The Roman baths, Bath 28c
Medium: Ink wash on paper
These Roman baths were built to utilise the town's natural hot springs, giving Bath its name and its first reason for existence. The Romans had established a settlement here by the end of the first century AD. They dedicated it to a new goddess, Sulius Minerva: a local Celtic deity, Sul, combined with the classical goddess of water, Minerva. An impressive series of bath houses and temples were built, turning 'Aqua Sulius' into a popular health resort. Although Aqua Sulius and its baths were gradually abandoned after the Romans left, the foundations of the baths remained preserved under layers of mud. Classical remains and antiquities appealed to late 18th century society and they were consequently sought out and studied at Bath and elsewhere. These baths were discovered in 1755 under the abbey house at Bath, on the estate of the Duke of Kingston.