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Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial Thermae
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Decoration and Display in Rome's Imperial Thermae: Messages of Power and their Popular Reception at the Baths of Caracalla

Maryl B. Gensheimer


Across the Roman Empire, ubiquitous archaeological, art historical, and literary evidence attests to the significance of bathing for Romans’ daily routines. Given the importance of bathing to the Roman style of living, imperial patrons enhanced their popular and political stature by endowing eight magnificent baths (the so-called imperial thermae) in the city of Rome between 25 B.C.E. and 315 C.E. This book presents a detailed analysis of the decoration of the best preserved of these bathing complexes, the Baths of Caracalla (inaugurated 216 C.E.). An interdisciplinary approach to the archaeol ... More

Keywords: Rome, baths, thermae, Caracalla, decoration, decorative programs, power, propaganda, patronage, visual experience

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190614782
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190614782.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maryl B. Gensheimer, author
Assistant Professor of Roman Art and Archaeology, University of Maryland