The Ancient Library

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ample remains still exist; and even as late as Con-stantine, besides several which were constructed by private individuals, P. Victor enumerates six­teen, and Panvinus (Urb. Rom. Descript. p. 106) has added four more.

Previously to the erection of these establishments for the use of the population, it was customary for those who sought the favour of the people to give them a day's bathing free of expense. Thus, ac­cording to Dion Cassius (xxxvii. p. 143), Faus-tus, the son of Sulla, furnished warm baths and oil gratis to the people for one day ; and Augustus on one occasion furnished warm baths and barbers to the people for the same period free of expense {Id. liv. p. 755), and at another time for a whole year to the women as well as the men. (Id. xlix. p. 600.) Hence it is fair to infer that the quadrans paid for admission into the balneae was not exacted at the thermae, which, as being the works of the emperors, would naturally be opened with imperial generosity to all, and without any charge, other­wise the whole city would have thronged to the establishment bequeathed to them by Agrippa; and in confirmation of this opinion it may be re­marked that the old establishments, which were probably erected by private enterprise (comp. Plin. H. N. ix. 54. s. 79), were termed meritoriae. (Plin. Ep. ii. 17.) Most, if not all, of the other regula­tions previously detailed as relating to the economy of the baths, apply equally to the thermae ; but it


is to these establishments especially that the disso­lute conduct of the emperors, and other luxurious indulgences of the people in general, detailed in the compositions of the satirists and later writers, must be considered to refer.

Although considerable remains of the Roman thermae are still visible, yet, from the very ruin­ous state in which they are found, we are far from being able to arrive at the same accurate know­ledge of their component parts, and the usages to which they were applied, as has been done with respect to the balneae; or indeed to discover a satisfactory mode of reconciling their constructive details with the description which Vitruvius has left of the baths appertaining to a Greek palaestra, or to the description given by Lucian of the baths of Hippias. All, indeed, is doubt and guess-work ; the learned men who have pretended to give an account of their contents differing in almost all the essential particulars from one another. And yet the great similarity in the ground-plan of the three which still remain cannot fail to convince even a superficial observer that they were all constructed upon a similar plan. Not, however, to dismiss the subject without enabling our readers to form something like a general idea of these enormous edifices, which, for their extent and magnificence, have been likened to provinces—(in modum provin-ciarum exstructae, Amm. Marc. xvi. 6)—a ground-plan is annexed of the Thermae of Caracalla, which

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