Baiae (Italian: Baia; Neapolitan: Baia) was an ancient Roman town situated on the northwest shore of the Gulf of Naples, and now in the comune of Bacoli. It was a fashionable resort for centuries in antiquity, particularly towards the end of the Roman Republic, when it was reckoned as superior to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Capri by the super-rich who built luxurious villas here from 100 BC to 500 AD. It was notorious for its hedonistic offerings and the attendant rumours of corruption and scandal.
The lower part of the town later became submerged in the sea due to local volcanic, bradyseismic activity which raised or lowered the land, and recent underwater archaeology has revealed many of the fine buildings now protected in the submerged archaeological park.
Many impressive buildings from the upper town can be seen in the Parco Archeologico delle Terme di Baia.
Thermal baths of the sector of Sosandra
Shown within Campania
|Location||Bacoli, Campania, Italy|
Baiae was said to have been named after Baius (Greek: Βαῖος, Baîos), the helmsman of Odysseus's ship in Homer's Odyssey, who was supposedly buried nearby. The adjacent "Baian Gulf" (Latin: Sinus Baianus) was named after the town. It now forms the western part of the Gulf of Pozzuoli.
Baiae was particularly fashionable towards the end of the Roman Republic. Marius, Lucullus, and Pompey all frequented it. Julius Caesar had a villa there, and much of the town became imperial property under Augustus. Nero had a notable villa constructed in the middle of the 1st century and Hadrian died at his villa in AD 138. It was also a favourite spot of the emperor Septimius Severus. The resorts sometimes capitalised on their imperial associations: Suetonius mentions in his history that the cloak, brooch, and gold bulla given to the young Tiberius by Pompey's daughter Pompeia Magna were still on display around AD 120.
According to Suetonius, in AD 39, Baiae was the location for a stunt by the eccentric emperor Caligula to answer the astrologer Thrasyllus's prediction that he had "no more chance of becoming emperor than of riding a horse across the Gulf of Baiae". Caligula ordered a 3-mile-long pontoon bridge to be built from impounded ships of the area, fastened together and weighted with sand, stretching from Baiae to the neighbouring port of Puteoli. Clad in a gold cloak, he then crossed it upon a horse. Cassius Dio's Roman History also includes the event, with the detail that the emperor ordered resting places and lodging rooms with potable water erected at intervals along the bridge. As late as the 18th century, scattered fragments were still being shown to tourists as the "Bridge of Caligula". Malloch has argued that Suetonius's account was likely coloured by his bias against Caligula; instead, he claims that “the act of bridging the Bay of Naples was an excellent—and safe—means by which to lay the foundation for [Caligula’s] military glory.”
Baiae was notorious for the hedonistic lifestyle of its residents and guests. In 56 BC, the prominent socialite Clodia was condemned by the defence at the trial of Marcus Caelius Rufus as living as a harlot in Rome and at the "crowded resort of Baiae", indulging in beach parties and long drinking sessions. An elegy by Sextus Propertius written in the Augustan Age describes it as a "den of licentiousness and vice". In the 1st century, "Baiae and Vice" formed one of the moral epistles written by Seneca the Younger; he described it as a "vortex of luxury" and a "harbour of vice" where girls went to play at being girls, old women as girls and some men as girls according to a first century BC wag.
From 36BC, Baiae included Portus Julius, the base of the western fleet of the Roman Navy before it was abandoned because of the silting up of Lake Lucrinus (from which a short channel led to Lake Avernus) for the two harbours at Cape Misenum 4 miles south.
Baiae was sacked during the barbarian invasions and again by Muslim raiders in the 8th century. It was deserted owing to recurrent malaria by 1500, but Pedro de Toledo erected a castle, Castello di Baja, in the 16th century.
The site had occasionally revealed Roman sculptures. The Aphrodite of Baiae, a variant of the Venus de Medici, was supposedly excavated there sometime before 1803, when the English antiquary Thomas Hope began displaying it in his gallery on Duchess Street in London.
The important archaeological remains were intensively excavated from 1941, revealing layers of buildings, villas and thermal complexes belonging to periods from the late Republican age, the Augustan, Hadrianic to the late empire.
The lowering of the ground below sea level, due to bradyseism, seems to have occurred in two phases: between the third and fifth centuries, still in the late Imperial era, followed by a more substantial submersion a century later. The lower part of Baiae was largely submerged by the sea by the 8th century.
A cache of plaster casts of Hellenistic sculptures was discovered in the cellar of the Baths of Sosandra at Baiae; they are now displayed at the town's archaeological museum. The collection includes parts of several famous sculptures, including Athens's Harmodius and Aristogeiton and the Athena of Velletri. It suggests that the area had a workshop mass-producing marble or bronze copies of Greek art for the Italian market.
Among the most significant and remarkable remains are several dome-like structures such as the great so-called Temple of Mercury, the Temple of Venus, and the Temple of Diana, which were traditionally credited to some of the more famous residents of the town's villas, (although they were not temples but parts of thermal baths).
This colossal ogival dome, today half collapsed, originally collected vapours coming from the ground below and was used for thermal baths. It was decorated with marble friezes depicting hunting scenes .
The "Temple of Mercury" consists of an enormous 21.5 m (71 ft) diameter dome, a miracle of engineering and the largest in the world prior to the construction of Rome's Pantheon in AD 128. The dome has a central hole or oculus and was made with large tuff blocks.
It was, and is still today, used to enclose the frigidarium or cold pool of the public baths. From eighteenth century descriptions it appeared to have had six niches of which four were semicircular.
Another octagonal building, sunken 3 metres in the ground, had eight large arched windows and a balcony inside overlooking the pool. It owes its name to Scipione Mazzella who claimed to have found the statue of the goddess there.
Overlooking the sea is the "Villa of the Ambulatio" with a series of six terraces connected to each other by a complex of staircases of which the last leads to the "sector of Mercury". It is named after the 'ambulatio', the long corridor with two longitudinal naves on the second terrace, intended to be a covered walk with large openings with a magnificent panorama of the gulf below. Traces of precious stucco can be seen on the brick structure of the central pillars. On the upper terrace were the residential areas, once richly decorated with several rooms dedicated to leisure. The third terrace is now transformed into a tree-lined garden. The fourth terrace was for service areas. On the fifth terrace are several rooms probably used as places to stay and rest, open to the sea and to the last terrace below that once was occupied by a garden, as today, perhaps surrounded by a colonnade.
Bounded by two parallel staircases is the sector or "Temple of Sosandra" from the name of the statue found in 1953 and now located in the National Museum of Naples.
The complexity of this sector on four terraces does not allow its intended use to be identified but it was either a spa, a villa, a hospitalia (a sort of hotel for visitors to the nearby spa), or even a meeting place of Nero for the entertainment of sailors of the nearby Classis Misenensis, the Miseno fleet.
On the highest terrace are service areas and a small balneum with rich stucco decorations on the ceiling. The next level has a large terrace open to the sea and bordered on three sides by a portico. In the garden are four parallel walls that perhaps delimited three triclinia in the open. Above the peristyle are several residential rooms, once richly finished, particularly the original precious mosaic floors representing theatrical masks inside geometric frames. Below this level there is a semicircular building surmounted by five vaulted rooms once hidden by a façade decorated with niches and columns, overall making an impressive composition. On the axis of the complex is a room perhaps used as a nymphaeum from which flowed the water that fed an existing large external circular tank. On the peristyle of the lower terrace are paintings from two successive periods: those with an egyptian taste (characters and symbols of the cult of Isis ) from the middle of the 1st century AD; these are largely covered by paintings of the 2nd century, which depict male and female figures within architectural schemes.
Completely submerged by the waters is the nymphaeum of Emperor Claudius whose sculptures have been transferred to the town's archaeological museum, the Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields Archaeological Museum) which also contains other items excavated on the site.
The public and private baths of Baiae were filled with warm mineral water directed to their pools from underground hot springs, as many still are today. Roman engineers were also able to construct a complex system of chambers that channelled underground heat into facilities that acted as saunas. In addition to their recreational function, the baths were used in Roman medicine to treat various illnesses and physicians would attend their patients at the springs.
Year 138 (CXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Niger and Camerinus (or, less frequently, year 891 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 138 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.Aphrodite of Syracuse
The statue of the Aphrodite of Syracuse in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (NAMA) with the inventory number 3524 is dated to the second century AD.The statue was found in South Italian Baiae and received her name on account of the connection to Magna Graecia. It is made of Parian marble and has a height of 1.8 m. The statue initially belonged to the collection of Lord Hope and was later acquired by Michael Embeirikos, who gave it to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens in 1924.The statue was restored by the sculptor Antonio Canova, since it initially lacked head, neck and right arm. Aphrodite is depicted largely naked, with only a himation slung over her buttocks and held in place over her genitals with her left hand. The rest of the garment falls to the ground behind and beside her. The wide stream of cloth also fulfills the function of a statue support. The two feet are close together on a plinth, with the left leg made to serve as the supporting leg and the right lef as the loose one. With her right hand, the goddess attempts to cover her left breast. The head is twisted to the left. Thus the statue belongs to the Venus pudica type, which derives from a statue of the famous sculptor Praxiteles, the Aphrodite of Cnidus. The statue is a Roman copy of a Greek original.Athena of Velletri
The Athena of Velletri or Velletri Pallas is a type of classical marble statue of Athena, wearing a helmet.Bacoli
Bacoli (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbaːkoli]; Neapolitan: Vacule [ˈvɑːkulə]; Latin: Bauli) is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Naples in the Italian region Campania, located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of Naples.Cumaean Sibyl
The Cumaean Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Cumae, a Greek colony located near Naples, Italy. The word sibyl comes (via Latin) from the ancient Greek word sibylla, meaning prophetess. There were many sibyls in different locations throughout the ancient world. Because of the importance of the Cumaean Sibyl in the legends of early Rome as codified in Virgil's Aeneid VI, and because of her proximity to Rome, the Cumaean Sibyl became the most famous among the Romans. The Erythraean Sibyl from modern-day Turkey was famed among Greeks, as was the oldest Hellenic oracle, the Sibyl of Dodona, possibly dating to the second millennium BC according to Herodotus, favored in the east.
The Cumaean Sibyl is one of the four sibyls painted by Raphael at Santa Maria della Pace (see gallery below.) She was also painted by Andrea del Castagno (Uffizi Gallery, illustration right), and in the Sistine Ceiling of Michelangelo her powerful presence overshadows every other sibyl, even her younger and more beautiful sisters, such as the Delphic Sibyl.
There are various names for the Cumaean Sibyl besides the "Herophile" of Pausanias and Lactantius or the Aeneid's "Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus": "Amaltheia", "Demophile" or "Taraxandra" are all offered in various references.Gulf of Pozzuoli
The Gulf of Pozzuoli (Italian: Golfo di Pozzuoli; Neapolitan: Gurfo 'e Pezzulo), formerly known as the Gulf of Puteoli, is a large bay or small gulf in the northwestern end of the Gulf of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It lies west of Naples and is named for its port of Pozzuoli. The Roman Sinus Baianus was located within it, near the resort town of Baiae.
Along with the island of Ischia and gulfs of Naples and Gaeta, local waters are rich in productions enough to support various species whales and dolphins including fin and sperm whales.Harmodius and Aristogeiton (sculpture)
A sculptural pairing of the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton (Ancient Greek: Ἁρμόδιος καὶ Ἀριστογείτων) was well known in the ancient world in two major versions but survives only in Roman marble copies. The lovers Harmodius and Aristogeiton were Athenian heroes whose act of daring in 514 BC opened the way for Athenian democracy.
A first version that was commissioned from the sculptor Antenor after the establishment of Athenian democracy and erected in the Agora was stolen by the Persians when they occupied Athens in 480 during the Persian Wars and removed to Susa. Though it was returned to Athens by Alexander the Great (according to Alexander's historian Arrian) or by Seleucus I (according to the Roman writer Valerius Maximus), or again by Antiochus according to Pausanias (1.8.5), it never attracted copyists and is now lost.
To replace the stolen first version, the Athenians commissioned Kritios and Nesiotes to produce a new statue, which was set up in 477/76 BC, according to the inscribed Parian Chronicle. Both pairs stood side-by-side in the Agora as late as the 2nd century AD when Pausanias noted them there. The pair by Kritios and Nesiotes too are now lost, but unlike Antenor's they were extensively copied in Hellenistic and Roman times. The best surviving of those copies may be seen in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. In the Neo-Attic style that revived the Severe style of the original bronzes, it shows idealized portraits of the two heroes: a clean-shaven Harmodius, thrusting a sword forward in his upraised right hand, another sword in his left hand; and Aristogeiton, also brandishing a sword, with a chlamys, or cape, draped over his left shoulder. Of the four swords only the hilts are left. The original head of Aristogeiton having been lost, another has been set in its place and is only a poor fit - a better replacement head can be reconstructed from Roman plaster casts (found at Baiae) of the head of the second version or of another copy of the second version, used in the "mass-production" of such copies.
A weathered marble head of the Harmodius, once of fine workmanship, conserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with the remains of a strut support on the crown of the head, suggested to Gisela Richter a restoration of the right arm of Harmodius (of which both are missing and restored in the Neapolitan sculpture), reaching backwards, ready for a downward-slashing stroke.Hera Borghese
The Hera Borghese is a type of sculpture of Hera named after the owners of its archetype, the Borghese. One example is in the National Museum of Rome, whilst others are in the Palatine Antiquarium and at the Castello Aragonese Museum at Baiae.List of Roman domes
This is a list of Roman domes. The Romans were the first builders in the history of architecture to realize the potential of domes for the creation of large and well-defined interior spaces. Domes were introduced in a number of Roman building types such as temples, thermae, palaces, mausolea and later also churches. Half-domes also became a favoured architectural element and were adopted as apses in Christian sacred architecture.
Monumental domes began to appear in the 1st century BC in Rome and the provinces around the Mediterranean Sea. Along with vaults, they gradually replaced the traditional post and lintel construction which makes use of the column and architrave. The construction of domes was greatly facilitated by the invention of concrete, a process which has been termed the Roman Architectural Revolution. Their enormous dimensions remained unsurpassed until the introduction of structural steel frames in the late 19th century (see List of the world's largest domes).List of volcanic settlements
Settlements built on volcanoes of recent origin or somewhere on their volcanic complexes or volcanic fields. These volcanoes may be active, dormant or otherwise may not be entirely extinct. Such settlements are subject to potential future volcanic hazards, including but not limited to volcanic eruption, hydrothermal activity or volcanic gases in their vicinity. This category does not include settlements merely threatened by volcanic activity but which are located at a distance away, and not located on the volcanic structure itself. It does include settlements which have volcano evacuation routes/procedures or warning systems.
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas
El Valle, Panama
Leilani Estates, Hawaii
Mammoth Lakes, California
Mount Shasta, California
Weed, CaliforniaLucius Vinicius (suffect consul 5 BC)
Lucius Vinicius (fl. 1st century BC) was a Roman Senator who was appointed suffect consul in 5 BC.
Vinicius was the son of Lucius Vinicius, who was suffect consul in 33 BC. A noted advocate with a brilliant speaking voice, he was appointed to the post of Triumvir monetalis in 16 BC. Vinicius was later appointed suffect consul in 5 BC, replacing the emperor Augustus, after which he disappears from the historical record.
Suetonius reported that Augustus was once forced to intervene when Vinicius was seen lavishing too much attention on the emperor’s daughter, Julia, reportedly seeing her when she was staying at Baiae.Lucrinus Lacus
Lucrinus Lacus, or Lucrine Lake (Italian: Lago di Lucrino; Neapolitan: Laco 'e Lucrine) is a lake of Campania, southern Italy, less than one kilometre to the south of Lake Avernus.
The lake is separated from the sea (the Gulf of Pozzuoli) by a narrow strip of land that is traversed by the coast road, the Via Herculanea, and by a modern railway. The road runs on an embankment, the construction of which was traditionally attributed to Heracles in Strabo's time. This strip was reinforced with a sea wall, "where the sea angrily dashes, but is thrust back with echoing roar" and severed by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, in order to make a harbour of Lake Lucrinus, which he joined to Avernus by a canal, as mentioned in Virgil's Georgics.The size of present-day Lago Lucrino, also known as the maricello ("little sea"), was much reduced by the rise of the cratered volcanic cone of the Monte Nuovo in 1538. The length of the former dyke that separated it from the sea, a length of about one-and-a-half kilometres, can be traced by skin divers. Its greatest depth is about 5 metres.In Roman days its fisheries were important and its oyster-beds, whose foundation is attributed to one Sergius Orata in about 100 BC, were renowned - as they are today.
It was also in favour as a resort for pleasure excursions from Baiae (cf. Martial i. 62) and its banks were covered with villas, of which the best known was Cicero's villa Cumanum, the seat of his Academia, on the east bank. The remnants of this villa, with the village of Tripergola, disappeared beneath the sea in 1538. In 59, according to Tacitus, Agrippina the Younger proceeded to her villa on this lake's shore after the shipwreck arranged by Nero was bungled and she had managed to swim to some boats and thence arrive ashore.
Today Lucrino is a frazione of the comune of Pozzuoli.Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)
Marcus Claudius Marcellus (42 – 23 BC) was the eldest son of Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor and Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus (then known as Octavius). He was Augustus' nephew and closest male relative, and began to enjoy an accelerated political career as a result. He was educated with his cousin Tiberius and traveled with him to Hispania where they served under Augustus in the Cantabrian Wars. In 25 BC he returned to Rome where he married his cousin Julia, who was the emperor's daughter. Marcellus and Augustus' general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa were the two popular choices as heir to the empire. According to Suetonius, this put Agrippa at odds with Marcellus and is the reason why Agrippa traveled away from Rome to Mytilene in 23 BC.That year, an illness was spreading in Rome which afflicted both Augustus and Marcellus. Augustus caught it earlier in the year, and Marcellus caught it later in the year after the emperor had already recovered. The illness proved fatal and killed Marcellus at Baiae, in Campania, Italy. He would be the first member of the royal family whose ashes were placed in the Mausoleum of Augustus. Though dying young and unproven, Marcellus' position led to his celebration by Sextus Propertius and by Virgil in the Aeneid.Phlegraean Fields
The Phlegraean Fields (Italian: Campi Flegrei [ˈkampi fleˈɡrɛi]; Neapolitan: Campe Flegree, from Greek φλέγω phlego, "to burn") is a large volcanic area situated to the west of Naples, Italy. It was declared a regional park in 2003. The area of the caldera consists of 24 craters and volcanic edifices; most of them lie under water. Hydrothermal activity can be observed at Lucrino, Agnano and the town of Pozzuoli. There are also effusive gaseous manifestations in the Solfatara crater, the mythological home of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.
This area is monitored by the Vesuvius Observatory.The area also features bradyseismic phenomena, which are most evident at the Macellum of Pozzuoli (misidentified as a temple of Serapis): bands of boreholes left by marine molluscs on marble columns, show that the level of the site in relation to sea level has varied.Pietro Summonte
Pietro Summonte (1463–1526) was an Italian Renaissance humanist of Naples, a member of the learned circle of friends in the Ciceronian manner that constituted Pontano's Accademia Pontaniana. Summonte's care in preserving his correspondence on artistic matters with the Venetian Marcantonio Michiel resulted in a precious archive mined by art historians. His major poem was the Canzone intitulata Aragonia. To him Jacopo Sannazaro and Benedetto Cariteo addressed verses, in Latin and the vernacular, and Sannazaro entrusted his Arcadia, which had circulated in manuscript since about 1485, but of which corrupt pirated editions appeared at Venice (1502) for a carefully corrected printing by Sigismondo Mayr (1504), in which Brian Richardson has detected revisions that brought the language closer to Boccaccio and Petrarch, so that it lost many of its southern dialect forms. Summonte, who took on the guidance of the Accademia Pontaniana after Pontano's death (1503), edited for publication Pontano's two books of Hendecasyllables, to which he applied the subtitle Baiae.Robert Brandard
Robert Brandard (Birmingham 1805–1862 London) was an English landscape engraver.
Brandard was the eldest son of Thomas Brandard (d. 1830), engraver and copperplate printer, of Barford Street, Deritend, Birmingham, and his wife, Ann. He went to London in 1824, and entered the studio of Edward Goodall, with whom he remained a year. He engraved some of the subjects for Brockedon's Passes of the Alps, Captain Batty's Saxony, Turner's England and Wales and English Rivers, and numerous plates for The Art Journal, after Turner, Stanfield, Callcott, Herring, and others. His most important engravings on a large scale were Turner's "Crossing the Brook", "The Snow-storm", and "The Bay of Baiae". He also published two volumes of etchings, chiefly landscapes, after his own designs. He occasionally exhibited small oil pictures at the British Institution, which were distinguished by a good feeling for nature and a healthy tone of colour. The watercolour "Rocks at Hastings" is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
His brother John Brandard was a lithograph artist who designed many illustrated title-pages for music. His younger brother, Edward Paxman Brandard (1819–1898) was apprenticed to him while in Islington, London. Several plates by Edward also appeared in The Art Journal between 1853–87. Another engraver who studied with Robert Brandard was Joseph Clayton Bentley.Transverse rib
A transverse rib (French: arc doubleau) is the term in architecture given to the rib of a rib vault which is carried across the nave, dividing the same into bays. Although as a rule it was sunk in the barrel vault of the thermae, it is found occasionally below it, as in the Piscina at Baiae and the so-called Baths of Diana (Nymphaeum) at Nîmes. In the Romanesque and Gothic styles it becomes the principal feature of the vault, so much so that Scott termed it the "master rib".Travel
Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip. Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.Via Domiziana
(N.B. The via Domitiana is not to be confused with the similar-sounding via Domitia in France.)
Via Domiziana is the modern name for the Via Domitiana in the Campania region of Italy, a major Roman road built in 95 AD under (and named for) the emperor, Domitian, to facilitate access to and from the important ports of Puteoli (modern Pozzuoli) and Portus Julius (home port of the western Imperial fleet, consisting of the waters around Baiae and Cape Misenum) in the Gulf of Naples.The Via Domitiana was not built from scratch, but was based on an existing secondary road and used works undertaken in the Neronian period for the construction of the Fossa Neronis (the canal intended to connect Rome to Pozzuoli).
The road left the Appian Way at Formiae or Sinuessa. It followed the coast and crossed the rivers Savona and Volturna, passed through an area of coastal lagoons by Linterne and Cumae and ended in Pozzuoli. In 102 Trajan extended the Via Domitiana to Naples.
It was damaged by Alaric in 420 AD and ultimately destroyed by Gaiseric in 455 AD. It was partially restored under various rulers of the Kingdom of Naples in the Middle Ages and in its modern guise is a major coast road leading north from Naples.
Statius wrote an entire poem on the theme of Via Domitiana. He recalled the progress made by the new road and praised the Emperor. The poem is also an interesting testimony on the construction of roads under the Roman Empire.