The Gorgon of Aquae Sulis Picture

This was taken at the Roman bath houses in Bath. It’s part of the museum that has been built into and onto the ruins and it really is worth seeing if you ever go. Unlike most museums that I’ve ever been to there is virtually nothing written on little boards telling you what you are looking at or anything like that. There are also very few items that are behind glass either so a lot of the stone work you can actually go up to and touch (although I’m not sure how keen the staff are of you doing that
This is one of the more impressive items on show in my opinion. It used to sit above an archway that lead into the main complex, back in the day, but now just hangs on a large wall with a picture at the bottom (not in the shot) of what it probably looked like when it was made. One thing that I don’t think I really captured that well in this picture is the scale of it. Although not the largest structure on the tour it was pretty impressive. It would have been nice to get a bit more of that sense but at least you can get an idea of what the detail is like and how well it was sculpted. There is another picture of just the Gorgon in the centre which I will probably submit at a later date. You can really see the detail in that one. Note also, that the lighting it this picture is how it was in the museum. No flash was used here (I’m not really a big fan of flash so I tend not to use it).

Some of you may be wondering about the title as well so I think it is time for a quick history lesson! ^^ (look away now if you are not interested)

Aquae Sulis was the Roman name for Bath (translated simply as "the waters of Sulis"). It is thought that the Romans took over the area soon after they invaded in 43AD. At that time there was not a lot to see, simply the Sacred Spring and a small shrine dedicated to the Celtic goddess Sulis. Sulis was the local goddess of water and to make their occupation easier and less hostile the Romans adopted Sulis and also associated her with their own goddess, Minerva, the goddess of craft and wisdom. A bath house and temple was built over the scared spring to both of them soon afterwards and it is those structures that still stand to this day. The architecture was so good in fact that the same hot spring is running through the same pipes and network that the Roman engineers built almost two thousand years ago. It’s astonishing to think about it really!
One thing that struck me about the Gorgon itself was that this one is male. The Gorgon was always described as being female in Greek and Roman mythology, but this guy is quite clearly male (the moustache and beard gives it away really
EDIT: I did actually write a lot more about this subject but, as I so often do when it comes to history, I started rambling about rather irrelevant things so I cut it down to size a bit.
Right, that’s enough of that! Let me no what you think.
Continue Reading: Gorgons