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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gorgon's Head Roman Baths Bath

Another highlight of the Roman Baths in Bath, along with the gilt bronze head of Sulis Minerva, is a stone Gorgon's head founded during the building of the Pump Room in 1790.

The stone is part of the main pediment at the temple of Sulis Minerva, which was situated at the spring in Bath, and is thought to have been made in Gaul, due to the quality of the stone work.

Gorgon is a female creature from Greek myth that was killed by Perseus with the help of the goddess Athena, Romanized later as Minerva, who is the central diety of the Roman temple at Bath.

The creature depicted in the sculpture is definitely male, with a beard, which has sparked debate that the image could be the water god Oceanus, or a Celtic sun god, rather than a Gorgon.

The pediment as a whole is full of symbolism including images of the half men and half fish Tritons, servants of the god Neptune, a dolphin's head, a small owl and female Victories. Specialists are still debating the full meaning of the various iconography of the pediment.

The Roman Baths
Abbey Church Yard
Tel: +44 (0)1225 477785

Opening Hours

January - February
9.30am-4.30pm exit 5.30pm
March - June
9am-5pm exit 6pm
July - August
9am-9pm exit 10pm
September - October
9am-5pm exit 6pm
November - December
9.30am-4.30pm exit 5.30pm

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