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Roman Baths of Isthmia
The Roman Baths of Isthmia were constructed about 150 A.D. in an area of the
Sanctuary probably used by athletes. It was a complex of luxury and beauty, with
high roofs and enormous windows, lavishly decorated on both the exterior and
interior. The walls of the Baths were covered with decorated plaster or marble and
the floors were covered with rich mosaics or slabs of colored marble. Four of the
rooms were heated with great furnaces, and a complex in the north-west had two
great cold pools. The Baths would have been used not only for bathing but for social
interaction and perhaps even for religious celebrations. The Roman Baths were
constructed on the foundations of a Bath of Classical date, constructed around 350
B.C. This bath had a swimming pool 30 meters (100 Greek feet) on a side and 1.4m
deep. The Roman Baths were used for 250 years until they were destroyed around
400 A.D. The Monochrome Mosaic at Isthmia is of a type, characterized by the use
of black and white tesserae only. This style of mosaic was very popular in Italy in
the first and second centuries A.D. and thus, it is an example of the influence of
Roman style and culture in Greece during the period of the Roman Empire.
Detailed study of the techniques of the mosaics, however, suggest that the workmen
involved in its construction probably were Greeks, since they followed traditions
that were more common in Greece. The Monochrome Mosaic at Isthmia was
discovered in 1976 and fully exposed over the next two years. It is the largest mosaic
of its type (22m x 8m) in the Eastern Mediterranean and has strong parallels with
those in Ostia (especially the Baths of Neptune there) and Pompeii.
LOCATION
Located within the archaeological site of Isthmia
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Roman Baths of Isthmia