Friday, May 3, 2013

Baths Of Caracalla

After years of planning and restoration, the underground tunnels beneath the Baths of Caracalla in Rome have been opened to the public.  The Baths were built in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Caracalla and were the largest public baths in Rome.  They also contained gardens and a large library.  We saw the above ground part of the baths on our prior visits to Rome and hope to see the new section this year.(Caracalla)

Caracalla was a nasty piece of work.  His father, Septimius Severus, led a successful revolt and became emperor in 193AD, ruling until 211.  When he died he bequeathed the empire to his sons, Caracalla and Gaeta, advising them on his deathbed to "be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn everyone else".

Ignoring the first part of the advice, Caracalla quickly had his brother killed and then set off for the eastern part of the Empire where he committed a litany of brutal acts, including a massacre of the male inhabitants of Alexandria, the reasons for which still mystify historians.  In 217, during a campaign against the Parthian Empire in Mesopotamia, Caracalla was murdered by one of his guards while going to the bathroom by the side of the road.
Nice baths, though.

Video via Rogue Classicism:

1 comment:

  1. What great history. Hopefully you were able to visit the new section. dm