1828. 19 pp. introduction to a presentation of 15 exquisite engraved plates (7 fold-out, 2 double side, 1 color) showing the results of the early 19th century excavations by Velo and reconstructions of various buildings within the complex, including sculptural and mosaic fragments and a general plan of the site. Some minor soiling and creasing, some waterstaining to upper corners of several of the text pages. Large folio. Boards, some repairs to spine, minor soiling and abrasions. Paris (Firmin Didot) 1828.
The Baths of Caracalla were inaugurated in AD 216 and were in operation until the 530s. In the 5th century they were referred to as one of the seven wonders of Rome, with a daily usage estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 bathers. They eventually fell into a state of ruin from lack of use, and suffered major damage in a significant earthquake in 847. Over the subsequent centuries, the baths were used as a quarry for construction materials, as gardens, and even as a playground. In the 17th and 18th centuries, however, interest in the structure was rekindled, and in 1824, excavations at the baths were overseen by Count Egidio de Velo, followed by restoration work later in the century. Findings included the mosaics of athletes now housed at the Vatican Museums. Book ID: 43041