecus of the eastern side was added (4) overlapping one of the walls on the last five intercolumns of the garden portico (t1-t2), also equipped with an access threshold towards the peristyle of the "Casa della Calce". The date of this second transformation can be fixed to the Claudian or Neronian age on the basis above all to the many elements of the 4th style wall decoration found in the remains.

See Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1950, p. 135, fig. 12.

 

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. September 2015. Entrance doorway, looking west.

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. September 2015. Entrance doorway, looking west.

 

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. September 2015. Looking north along west side of Via dei Teatri.

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. September 2015. Looking north along west side of Via dei Teatri.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. September 2015. Looking south-west along wall on west side of Via del Teatri.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. September 2015. Looking south-west along wall on west side of Via dei Teatri.

 

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. June 1962. Looking west towards entrance doorway, from outside the Triangular Forum. Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer.

VIII.5.36, Pompeii. June 1962. Looking west towards entrance doorway, from outside the Triangular Forum.

Photo courtesy of Rick Bauer.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2004. Entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2004. Entrance.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  December 2006.  Looking north west from entrance.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. December 2006. Looking north-west from entrance. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Taken from VIII.5.28.  Looking south towards entrance in corner.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Taken from VIII.5.28. Looking south towards entrance in corner.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Looking south towards Triangular Forum. Taken from VIII.5.28.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Looking south towards Triangular Forum. Taken from VIII.5.28. 

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Taken from VIII.5.28.  Looking south.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Taken from VIII.5.28. Looking south.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Taken from VIII.5.28.  Looking south.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Taken from VIII.5.28. Looking south.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Taken from VIII.5.28.  Looking south.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Taken from VIII.5.28. Looking south.

 

VIII.5.36 Pompeii.  March 2009.  Taken from VIII.5.28.  Looking south west.

VIII.5.36 Pompeii. March 2009. Taken from VIII.5.28. Looking south-west.

 

 

Part 2

 

 

 

 

The low resolution pictures on this site are copyright © of Jackie and Bob Dunn and MAY NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE USED FOR GAIN OR REWARD COMMERCIALLY. On concession of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo - Parco Archeologico di Pompei. It is declared that no reproduction or duplication can be considered legitimate without the written authorization of the Parco Archeologico di Pompei.

Le immagini fotografiche a bassa risoluzione pubblicate su questo web site sono copyright © di Jackie e Bob Dunn E NON POSSONO ESSERE UTILIZZATE, IN ALCUNA CIRCOSTANZA, PER GUADAGNO O RICOMPENSA COMMERCIALMENTE. Su concessione del Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo - Parco Archeologico di Pompei. Si comunica che nessun riproduzione o duplicazione può considerarsi legittimo senza l'autorizzazione scritta del Parco Archeologico di Pompei.

Ultimo aggiornamento - Last updated: 09-Jan-2019 23:18