The Baths of Aquae Sulis
The Baths of Aquae Sulis ! Thousands of years ago people from all over Europe would visit the baths of Aquae Sulis, a city which now lies beneath the modern city of Bath. One of the most well know attributes of the baths was the sacred spring, in which the Romans regarded as a sacred place of worship. The Romans closed off the spring in a large reservoir with a wall of stone blocks, but left it open to the public so visitors could still worship there.
Many people believed that the sacred spring actually had healing powers, and if they went there all of their illnesses would disappear. Many archeologists have found items such as silver and pewter cups, coins, and jewelry near the spring, which we interpret as offerings to the goddess Sulis Minerva. The scared spring actually goes through the temple of Sulis Minerva, who’s name and existence comes from the combination of the Celtic goddess Sulis and the Roman goddess Minerva.
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The reason for linking these goddesses together was to encourage the Celts to understand the power of the Roman goddess, while associating her with the goddess they already new. Besides the temple, there were other important buildings located near the baths. We are almost positive there were buildings such as a basilica for law administration as well as a theater for visitors, while the other buildings were houses for the residents living near the baths.
We know that the baths of Aquae Sulis were a huge tourist attraction so the purchase of souvenirs such as good-luck charms and gemstones were very popular. Today the baths of Aquae Sulis lie in ruins, but fortunately from the found artifacts we are able to understand the purpose the baths played in the lives of the many people who visited them from all over Europe. Works Sited Cambridge University. “Aquae Sulis and its Baths. ” Cambridge Latin Course Unit 3. ! New York. 29 August 2010. Pages 18-24.