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Roman Baths in Bath, England. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing.

The Roman Baths Had Ancient Healing Powers

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The history of the Roman Baths in Bath, England, unveils a narrative rich in intrigue and cultural significance. Bath, known for its elegant Georgian architecture today, has a murky origin tale dating back to 863 BC. Legend has it that Prince Bladderd, afflicted with leprosy, stumbled upon the healing properties of hot, muddy water while in exile with a herd of pigs. Witnessing the miraculous cure of his companions, Bladderd bathed in the springs and was healed, prompting the founding of the city of Bath. 

The Roman fascination with these hot springs led to the construction of a grand complex around 70 AD. The site consisted of a temple dedicated to Sulis Minerva, a fusion of the local Celtic deity Sulis and the Roman goddess Minerva. The temple's facade, adorned with a formidable gorgon's head, stood as a reminder of the reverence for these sacred waters. 

Within the temple, worshippers engaged in rituals, including sacrificial offerings and prayers to Sulis Minerva. The discovery of artifacts like curse tablets provides insight into the grievances and concerns of ancient visitors, offering a glimpse into daily life and societal norms of the time. 

Exploring the temple's artifacts, such as the gilt bronze statue of Sulis Minerva and decorative roof finials, offers a tangible connection to the past. Despite the ravages of time, these relics endure, inviting modern visitors to marvel at their craftsmanship and ponder the mysteries of ancient Roman culture. 

Top image: Roman Baths in Bath, England. The house is a well-preserved Roman site for public bathing. Source: bnoragitt/Adobe Stock 

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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