Baths of Zeuxippus
The Baths of Zeuxippus, built sometime between 100 to 200, destroyed by the
Nika revolt of 532and then rebuilt several years later,Ward-Perkins, B. p.935] were popular public bathsin the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. They were so called because they were built upon the site where a Temple of Jupiter ( Zeus) had formerly existed.Gilles, P. p.70] They were built around 500 yards south of the much older baths of Achilles of the earlier Greek Acropolis in Byzantion. The baths were famed primarily for the many statues that were built within, and the famous people they each represented.However, they were later used for military purposes, during the seventh century. Excavations of the site and the Baths were made in 1928.
The original Baths, which were founded and built by
Septimius Severus, and adorned by Constantine IWornum, R.N.] were magnificently built; adorned with many mosaics and over eighty statues, mostly those of historical figures, with Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Demosthenes, Aeschinesand Virgilall among them,Bury, J.B. p.55] as well as the figures of gods and mythological heroes;Müller, K.O.; Welcker, F.G. p.208] the Baths were a true splendor of architectureand art, even inspiring works of literature. These statues were taken from various places worldwide, including regions such as Asiaand the surrounding areas, Rome, Greeceand Asia Minor.Evans, J.A.S. p.30] The Baths did, indeed, follow a trend of architecture during the period; places such as the Palace of the Senate, that of the Forums, the Palace of Laususwere all adorned with similar statues, of heroes (mythological and not), historical figures, and powerful people, becoming part of a contemporary form of artful architecture.Gregorovius, F.; Hamilton, A. p.80]
For a relatively small fee, entrance could be gained by any member of the general public to the Bath complex. While the area was obviously primarily used for public bathing, one could
exerciseand enjoy a variety of recreational activities. Attendants were paid to oversee these activities, and the happenings of the complex, enforcing opening and closing times, and the rules of conduct. Men and women were not allowed to bathe together; they would either be in separate baths, or bathe at different times of the day.Rautman, M.L. p.77]
The popularity of the Baths of Zeuxippus was very great among the citizens, despite the numerous number of baths that had been available for public access at the time in Constantinople, [Matthews, W. p.230] and therefore, the great competition that existed in that commercial area. Even the likes of clergy and monks were seen there, despite the insistence by their superiors that the baths were places of impious behaviour.
The 12th century scholar
Zonarastells of how Severus connected the baths to the Hippodrome and, in doing so, built it on the site of the Temple of Jupiter. However, Leontius, who was more accurate in his writings (which also predate those of Zonaras), instead asserted that the baths were not actually joined to the Hippodrome, but was simply close to it:
bquote|Between Zeuxippus' cool refreshing baths,
And the famed Hippodrome's swift course I stand.
Let the spectator, where he bathes himself
Or sees the struggling steed panting for breath
Pay a kind visit, to enhance his pleasures;
He'll find a hearty welcome at my table.
Or if more manly sports his mind affects,
Practice the rough diversions of the stadia.
In addition to this, the Baths of Zeuxippus were also close (most probably adjacent) to the Great Palace grounds.Tafur, P. p.225] This evidences their popularity, as such a location would have attracted many people, being in such great proximity to such significant places. The square of the
Augustaeumand the basilica of Hagia Sophiawere also close to the Baths.
The map to the right shows the Baths' approximate location within Constantinople, as determined by excavations made there. As can be seen, the Baths were roughly quadrangular in shape, and were, indeed, very close to, or even "connected" to the Palace, as Zonaras indicated.
Destruction and later use
As a result of the Nika revolt of 532, which constituted the worst uprising Constantinople had seen at the time, and which left half of the city in ruins and thousands of people dead, the original Baths of Zeuxippus were destroyed in blazing fire. While
Justiniantook action to rebuild the Baths, he could not recreate or restore the marvelous statues or the antiquities that were lost in 532.
Soon after this however, in the early 7th century, as a result of extreme military and political pressure on the Byzantine Empire, public bathing changed from being a common luxury to a rare and infrequent one, and many public facilities and venues began to be used for the austere purposes of the military. It was during this time that the newly rebuilt Baths of Zeuxippus were used as a military
barracksand, later on, as a prison. [Gibbon, E. p.950]
Almost 1000 years later, in 1556, the renowned Ottoman architect
Sinanbuilt the Haseki Hürrem Hamamon the same grounds. Later still, in 1928, excavations were made at the site, and many historical relics were recovered, such as earthenware and glazed pottery, giving unique insights into the architectural designs and social interests of the people and culture of Constantinople at the time. [http://www.archaeology.org/interactive/blacksea/artifacts.html Zeuxippus Ware] ]
Most particular of the objects found at the site were two statues which were inscribed with the words 'Hekabe' and 'Aeschenes' [sic] on their bases, giving rise to the theory that tells of how Christodorus of Coptus effectively wrote the six epigrams on the many statues of the Baths, and lending further plausibility to the writings of both Zonaras and Leontius.
Christodorus of Coptus, an
Egyptian poet and writer wrote a lengthy (416 lines long) hexameterpiece of poetry inspired by the glory of the statues housed within the halls of the Baths of Zeuxippus. [Bowersock, G.W.; Grabar, O. p.6] This poem actually consisted of a number of short epigrams (six in total), each focusing on one or a small group of statues within the Baths, designed to combine to form one work. While it has been suggested that the epigrams of Christodorus of Coptus may actually have been inscribed on the (bases) of the statues themselves, this is unlikely because of his use of the ekphrastic medium, and the presence of the past tensein the text.Johnson, S.F. p.170]
*Bryan Ward-Perkins "The Cambridge Ancient History: Empire and Successors, A.D. 425-600". Cambridge University Press, 2000.
*John Bagnell Bury "A History of the Later Roman Empire from Arcadius to Irene (395 A.D. -800 A.D.) " Adamant Media Corporation, 2005. ISBN 1402183690
*Pierre Gilles "The Antiquities of Constantinople". Italica Press, Incorporated, 1998. ISBN 0934977011
*Marcus Louis Rautman "Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire". Greenwood Press, 2006. ISBN 0313324379
*Edward Gibbon "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire". Penguin Classics, 1995. ISBN 0140433945
*Ralph Nickolson Wornum "The epochs of painting characterized, a sketch of the history of painting, ancient and modern". 1847.
*Pero Tafur "Travels and Adventures 1435-1439" Routledge, 2004.
*Scott Fitzgerald Johnson "Greek Literature in Late Antiquity: Dynamism Didacticism Classicism" Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006. ISBN 0754656837
*Karl Otfried Müller, Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker "Ancient Art and Its Remains: Or, A Manual of the Archaeology of Art". 1852.
*J. A. S. Evans " The Age of Justinian". ISBN 0415022096
*Ferdinand Gregorovius, Annie Hamilton "History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages"
*William Matthews "An historical and scientific description of the mode of supplying London with water". 1841
* [http://www.byzantium1200.com/zeuxippos.html 3D reconstruction of the baths from "Byzantium 1200"]
* [http://www.ancientlibrary.com/greek-anthology/0072.html Christodorus' poem, in Greek and English]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Zeuxippus, Baths of — See Augustaion; Nika Revolt … Historical dictionary of Byzantium
Constantinople — This article is about the city before the Fall of Constantinople (1453). For a more detailed approach after 1453, see History of Istanbul. For other uses, see Constantinople (disambiguation). Map of Byzantine Constantinople … Wikipedia
Mimar Sinan — خواجه معمار سنان آغا Born c. 1489/1490 Ağırnas, Kayseri, Central Anatolia Died July 17, 1588( … Wikipedia
Portal:Architecture — Shortcut: P:ARCH Wikipedia portals: Culture Geography Health History Mathematics Natural sciences Peop … Wikipedia
Sinan — Koca Mi‘mār Sinān Āġā (Ottoman Turkish: خوجه معمار سنان آغا) (April 15, 1489 April 09, 1588) was the chief Ottoman architect and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman I, Selim II and Murad III. He was, during a period of fifty years, responsible… … Wikipedia
Great Palace of Constantinople — The Byzantine Great Palace of Constantinople, ( el. Μέγα Παλάτιον, Turkish: Büyük Saray), also known as the Sacred Palace (Latin: sacrum palatium, el. Ιερόν Παλάτιον), was a large palace complex, located in the south eastern end of the peninsula… … Wikipedia
Pedro Tafur — (or Pero Tafur ) (ca. 1410 ca. 1487) was a Spanish traveler and writer. Born in Córdoba, Tafur traveled across three continents during the years 1436 to 1439. During the voyage, he participated in various battles, visited shrines, and rendered… … Wikipedia
Valens Aqueduct — The Valens Aqueduct ( tr. Bozdoğan Kemeri, meaning Aqueduct of the grey falcon ; gr. Άγωγός του ὔδατος, Agōgós tou hýdatos , meaning simply aqueduct ) was the major water providing system of medieval Constantinople (modern Istanbul, in Turkey).… … Wikipedia
Augustaion — The Augustaion (Greek: Polytonic|Αὐγουσταῖον) or, in Latin, Augustaeum , was the main public square in medieval Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), roughly corresponding to the modern Aya Sofya Meydanı ( Hagia Sophia Square ).HistoryThe… … Wikipedia
Ника (восстание) — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Ника. Площадь Ипподром Восстание «Ника» (бунт «Ника») (греч … Википедия