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Built in the astonishingly short span of just 5 years (211-216 CE), the bathing complex sponsored by the emperor Caracalla was one of the marvels of ancient Rome due to its sophisticated engineering and lavish decoration. The giant facility could host thousands of visitors at a time in carefully curated spaces designed for exercise, recreation, and bathing in cold, warm, and hot environments, allowing average Romans to experience the lifestyle of the aristocracy and the emperor himself for a few hours a day. This virtual tour focuses on the bath block, the contiguous suite of spaces dedicated to exercise and bathing and the best-preserved part of the complex. The original architectural decorations have been restored where known, and otherwise the model uses decorations inspired by contemporary monumental structures. The commentary begins with the history and organization of the complex and then explores the spaces for changing, exercising, sweating, and bathing. A unique feature of this tour is the restoration of the several free-standing marble sculptures recovered from the Baths of Caracalla in recent centuries and currently housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. Among them are some of the most technically ambitious and imposing sculptures ever executed, the Farnese Hercules (Weary Hercules) and the Farnese Bull (Punishment of Dirce). Your guides are Prof. Bernard Frischer, Director of the Rome Reborn project and founder of Flyover Zone, and Dr. Alberto Prieto, a Rome-based archaeologist and educator and Chief Content Officer at Flyover Zone.
Audio Languages: English
Closed Captions: English
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