Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Roman life

These eerie bubbles are rising from the depths of the earth into the sacred pool of Sulis at the Roman Baths in Bath. The water is about 42 centigrade and falls to a comfortable hand hot by the time it arrives at the bathing pools. It's no wonder the Romans worshipped such a wonder of the world as this;

The Baths and temple complex are full of statues and carved heads which reflect their beliefs.

This head is believed to be a 'Gorgon' type face - I don't agree - there aren't any snakes. It looks a lot more like the 'Green Man' of British mythology, which would make perfect sense as the Romans often took over other peoples Gods for their own use.

This next magnificent mask is the face of the British God 'Sulis' as stolen by the Romans and given the appearance of their God 'Minerva', the God of healing;

Here's one of the heads from the many Roman graves;

There are a host of everyday items, not least because many were dropped into the spring as an offering to the Gods - over 13000 coins alone.

Top left is a bauble from a military uniform, top right is a centurion's belt buckle while in the centre is a Roman saucepan/beaker;

These are moulds for molten pewter, a metal alloy often used by Romans;

These are keys - the Romans had locks!

They had jewellery (the spring contained many jewels and carved items), they had hairpins and combs. They also had problems with crime.

This is a small sheet of lead thrown into the spring - it's a curse sent to the Gods for their help;

Here are three sample curses, dealing with the theft of property, the last one because of the theft of a slave;

Do not allow sleep or health to him who has done me wrong, whether man or woman, whether slave or free, unless he reveals himself  and brings those goods to your  temple.

The person who has lifted my bronze cooking pot is utterly accursed. I give him to the temple of Sulis
Whether woman or man
Whether slave or free
Whether girl or boy
And let him who has done this spill his own blood into the vessel itself.

May the person who has taken Vilbia become as liquid as water

These everyday items were the best part of the day for me - like walking in the steps of the Romans of 2000 years ago.

Here are the paving stones from the Bath/Temple complex, just the same as they were all those years ago;

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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