Herculaneum VI.8. Terme Centrali or Central Baths. Women’s Baths.

Maiuri wrote that the section reserved for women was smaller, less well decorated and less complete than the men’s section. Here there is no frigidarium.

Mosaic in the women's baths, Herculaneum. | Arte azul, Arte, Roma

The first large square room, decorated with a red dado and with a continuous podium all around, where the clients waited their turn, leads through another tiny rectangular vestibule to the small charming apodyterium with the usual shelf with recesses running around it and a strigulated stucco vault; the mosaic pavement is similar to that in the tepidarium of the men’s baths: a large Triton in the centre surrounded by dolphins, polyps and eels.

The tepidarium, smaller than the preceding room, has the usual shelf divided into separate recesses for clothes and bath linen and a finer mosaic pavement with the geometrical meander motif.

Herculaneum VI.8. Terme Centrali or Central Baths. Women's Baths.

The calidarium with the hollow floor and the smoke and heat vents placed in the thickness of the walls, as in the men’s section, presents us with a more complete view, of the calidaria of the first century of the Empire: there is the large marble bath for the hot bath and opposite to it, the circular podium for a bronze or marble labrum for the cold or tepid water ablutions (the basin had been carried away from here also); along the walls, there are two elegant marble benches.

See Maiuri, Amedeo, (1977). Herculaneum. 7th English ed, of Guide books to the Museums Galleries and Monuments of Italy, No.53 (p.39).

Herculaneum VI.8. Terme Centrali or Central Baths. Women's Baths.

According to Guidobaldi, the original entrance vestibule would have been the small room with black mosaic with inserts of polychrome marble that opens at VI.9. This was then transformed into an independent shop, by the closing of the preceding aperture with the room of the apodyterium. The large waiting room at VI.8 then became the main entrance to the women’s baths, capable of seating around 40 people on its benches along the walls.

See Guidobaldi, M.P, 2009: Ercolano, guida agli scavi. Naples, Electa Napoli, (p.102).

Italy Photos 3

See Pesando, F. and Guidobaldi, M.P. (2006). Pompei, Oplontis, Ercolano, Stabiae. Editori Laterza, (p.362).