Online Encyclopedia

TEPIDARIUM

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 636 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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TEPIDARIUM, the term given to the warm (lepidus) bath-room of the Roman baths. There is an interesting example at Pompeii; this was covered with a semicircular barrel vault, decorated with reliefs in stucco, and round the room a series of square recesses or niches divided from one another by Telamones. The tepidarium in the Roman thermae was the great central hall round which all the other halls were grouped, and which gave the key to the plans of the thermae: it was probably the hall where the bathers first assembled prior to taking the cold bath or passing through the various hot baths,of Caracalla, the Farnese Hercules, and the Toro Farnese, the two gladiators, the sarcophagi of green basalt now in the Vatican, and numerous other treasures, were found during the excavations by Paul III. in 1546, and transported to the Vatican and the museum at Naples.
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