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Learning the History of Roman Baths

Nov 22, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Mariah Thomas

Mariah Thomas

Mariah is an official CAPA blogger, sharing her story on CAPA World. A Journalism major at SUNY Purchase College, she is studying abroad in London.

In today's post, Mariah talks about the time she went on a CAPA London excursion to the Roman Baths and learned about its history and relevance.

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CAPA hosts several excursions and My Global City events to help us explore the beautiful and vibrant city of London. One such event was the trip to the Roman Baths.

Overlooking the Roman Baths

The Roman Baths is located in the English City of Bath. It’s a preserved Roman site for public bathing. In ancient times, bathing was a common daily activity that was practiced through all of the different social classes

The bus ride to the Roman Baths took around 2 hours. Along the ride, me and the rest of the CAPA students spent the time relaxing or listening to our host discuss the amazing history behind the Roman bathhouse.

The museum was very unique with the building and bath structures they have inside. After passing through the front entrance, they had an array of arrows that told us where to start and where to end the tour. The major site was the Roman bathhouse, which was a big and in a rectangular-shaped structure. Broken pillars stood on each side and from the ground you could look up and see the tourists that crowded the top of the structure. The bathhouse, of course was murky.

Witness the Waters in the Roman Bathhouse

As a funny story, our host told us of how one year, a CAPA student decided to taste the murky water. To this day, we’re unsure why this occurred.

Above the bathhouse, on the structure held up by the pillars, were statues of what I believe to be Roman soldiers. Back in the day, the Roman soldiers wore a linen undershirt and a tunic made of wool. They also wore metal helmets. Over their undergarment they had on a short-sleeved, knee length woolen tunic. They thought it was “effeminate” to wear trousers. What we mostly see them wear based on what was found were red or off-white wool garments. The superior commanders wore white cloaks.

In the museum, they had video reenactments of Roman society. Women were wearing ankle length tunics. Wealthier women wore long tunics of silk or cotton.

The Pillars and Structure of the Roman Baths

This excursion taught me how amazing the past is and how it ties in with the present. It’s amazing to think of how people used to live in the past and how things have evolved to where they are now. I find this fascinating with people and culture, as well as the architecture of our buildings. Every country and culture has different architectural styles, and I wonder how many years it took for the Roman Baths to evolve to where it is now and how the culture of the people has evolved as well. It makes me think of American history and how we have evolved from our old society. I think of all the buildings that were built and how they’ve crumbled and been rebuilt.

Entering the Roman Baths

I admit that I didn’t attend many of the My Global City events, and that is something I regret. The events are already paid for (through your program) and some of them are amazing opportunities to travel and immerse yourself in the culture. I would recommend the events to future students.

Thanks, Mariah!

See more of Mariah's journey in London.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, History Abroad, Activities Abroad