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The remains of the thermae of Trebula Balliensis
Photo A


The central room of the thermae (frigidarium)
Photo B


The east alveus of the thermae
Photo C


The rectangular room (calidarium)
Photo D


The west alveus of the thermae
Photo E


A walling's stump having semicircle shape
Photo F
 
 

THE THERMAE OF TREBULA


The thermal building of Trebula Balliensis bringed to light in 1976 during the construction of the road that joins the Campole locality with the main road; the thermae are at North outskirts of Treglia. During the named construction a substantial part of them was illegally demolished; so, a remarkable part of the thermae is under the roadway. The thermal kept environments have a surface that measures 150 square metres (150 mq). By observing the composition of the wallings we can note two different kinds of building: the first is a masonry made by tufaceous tiles, the second is a masonry made by tufaceous tiles mixed with bricks and tiles. Therefore, the thermal building reached noeadays turns out to be the refurbishment of a preexisting building; particularly, we can recognize two different building stages that are simply synthesized in Fig.1.

 Fig. 1 - The building stages of the thermae:
in black the first stage, in gray the second (drawn by Claudio Calastri)

Now we try to assign to thermae an exact chronological sphere. The building tecniques wich were utilised are the simple and mixed masonry, often using again the salvage. On these grounds we can date them at late imperial age. In this context is useful to make the following digression about the dating of the thermae of Trebula. Plinius the Old, in his work "Naturalis Historia (3, 64)", referring to Trebula, uses the "Trebulani cognomine ballienses" sentence. Plinius lived from 24 A.D. to 79 A.D. because he died at Pompei, during the Vesuvio's eruption wich buried Pompei and Ercolano. All this shows that, in this time, Trebula had already the thermae, deserving the "Balliensis" appellative. Therefore, doesn't dating of the thermae at costantinian age contradict Plinius? No, it does not. It's obvious that the thermae named by Plinius aren't those excavated in 1976. This means that the thermae named by Plinius should be in other place or the costantinian thermae should be a total remaking of the thermae named by Plinius.


Fig. 2 -A rebuilding hypothesis of the distribution and function of the rooms.
(drawn by Claudio Calastri)

 

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