The Lost Fort

My Travel and History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


1 Apr 2008
  Aelius Rufus Visits the Future - The Baths of Segedunum

We left the tower and went to the bath house, the one truly Roman looking feature on what Merlinius called 'the site'; obviously a modern word for the places where they'd dug out our walls and some terra sigillata. The baths were modeled after the ones in Cilurnum where quite a lot of walls had been found, Merlinus explained. People in the future were pretty interested in Roman baths.

Baths at Segedunum, details of the wall paint

"Don't they have any baths these days?" Gaius asked.

"They do," Merlinus said, "but they have only tubs and something they call showers in their insulae, and public indoor and outdoor swimming pools in most towns. Some also have what is called a sauna, a bit like the laconicum, the hot dry room. It is considered bad manners to stink."

"So, even the barbarians at the Wall have adopted baths?"

Merlinus nodded.

Gaius grinned and slapped my shoulder. "See, Roma has conquered them in the end, and taught them civilization."

Fountain in the tepidarium, the warm room

We went through the changing room (the apodyterium) into the frigidarium, the cold bath. Pity we could not really use it but with all those tourists around, it might not have been much fun. I did not want to appear on those camera thingies wearing nothing. Not that I'm ashamed of my body which is in very good shape, but the sight of nude men always makes the girls giggle.

We strolled over to the tepidarium, the warm room, complete with fountain and some very blue paint. Merlinus muttered something about a "vain attempt to recreate the sky over Rome, which is often veiled by all that smoke anyway." There were no slaves who'd scrap the bathers' skin with scented oil, and I wondered if people used electricity for that in the future like with the cranes.

Hot bath, caldarium

There was water in the caldarium, the hot bath, but obviously not really hot since the steam so common in this room was missing. Though we learned that the baths were fully functional with a Roman underfloor steam heating system heated by furnaces outside the building.

In one wall we found a niche with a little statue of the fertility goddess Ceres holding a bundle of wheat gleans. It was rather crudely made.

"I wonder how that guy received the status of immunis," I said. "Anyone can slab some paint on a figure like that."

"Maybe he was the best they could find, or he knew someone who knew someone. You know how it works," Gaius replied.

Wall niche with goddess figurine

The immunes were soldiers exempt from some of the more tedious duties like guard service, because they had special skills. Among them were drill sergeants, artisans, clerks and the medical orderlies. Some brought their skills because of their background, but others like weapons instructors or cavalry troopers - the legionary ones, not the auxiliary - received training as discens before they got promoted. Officially, they didn't receive extra payment, but bribery was pretty common.
 
Comments:
Ah, the baths. I must have some Roman blood in me somewhere. I love me a nice long (very long) soak in the bath.

You'd think the frigidarium would be sort of surplus on the northern frontiers. ;) I bet there was always a mad rush for the caldarium at the end of the day!

On a side-note, I always wonder if sluicing themselves down with olive oil actually worked.
 
Lol yes, I like me a nice hot bath better, too. If I want cold water, I prefer an entire lake so I can really swim.
 
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The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, the Baltic Countries, and central Europe. It includes virtual town and castle tours with a focus on history, museum visits, hiking tours, and essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, illustrated with my own photos.


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Location: Goettingen, Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History, interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Stirling
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Denmark

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Viking Museum Roskilde
To come


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Gnisvärd Ship Setting

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Porvoo
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Scottish Sea Shores
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West Highland Railway

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Wildlife
Sea Gulls


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Coast of Norway: Hurtigruten-Tour
A Voyage into Winter
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Along the Coast of Norway - North of the Polar Circle

Norway by Train
From Oslo to Bergen
From Trondheim to Oslo

Wildlife
Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord


The Baltic Sea

A Baltic Sea Cruise

The Curonian Spit in Lithuania
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit



Mediaeval History

General Essays

by Country
- Germany
- England
- Scotland
- Wales
- Denmark
- Norway
- Sweden
- Livonia
- Lithuania
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- Bohemia
- Luxembourg
- Flanders

Roman History

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Famous Romans
Roman Life and Religion

Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age
Post-Mediaeval History
History and Literature
Geology


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Warfare

Sieges
Trebuchets

Weapons
Late Mediaeval Swords

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
The Hunting Frieze in Königslutter Cathedral
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Craftmanship
Goldsmithery
Medical Instruments

Feudalism

The History of Feudalism
The Beginnings
Feudalism in the 10th Century

Special Cases
The privilege of the deditio

The Hanseatic League

The History of the Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings

Hanseatic Architecture
Examples of Brick Architecture
Hall Houses (Dielenhäuser)

Goods and Trade
Stockfish Trade

Towns of the Hanseatic League
Riga
Stralsund
Tallinn / Reval

The Order of the Teutonic Knights

Wars and Battles
The Conquest of Danzig
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

The Vikings

Viking Material Culture
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Viking Ships
The Nydam Ship


Essays by Country

Germany

Geneaology

List of Mediaeval German Emperors
Anglo-German Marriage Connections

Kings and Emperors

The Salian Dynasty
King Heinrich IV

Staufen against Welfen
Emperor Otto IV

Princes and Lords

House Welfen
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen

The Landgraves of Thuringia
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Dukes and Princes of other Families
Duke Otto of Northeim
Prince Wilhelm Malte of Putbus

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Feuds and Rebellions

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War
The Star Wars


England

Kings of England

House Plantagenet
Richard Lionheart in Speyer
King Henry IV's Lithuanian Crusade

Normans, Britons, Angevins

Great Noble Houses
The Dukes of Brittany
The Earls of Richmond

Contested Borders

Northumbria
King Stephen's Troubles with King David of Scots


Scotland

Kings of Scots

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War, Part 1
King David and the Civil War, Part 2

Houses Bruce and Stewart
The Early Stewart Kings

Local Troubles

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding

Scotland and England

The Wars of Independence
Alexander of Argyll
The Fight for Stirling Castle


Wales

Welsh Princes

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

Wales and England

A History of Rebellion
Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Denmark

Kings of Denmark

House of Knýtlinga
Harald Bluetooth's Flight to Pomerania

Danish Rule in the Baltic Sea

The Duchy of Estonia
Danish Kings and German Sword Brothers


Norway

Kings of Norway

Foreign Relations
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages
King Håkon V's Swedish Politics
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union

Feuds and Rebellions

Rebels
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Sweden

Troubles and Alliances

Scandinavian Unity
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union


Livonia
(Latvia and Estonia)

Contested Territories

Livonian Towns
The History of Mediaeval Riga
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Lithuania

Lithuanian Princes

The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390


Poland

Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig


Bohemia

Royal Dynasties

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
King Sigismund and the Hussite Wars


Luxembourg

House Luxembourg
King Sigismund


Flanders

More to come


Roman History

The Romans at War

Forts and Fortifications

The German Limes
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend

Border Life
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Campaigns and Battles

Maps
The Romans in Germania

The Pre-Varus Invasion in Germania
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
Weapon Finds at Hedemünden
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles


Famous Romans

The Late Empire

Alaric
The Legend of Alaric's Burial


Roman Life and Religion

Religion and Public Life

Religion
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms
Isis Worship
Memorial Stones
The Mithras Cult

Public Life
Roman Transport: Barges
Roman Transport: Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Architecture
Roman Public Baths

Domestic Life

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots


Other Times

Neolithicum to Iron Age

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
The Hutewald Project in the Solling
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Neolithic Remains
Stone Burials of the Funnelbeaker Culture
The Necropolis of Oldendorf

Bronze Age / Iron Age
The Nydam Ship

Scotland

Neolithic Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae

Bronze Age / Iron Age
Clava Cairns
The Brochs of Gurness and Midhowe - Their Function in Iron Age Society

Scandinavia

Bronze / Iron Age
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd / Gotland


Post-Mediaeval History

Explorers and Discoveries

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)


History and Literature

Germany

The Weimar Classicism
Introduction


Geology

Geological Landscapes: Germany

Baltic Sea Coast
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

Harz Mountains
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in Southern Harz
The Lonau Falls
The Rhume Springs
Sandstone Formations: Daneil's Cave
Sandstone Formations: Devil's Wall
Sandstone Formations: The Klus Rock

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations
Salt Springs at the Werra

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

Geological Landscapes: Great Britain

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Geological Landscapes: Baltic Sea

Lithuania
Geology of the Curonian Spit

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite (Czechia)



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