Baths of Zeuxippus

Istanbul, Turkey

Baths of Zeuxippus

The Baths of Zeuxippus were popular public baths in the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. They were built between 100 and 200, destroyed by the Nika revolt of 532 and then rebuilt several years later. They were so called because they were built upon the site where a Temple of Zeus (Jupiter) had formerly existed. 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 decorated under Constantine I were adorned with numerous mosaics and over eighty statues, mostly those of historical figures, with Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Demosthenes, Aeschines and Virgil all among them, as well as the figures of gods and mythological heroes;. These statues were taken from various places worldwide, including regions such as Asia and the surrounding areas, Rome, Greece and Asia Minor. 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 Lausus were all adorned with similar statues, of heroes (mythological and not), historical figures, and powerful people, becoming part of a contemporary form of artful architecture.

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