Baths Of Diocletian Essay

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Throughout the Roman Empire bathing was an important part of life. Public bathhouses offered the citizens an area to cleanse themselves, relax, enjoy art pieces, socialize, and conduct business. The grandest and most lavish of these bathhouses were the Baths of Diocletian, which spanned over 130,000 square meters on the Viminal Hill . Diocletian’s bathhouse was a great form of public benefaction to the citizens of Rome, while displaying the emperor’s eminence and power over the Empire. Plagued by disease, chaos, and invasions, the third century AD was a time of disarray for the Roman Empire. This period of uncertainty, known as the Military Anarchy, came to end in 284 AD with the seizure of power by the military commander Diocletian . Under Diocletian a new structure of governing was established known as a tetrarchy, or rule by four. Under this system there were two emperors who held the…show more content…
The Baths of Diocletian were the last large scale pagan building erected in Rome, which served a thickly populated zone and could accommodate up to 3,000 people. Location was a key aspect of the Baths’ popularity, for the Baths of Caracalla were too far for those residing in the Viminal Hill area. Constructing the Baths was by no means an easy feat. Famous for his persecution of Christians, Emperor Diocletian is said to have forced some 10,000-40,000 Christians into the laborious task of building the complex . The exterior of the structure was made of brick, yet finished in stucco as to give the impression of marble. Today an inscription still survives that commemorates the dedication to “Our Lord Diocletian and Maximian ” that may be found inside the National Roman Museum. Other than the exterior, the interior was ornately adorned with marbles, frescoes, mosaics, and statues. The ceilings were specifically memorizing with high vaulted ceilings and

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