Welcome to the Roman Baths Blog!

This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

“Beware the Ides of March”

When you’re in a building complex as old as the Roman Baths, strange things are bound to happen.

One day, some time back in the 1980s Julius Caesar went for a dip in the Great Bath.

And no, it was not the ghost of Julius Caesar, it was a statue of the Roman dictator. The statue was carved by G. A. Lawson in the late Victorian period and stood along side Lawson’s other works on the terrace overlooking the Great Bath.

Legend has it that a visitor asked a staff member, “What happened to Julius Caesar?”

“He was assassinated,” replied the staff member, matter-of-factly.

And then they saw him: Julius Caesar’s torso in the green pool. A sight complimented by the empty pedestal on the terrace. One wonders if upon witnessing this site staff thought to themselves “Tis very like: he has the falling sickness” and giggled a little. (Julius Caesar 1.2.256)

With Cimbe, Casca and Brutus no where in sight, staff decided some mischievous youths must have climbed over the terrace late at night and accidentaly pushed Caesar into the waters. Laurence Tindall was commissioned to carve a new Julius Caesar and all the statues, including the new one, were permanently fixed to their bases. No more diving emperors at the Roman Baths.

The pieces of the Victorian Caesar are in storage at the Roman Baths.  His head and foot are on display for the Store Tours and Tunnel Tours.


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