Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lost Roman resort of Baiae

Saw a very interesting documentary yesterday evening on a leaf of Roman history of which I knew nothing, the port town of Baiae a hundred miles or so from Rome. Both a port and a seaside resort for the Roman upper crust. From Wikipedia:
Baiae (Italian: Baia; Neapolitan: Baia) was an ancient Roman town situated on the northwest shore of the Gulf of Naples, and now in the comune of Bacoli. It was a fashionable resort for centuries in antiquity, particularly towards the end of the Roman Republic, when it was reckoned as superior to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Capri by the super-rich who built luxurious villas here from 100 BC to 500 a.d. It was notorious for its hedonistic offerings and the attendant rumours of corruption and scandal. It later formed part of Port Julius, the base of the western fleet of the Imperial Roman Navy which however was abandoned because of the silting up of Lake Lucrinus (from which a short channel led to Lake Avernus) for the two harbors at Cape Misenum 4 miles south. A good portion of the ruins of the town were largely submerged by local volcanic, bradyseismic activity behind which raised or lowered the land.

Many impressive buildings can be seen in the Parco Archeologico delle Terme di Baia and recent underwater archaeology has revealed many of the fine buildings now protected in the submerged archaeological park.
Superb footage of the submerged roads, mosaics and statues.

Click to enlarge.

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