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This paper is a synthesis of the most relevant data regarding the archaeological research of small Roman period
bathhouses (balnea) situated along the military frontiers of the Roman province of Dacia. Although, the
emphasis was put on the bathhouses that functioned next to the auxiliary camps, for a better understanding of
the construction and operation of these buildings, we also have found it useful to present an introduction into
the topic of Roman baths found in other parts of the Dacian province.

After the end of the Dacian War of Emperor Trajan, the Roman province of Dacia was founded mainly as part
of the North-Danubian region (incorporating Transylvania, part of Banat, Oltenia and a small part of today's
Wallachia). During the period of Roman occupation, almost a century and a half border defense constituted an
exceptional challenge for the Roman Empire. The fortification system of Dacia needed to deal with several
problems like the pressures exerted by areas outside of the Empire and the impressive length of the border
area itself. Dacia therefore displays an atypical provincial fortification system, being a true outpost in the
northern regions of the Danube area.
In the Roman world, the latin term limes was understood as the summation of a linear fortification system, forts
of different dimensions and functions. It also signified the border road, stacked with small fortifications (burgs,
phrurias), watchtowers as well as the nearby civilian settlements (which provided soldiers and civilians with
numerous administrative, recreational or religious facilities). Taken together, all these form a valuable
assemblage of architectural and culture heritage.
With the exception of the spectacular Roman heritage located in the Mediterranean region, the exploration of
Roman remains in the rest of Europe functions differently and generates the use of different archaeological
research methods. As a consequence of the colder climate Roman structures have disappeared over time,
although being partly visible during the medieval age until the 18th-19th centuries. Much of the building
material has been reused by locals over time. With rare exceptions in some parts of central Europe, the legacy
of Roman civilization can be identified as a buried heritage.
This work was written in order to provide a brief description of an essential component of Roman civilization,
featured in the border areas of Dacia in its most remarkable expressions: public baths (in lat. balnea and
thermae). These buildings, which housed various social activities, are testimonies of Roman engineering and
conception, considered a symbol of Roman society.
Ancient written sources offer a variety of information about imperial public baths, which represent an
institution with an important role both in private and public sectors. Nonetheless bathhouses are not a Roman
invention, there were already widespread in ancient Greece represented by a small space and serving practical
purposes, namely maintaining hygiene. After assimilating older bathing habits, Roman society succeeded in
generating a new architectural genre. According to ancient sources, the use of private and public heated
bathrooms with hot water becomes a common practice in the time of Cicero. Roman baths differ from Greek
baths, being they have features beyond the purely functional by way of their architectural dimension, the
diversity of edifices and the assignment of new spaces with values of social interaction, used for recreational
activities and cultural education.
Baths were an integral part of the Roman urban fabric, as well as the daily life of Roman soldiers, living in the
camps located on the border sections of a province. For many Roman citizens throughout the Empire, a visit to
the baths was part of the daily ritual of maintaining public and social relations. Typical edifices of every military
camp include the base commander's headquarters, the commander's home, the soldiers' barracks, the store
house for grains, and of course the baths. (Tabl. 4.) When it comes to the military training of soldiers, military
exercises represent the most important part: acquiring proper physical qualities, starting with gymnastics.
These activities, routines tied in with gymnasiums, took place in special areas located next to or in the baths
(e.g. palaestra, eleothasium and sudatorium or laconicum etc.). Physical exercise followed some complex rules
according to the Roman bathing routine involving the application of nutritional oils to the skin, exercise and /
or steam bath followed by bathing at different temperatures for toning and relaxing the muscles.
The name given by the Romans to these bath structures differs in time, sometimes inconsistencies appear even
in the texts of contemporary ancient authors. The Latin term thermae is a conversion of the Greek thermos,
meaning "warm". The name balneum was also common, used as a transliteration of the Greek word balaneion,
the small public bath. The difference between balneum and thermae is difficult to understand from epigraphic
sources, as these inscriptions have often been recovered from private collections, and cannot be associated
with the buildings in which they were placed during antiquity. The commonly used terms are hard to establish
with certainty, considering a clear distinction seemingly wasn’t made by the Romans themselves.
Recent research draws a line between the category of thermae, regarded as legionary fortress baths and balnea,
established as baths which belonged to auxiliary forts. Epigraphic evidence uses this terms when refrencing the
thermae maiores located at Aquincum and at Lancaster. In former Roman Dacia some written ancient sources
also mention the existence of balnea at Micia. We also observe a certain model being more widespread among
the provinces, namely the small bathhouse with two rows of rooms: a vestibulum, and an apodyterium (often a
single area), the frigidarium, two or three tepidaria (some with special functions) and a caldarium.
The research of provincial Roman baths represents an autonomous topic. Recent studies highlighting the
differences between bathhouses located in Italy and bath existing in the Roman provinces, thus spiking
significantly the interest for the study of provincial baths. There are specific topics concerning the regional
aspects of Roman baths: attributions of the bathing space in a private, public and military context, the
delimitation between private and public space, local tradition and the understanding of new Roman models.
Considering that provincial Roman architecture in a military environment is largely based on defensive
structures, the topic of baths situated in this environment raises new questions. Who used these baths?
Soldiers, civilians, soldiers and civilians, in what order? To what extent did women have access to these
facilities? What is the significance of their location in accordance with the location of the garrison or of the
civilian settlement? Interesting details are gained when considering the construction process of these facilities:
natural resources and geographic conditions, the builders and their mobility, the relation between the baths
and the stationing troop and the provenance of the soldiers from said regiment. (Table 2)
The research of provincial baths in Roman Dacia began in the middle of the 19th century and differed in measure
from one region to another. In several cases, archaeological research is limited to simply locating a site or
excavating a small surface. At the half of the next century, several systematic excavations were carried out in
order to discover as much of the entire surface of these edifices as possible. The publication methods vary from
excavation reports, subchapters in articles to monographic studies - if we consider the Western and Northern
Limes sectors. In general one may observe the lack of a synthesis and detailed studies. In the current state of
things, the precarity with which the components of the archaeologically researched edifices were identified is
obvious. There are three habitual approaches to identifying the function of an area: a. Using the general
information obtained from ancient literary sources (these references are valid only for the Mediterranean area)
b. By analogies with typologies established for other geographical regions (the data is not suitable for a border
province) or by corroborating room function in relation to the entire heating system (mainly by reference to
the combustion source). Due to the partial research prevalent in the study of several bathhouses, the process
of reconfiguration of function and spaces, changes occured over time cannot be interpreted properly.
Documenting and understanding these underlying changes or rebuilds can be a very important source for the
theoretical understanding of changing architectural sequences and implicitly for establishing a typology of these

LITERATURE: S. Marechal, Lavacrum: just another word for baths? How the terminology of
baths may have reflected changes in bathing habits, Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire,
tome 93, fasc. 1, 2015, 140-141; D. Krencker, E. Krüger, Die Trierer Kaiserthermen: mit einer
Übersicht über die wichtigsten Thermenanlagen des Römischen Reiches, Augsburg 1929;
Inge Nielsen, Thermae and Balnae. The Architecture and Cultural History of public Baths.
Arhus 1993, 257-275; J. DeLaine, New models, old modes: continuity and change in the
design of public baths, Der römische Stadt im 2 Jahrhundert n. Chr. Der Funktionswandel des
offentlichen Raumes. Cologne (ed. H. J. Schalles, P. Zanker), 1992, 257–275; J. DeLaine, D.
E. Johnston, Roman Baths and Bathing, Proceedings of the First International Conference on
Roman Baths, held at Bath, England, 30 March-4 April 1992, Vol. 1–2. Journal of Roman
Archaeology, 1999; O. Țentea O., Balnea în Dacia – câteva comentarii, In memoriam
Alexandri V. Matei. Local and regional cultural identities in European context, Cluj-Napoca,
2010, 455–458
(Tabl. 1)
Balnea located on the borders of the Dacia
1) Mehadia, Caraș-Severin
2) Tibiscum - Jupa, Caraș-Severin
3) Zăvoi, Caraș-Severin
4) Micia – Mintia, com. Vețel, Hunedoara
5) Călugăreni, Mureș
6) Odorheiu Secuiesc, Harghita
7) Inlăceni, Harghita
8) Resculum – Bologa, Cluj
9) Buciumi, Sălaj
10) Certiae – Romita, Sălaj
11) Arcobadara - Ilișua, Bistrița-Năsăud
12) Orheiul Bistriței, Bistrița Năsăud
13) Brețcu, Covasna
14) Cumidava – Râșnov, Brașov
15) Caput Stenarum – Boița, Sibiu
16) Săpata de Jos, Argeș
17) Sucidava – Celei, Olt
18) Slăveni, Olt
19) Copăceni, Vâlcea
20) Buridava – Stolniceni, Vâlcea
21) Arutela – Cozia (fosta Bivolari), Vâlcea
22) Rădăcinești, Vâlcea
23) Bumbești-Jiu, Gorj
24) Cătunele, Gorj

Balnea from SouthEast Dacia during the reign of Emperor Trajan

25) Cioroiu Nou, Dolj
26) Voinești, Argeș
27) Rucăr, Argeș
28) Drajna de Sus, Prahova
29) Mălăiești, Prahova
30) Târgșor, Prahova
31) Pietroasele, Buzău

Thermae type baths

I) Potaissa – Turda, Cluj
II) Colonia Aurelia Apulensis – Alba Iulia, Alba
II) Municipium Septimium Apulense – Alba Iulia, Alba
IV) Colonia Dacica Sarmizegetusa – Sarmizegetusa, Hunedoara
V) Drobeta, Mehedinți
VI) Romula – Reșca, Olt

VII) Alburnus Maior – Roșia Montană, Alba
VIII ) Șibot, Alba

Alveus The warm water basin in the caldarium, where more people bathed at the same
Apodyterium Dressing room. It is a medium temperature room. Most of the time there is no
underunderfloor heating.
Balneum The basic meaning of the word is private bathroom. However, in ancient sources
the term is also common in public baths, while balneum in specialised literature
is used for the baths of auxiliary troops, and thermae for baths of legionary
Roman troops - or, as the case may be, for public baths in settlements (vicus,
canabae )
Caldarium Room with one or more hot water pools. The room was generally equipped with
a pool sunked in the floor. In some cases, the laconicum was in the adjacent
area. In the plan of a bath it is distinguished by a semi-circular apse on one side.
Frigidarium The coldest of the rooms equipped with the cold water basin. Occasionally, the
apodyteria were adapted as frigidaria. Situations can be observed where a cold
water tub was situated inside the room.
Palaestra Wide area designed for training, like a Greek gymnasium, also called a peristyl.

Praefurnium The room where the heating of the bathhouse took place.
Laconicum Heated room, dry sauna.
Lavacrum The bathing area with hot water arranged in private houses, see also: labrum
(synonyms alveus, piscina kalida or solium) bathing space sometimes bathtub
when the room did not require a pool.
Sudatorium Hot "wet" room, wet sauna, steam room.
Tepidarium A passage room (for preparation before bathing) without a pool and direct
heating. Ex. the tepidarium and elaeothesium were designed for guests walking
from a cold bath to a warm one.

Tabl. 3.


1) Mehadia, Caraș-Severin
The Roman ruins of Mehadia are located about 3 km north of the settlement Mehadia, on the toponymic point
named by locals "La Zidine". The first systematic excavation took place in the fort (the area of the gates, corner
towers and the median area or latus praetori). M. Macrea along with M. Moga undertook the majority of
excavations as well as researched the baths in 1946. The bathing facility is located in the settlement situated
100 m east from the fort, on the banks of the river Belareca. The edifice was almost entirely excavated. The
plan shows that bathing area are arranged in two parallel axes: A - a large, rectangular room on the northern
side (probably the palaestra); five areas with hypocaust heating on the south side, B-E of which C and E had a
semi-circular termination to the south, like a "vitruvian" caldarium. Another interesting element of the bathing
facility is the space with a circular plan - room 2, respectively another with a semi-circular area, adjacent to
the western side of area A, marked with 1. on the published plan. (Figures 1.1 and 1.2)

Literature : M. Macrea. N. Gudea. I. Moţu, Praetorium. Castrul şi așezarea romană de la Mehadia,

Bucureşti 1993; N. Gudea, Săpăturile arheologice efectuate de M. Macrea şi M. Moga la baia castrului
roman de la Mehadia (judeţul Caraş-Severin), Tibiscus 4, 1975, 107-124

2) Tibiscum - Jupa, Caraș-Severin

The site is located at the place called "Cetate" or "Zidina", near Jupa on the left bank of the Timis River. The
bathhouse (named building XII) is located in the vicus. The results show a ring type bath with a circular
trajectory, made up of different areas with a semi-circular form: A, B, C of which A and B heated by hypocaust.
South of apse A, a second heated room is apparent which was partially destroyed. Research is no longer possible
because the adjacent surface has been destroyed by modern construction works. It should be noted that this
site qualifies as an interesting case-study because old research has managed to identify the remains of a bath
inside the fort, as seen on the plan published in 1976-1977 – but on subsequent topographical plans it can no
longer be observed. A similar situation is represented by Cumidava-Râşnov, where the authors of the research
interpreted the building with heated rooms as bathhouse. If these structures did fill the function of bathing
facilities, we can argue the facilities were most likely added or built in a later period, namely in the third
century.(Figure 2)

Literature : Doina Benea, P. Bona,Tibiscum, București, 1994

3) Zăvoi, Caraș-Severin
The ruins of the Roman military camp were identified at the western edge of the village, near the Bistra
River.Our first data regarding the site originates from A. Marsigli, who at the end of the 18th century made a
short description and a sketch of the fort. Recent research has revealed the bathhouse, identifying different
areas designed for bathing: A - praefurnium; B - room with pool, heated; C - alveus, heated; D, F - apodyterium,
E - caldarium, H - praefurnium. (Figure 3)
Literature: A. Ardeț, D. N. Negrei, Lavinia Grumeza, Considerazioni preliminari sulla ricerca
archeologica da Zăvoi – Cimitirul Ortodox, (Contea Caraș-Severin, România) negli anni 2009-2013,
Tibiscum Serie Nouă 5, 2015, 235-260

4) Micia – Mintia, com. Vețel, Hunedoara

The Roman settlement Micia is situated on the southern bank of the river Mureş, 3 km from the Brănişca gorge,
the narrowest place of the river valley. The site has two areas of interest: the auxiliary camp and the adjacent
civil settlement. In the area were the baths are located (northeast of the military camp), first investigations were
carried out between the years 1967 and 1969 and were resumed in the years 1971-1975. The results of the
exhaustive excavation concluded that in Micia we are dealing with a group of bathhouses, composed of several
distinct ring type baths, occupying a much larger area than in other fort of Roman Dacia. Every bath displays
the typical area intended for bathing : apodyterium - laconicum, caldarium, tepidarium, frigidarium. It is noted
that one of the buildings, Thermae I, has its unheated rooms located north, and those with hypocaust south.
Nearby we may observe a palaestra-like area and a circular structure (without specific function) - built in a later
phase. Archaeologists have identified 7 areas: an apodyterium, four heated rooms without a specified function,
a latrine and 3 other adjoining rooms. Thermae I and Thermae III formed a homogeneous ensemble, situated
at the perimeter of the complex on a "piazza". Seemingly, several uncovered bathing areas connected the two
facilities to a third edifice. Thermae II is located southwest of the first two facilities, and placed closer to the
military camp and has a longitudinal axis with north-south orientation. Thermae II is equipped with an entrance
area, a cold bath, a steam bath and a palaestra space.

More recently researchers have identified the so called Ae building, another bathing facility located closest to
the military camp with a specific arrangement of rooms. In terms of planimetry and dimension of components
it is similar to Thermae II. This structure is considered to be a civilian bathing structure, built after the
Marcomanic wars. The published plan shows an edifice with its bathing areas arranged on a linear axis, at the
northern end with a "vitruvian" apse. The certainty of the existence of a fourth bathhouse in Micia makes this
ensemble one of the most interesting archaeological objectives to date in Roman Dacia. (Figures 4.1 and 4.2).

Literature: Lucia Marinescu, Anișoara Sion, L. Petculescu, I. Andritoiu, Valeria Edith, I. Rusu, Maria
Brăileanu, Șantierul Arheologic Micia (Com. Vețel, Jud. Hunedoara), Cercetări Arheologice 3, 1979,
105-127; Lucia Marinescu, Anișoara Sion, I. Andrițoiu, Raport asupra campaniei de săpături
arheologice din anul 1983 de la Micia (com. Vețel, Jud. Hunedoare) sector therme, Cercetări
Arheologice 8, 1986, 53-58

5) Călugăreni, Mureș
The Roman site is located on the southwestern periphery of the village, near the left bank of the Niraj River.
The place of the fortress and the surrounding ruins lie at a place called Óvár and Sztrázsaház. In 1870, Orbán
Balázs offers a detailed communication of the Roman fortress, mentioning the location of the baths. The bath
is located southwest of the fortress, along the road, at the toponymic point called Palota (trans. Palace). At
present, excavations are carried out by the County Museum of Mureș; the results are published in preliminary
reports. It is too early to conclude a coherent plan of the bath, but we may assume a ring type baths. (Figure 5)

Literature: D. Protase, Castrul roman de la Călugăreni, Acta Musei Napocensis 2, 1965, 209-214;
Nicoleta Man, Sz. Pánczél, D. Cioată, Coralia Crișan, Călugăreni, jud. Mureş Punct: Vicusul castrului
roman de la Călugăreni, Cronica cercetărilor arheologice din România, Campania 2013 (2014), 37-38

6) Odorheiu Secuiesc, Harghita

The civilian settlement and the Roman military camp are located in the city center of Odorheiu Secuiesc,
overlaid by the present settlement. Fortunately, the bathhouse represents one of the most well documented
Roman structures. The baths were discovered in 1847, in the northern part of the settlement at the intersection
of the Kornis Ferenc and Uzina streets. Today it is covered by modern buildings. Although we cannot pinpoint
the exact location and orientation of the structure it appears that facility is a balneum consisting of two
apodyteria, two elaeothesia and a tepidarium, a caldarium with a lavrum, a laconicum / sudatorium and a
frigidarium. The remnants of the two praefurnia and the place of the hot water boilers were also identified,
together with the well-preserved water pipes, south of the building, close to the entrance. The planimetry is
somewhat atypical for Dacia. The typical semi-circular "vitruvian" apsis is placed on a middle axis, surrounded
by several symmetrically placed quadrilateral areas. (Figure 6)

Literature: G. Téglás, A székely-udvarhelyi római castrum és annak katonai fürdője, Erdélyi Múzeum,
14. köt. 5. füzet, 1897; Zagreanu, Nyárádi, New Data about the Roman Settlement from Odorheiu
Secuiesc, Marisia 31, 2011, 221-274 (271); Zs. Nyárádi, Város a város alatt. Fejezetek Székelyudvarhely
római kori történetéből, Székelyudvarhely 2011, 227-228

7) Inlăceni, Harghita
The archaeological site is located on the hillside of Firtus Hill, on the north-eastern outskirts of Inlăceni village.
Orbán Balázs recorded the location of the baths southwest of the fortress, 60 meters away in a place called
Palotakútja or Várkert, meaning “Garden of the fortress”. The structure is seemingly a ring type bath, research
the main areas identified: the "vitruvian" caldarium, with apse, apodyterium, tepidarium and laconicum.
However, in this case archaeological evidence suggests that the room with an apse did not have underfloor
heating, at least in the last phase of construction. (Figures 7.1 and 7.2)

Literature: N. Gudea, Castrul roman de la Inlănceni, Acta Musei Porolissensis 3, 1979, 149-273 (168-
170); Zs. Visy, Régészeti kutatások Dacia superior keleti határán, (szerk. Körösfői, Zs.) Kutatások a
Nagy-Küküllő felső folyása mentén, 2001, 107–115

8) Resculum – Bologa, Cluj

The Roman fortification is located 2.5 km east of Bologa village, between the Crişul Repede and Sebeş rivers, at
the base of Sebeş hill. The bath is situated 40-50 m north from the fort. The bath was partially excavated in the
1970s by a team of archaeologists, resulting in a sketched plan of the bath. The facility has rectangular form, 24
x 18,50 m large. Research results show, according to the placement of the bathing area it is ring type bath
comprised of 9 rooms: A - frigidarium; B - apodyterium; D - semi-circular room, probably caldarium; and areas
called C - H with unknown function, and areas E - E1 - F which make up one room suggesting a re-configuration
of space. (Figure 8)

Literature: E. Chirilă, N. Gudea, Şantierul arheologic Bologa (jud. Cluj), Materiale 10, 1973, 115-123;
N.Gudea, Das Römergrenzkastell von Bologa-Resculum / Castrul roman de la Bologa-Resculum, Zalău

9) Buciumi, Sălaj

The archaeological site is located on the Grădişte terrace, at the intersection of Lupului Valley with Mihăiesei
Valley on the bank of the Crasna River, north of Buciumi. Systematic research in the fort began in 1963,
supervised by Eugen Chirilă, which led to the discovery of buildings 1, 2, 4 and 5 in the praetentura (inside the
fort, the area “stretching to the front”). The bathing structure was believed to be L-shaped, with the bathing
areas arranged on a linear axis. Initial research identified 5 areas: a-d, and a semi-circular area (cause for
interpretation as a balneum), respectively areas f-g, which seem to come from the final phase of the building;
another area built on the via sagularis (intervallum road). According to present research it is considered that
the edifice was categorized erroneously a balneum, and in fact it is associated with the commander's
headquerters (lat. praetorium), which in turn has also several heated rooms. (Figure 9) The position of the
bathhouse in relation to the fort was assumed on the basis of the field surveys and the small scale excavation
carried out in 1966, 150 meters East at the point Fântânita Betii. K. Torma signaled a quadrilateral building in
this place, and some water pipe fragments.

Literature: E. Chirilă, N. Gudea, V. Lucăcel, C. Pop, Castrul roman de la Buciumi, Cluj 1972; N. Gudea,
Das Römergrenzkastell von Buciumi/Castrul roman de la Buciumi, Zalău, 1997; F. Marcu,
Organizarea internă a castrelor din Dacia, Cluj-Napoca 2009, 51-52

10) Certiae – Romita, Sălaj

The military camp of Romita is located on the right bank of the Agriş River. The bath is located 100 meters from
the Roman fort on the banks of the Agriş River. Systematic research was conducted as late as the 1970ies, with
excavations led by Nicolae Gudea. The rectangular bathing facility belongs to the category of ring type baths.
Due to the in-depth research, almost the entire surface of the bath was unearthed, with more than 9 identified
areas: 2 apses (on the west and eastern side); area 1 - laconicum; area 2 - unknown function; area 3 - an
apodyterium; area 4 - a frigidarium; area 5 - a caldarium; area 6 - a frigidarium and area 7 - probably latrine.
(Figure 10)

Literature: Al. V. Matei, I. Bajusz, Das Römergrenzkastell von Romita-Certiae / Castrul roman de la
Romita-Certiae, Zalău 1997; P. Franzen, Al. V. Matei, F. Marcu, The Roman fort at Romita (Dacia).
Results of the geophysical survey, Acta Musei Napocensis 41–42/I, 2007, 161-177
11) Arcobadara - Ilișua, Bistrița-Năsăud
600 meters from Ilişua, near the village of Orăşel, on the left bank of the river Ilişua at the bottom of the hill
called Măgura lies the Roman fortress of Arcobadara. Archaeological research was carried out first by Károly
Torma, in the second half of the 19th century. Thanks to the extensive research carried out during the last
decades we know much more about the site. Since the second half of the 19th century beside the auxiliary camp,
research signalled the place of three bathhouse buildings. Károly Torma identified two baths, named bath A and
B in specialised literature, and another building registered, circ. 7 meter from bath B, in the dircetion of the fort.
All three belong to the category of ring type baths. The so-called small bath, bath A had an apodyterium,
frigidarium, 2 tepidaria and a caldarium. The larger building of bath B includes an apodyterium, an elaeothesium,
a tepidarium, a caldarium and a frigidarium, a room with unclear function (probably for staff), and other 2 rooms
with uncertain function. Another building recently discovered at a distance of 130 meters from the fort has an
uncertain function, although it was hypothesized that it belonged to the regiment that built the first fort here
(a small earth and timber fort). The results of the excavations show that this building had a total of 12 rooms,
although we can assign a function only to a quarter there of: c - apodyterium, b - tepidarium and g – caldarium.
It is possible that one of the buildings was merely misinterpreted as a bath, and it is an annex-building or
valetudinarium (hospital). The plan of the small bath, building A, does not show any typical characteristics, when
we take into consideration the lack of a caldarium and heating elements. (Figure 11)

Literature: K. Torma, Az Alsó-Ilosvai Római állótábor s műemlékei, Az Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület

Évkönyve - 3. kötet, 1. füzet 1864, 22-28; D. Protase, C. Gaiu, G. Marinescu, Castrul roman de la Ilişua
(jud.Bistriţa-Năsăud), Bistriţa 1997 = D. Protase, C. Gaiu, G. Marinescu, Castrul roman şi aşezarea civilă
de la Ilişua (jud. Bistriţa-Năsăud), Revista Bistriței 10-11, 1997, 27-110; Cristian Găzdac, Corneliu Gaiu,
Elena Marchiş, Arcobadara (Ilişua), Cluj-Napoca 2011

12) Orheiul Bistriței, Bistrița Năsăud

The Roman military is located on the western outskirts of the today's village, by the village cemetery near Bistrit
and Buduc rivers. A structure located inside the fort, upon further research was considered to be the principia
(according to position). In the latus sinistrum, beside the commandant’s building scholars located a facility
equipped with water basins and heating system. The building was initially considered as the fortress bath.
Following researche decided it is merely the adjacent bath structure of the praetorium, with it’s areas arranged
on an L axis. Recent field research signals a place called by the locals "the bath of the Jews" near a small river
called Budacu. Although the bathroom has not yet been identified, it should be noted that local tradition often
ties ancient ruins with Jewish culture, as is shown by similar situations concerning local legends about the
Roman ruins of Sarmizegetusa or Porolissum. (Figure 12)

Literature: Ş. Dănilă, Repertoriul arheologic al județului Bistrița-Năsăud, Bistrița 1989, 171; D.

Protase, Castrul roman de la Orheiu Bistriţei. Das römische Kastell von Orheiu Bistriţei, Revista Bistriţei
21/1, 2007, 93-173 (97-98); F. Marcu, Organizarea internă a castrelor din Dacia, Cluj-Napoca 2009, 86,

13) Brețcu, Covasna

The military camp is located on the north-eastern outskirts of the village, on the right bank of the Breţcu river
in the toponymic point called Veneturnévára ori Cetate, meaning fortress. The bath is located 100 meters west
of the military camp at the place called Pincze. The building is only partially researched, so we have little
information about the areas of the bathing facility. According to the layout it seems to fall into the category of
ring type baths, although on one side the rooms are arranged as though forming a linear succession. The edifice
has a number of 8-10 identified areas: A-caldarium, B - frigidarium another 5 rooms with no certain function;
set on the northern part of the edifice there is also a circular area, probably a sudatio, respectively two large,
rectangular (partially excavated) areas situated perpendicular to the main axis. (Figures 13.1 and 13.2)

Literature: N., Gudea, Castrul roman de la Breţcu, Acta Musei Porolissensis 4, 1980, 255-365; M.
Macrea, L. Buzdugan, G. Ferenczi, K., Horedt, I., Popescu, I. I, Russu, Despre rezultatele cercetărilor
întreprinse de şantierul arheologic Sf. Gheorghe – Breţcu, Studii și Cercetări de Istorie Veche 2/1, 1951,
285-311 (288-292)

14) Cumidava – Râșnov, Brașov

The archaeological site is located on the banks of the River Bârsa, northwest of the town of Râşnov, at the
toponymic point called Grădiște. Research signalled a building with 4 rooms inside the camp (in the retentura
dextra) named B believed to be the fortress bath. Research identified had 3 heated areas, and a 4 th area
apparently had a thick pavement and no heating,. The building has a rectangular layout and the rooms are
arranged on two parallel axes. The outer walls of two areas on the southwestern side are equipped with apses.
It is important to mention, N. Gudea interprets this structure as a praetorium, not a bath. There are quite rare
cases of baths built subsequently inside the fort. (Figure 14)

Literature: N. Gudea, I. I. Pop, Castrul roman de la Rîşnov Cumidava. Contribuţii la cercetarea

limesului de sud-est al Daciei romane, Braşov 1971 = N. Gudea, I. I. Pop, Das Römerlarger von Rîşnov,
Cumidava Beiträge zu den Limesuntersuchungen in Süd – Osten des römischen Dazien, Braşov 1971;
F. Marcu, Organizarea internă a castrelor din Dacia, Cluj-Napoca 2009, 226-227

15) Caput Stenarum – Boița, Sibiu

The archaeological site is located 500 m east of the village Boiţa, situated at the toponymic point called "în
Rude" – tied in with the important passage at the mouth of the Pass of Turnu-Roşu and the Roman road
identified close-by. The edifice is situated 80 m south of the camp, on the right bank of the river Olt. The plan
of the bath of Boiţa has several elements that indicate a ring type bath consisting of six modest rooms. Research
identified the following areas: a semicircular laconicum, an apodyterium, a tepidarium, a caldarium or three
other rooms without any certain function. In the south-eastern part, archaeologists have also identified traces
of a structure that may have belonged to a palaestra. (Figure 15)

Literature: N. Lupu, Săpăturile de la Boiţa, Materiale și Cercetări Arheologice 7, 1960, 411-422; N.

Lupu, Staţiunea romană de la Boiţa (jud. Sibiu), Acta Terrae Septecastrensis 1, 2002, 71-106

16. Săpata de Jos, Argeș

The military camp is located on a plateau in the vicinity of Lunca Corbului. The baths are located 40 m south of
the camp. The building of the bath unearthed almost in its entirety revealed, that it belongs to the category of
ring type baths and displays all typical areas: on the northern side a possible wooden apodyterium, a tepidarium,
a caldarium with praefurnium and a laconicum with a semi-circular basin. (Figure 16)

Literature: V. Cristescu , Le “castellum” romain de Săpata-de-Jos, Dacia 5-6, 1935-1936, 435-447; D.

Tudor, Oltenia Romană, ed. 4, București 1976, 323

17. Sucidava – Celei, Olt

The archaeological site occupies a dominant position on the Danube, located on the territory of the village of
Celei, 3 km from the town of Corabia. Inside the fort, the traces of a bath were identified, which was
unfortunately later destroyed in 1918 by the inhabitants of the village. We do not have at our disposal inoff
data about the plan of bathhouse.

Literature: D. Tudor, Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976

18. Slăveni, Olt

The Roman fortification in Slăveni is located on the right bank of the Olt River, 100 meters away from the valley.
The bath complex built in the time of Septimius Severus is located 100 meters from the fort. According. The
bathhouse - which was initially mistaken for a tower - belongs to the category of baths with two parallel axis,
with the heated rooms located on the northern side. Archaeologists have identified 8 rooms, 4 of which (l, m,
c, t) with underfloor heating. Two areas, m and t with are also equipped with an apse on one side. The other
4 areas (a, u, s and f) didn’t benefit of any heating, whilst one of these rooms, namely area f had semi-circular
termination. (Figure 18)

Literature: Gh. Popilian, Thermele de la Slăveni, Apulum 9, 1971, 627-40; D. Tudor, Oltenia romană,
ed., 4., București 1976, 324-325

19. Copăceni, Vâlcea

The Roman fort from Copăceni is situated west of the village, in the place called Seliştea. The bathhouse is
situated 50 m east of the fort and was excavated partially during the last years of the 19 th century. The bath
building has an atypical planimetry but belongs to the category of ring type baths with a circular trajectory. A
number of 8 areas were identified: A – semicircular laconicum, B – a small frigidarium, C - heated area without
any certain function, D – an apse, probably tepidarium or apodyterium, E – caldarium with G as its praefurnium,
and areas F, G heated and without certain function, and K - part of a rectangular room without heating, no
definite function. (Figure 19)

Literature: D. Tudor, Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 316, 324

20. Buridava – Stolniceni, Vâlcea

The site situated along the Sărat Creek, a tributary of the Olt River is overlapped entirely by the former village
of Stolniceni. The results of the excavations carried out between 1971-1982 confirmed the existence of two
bathing facilities dated to Traian's reign (first years after Roman occupation): the "big baths" and "small baths"
200 m northwards at the toponymic point "Poteca". The excavations carried out on the territory of the "big
baths" revealed several rooms with hypocaust heating and water basins but without the possibility to assign a
certain function to any of the areas. The large spaces were restructured at some point into two or three separate
rooms. In the section of the "small baths" a relatively small surface area underwent investigation, and
archaeologists identified 2 rooms with underfloor heating and the walls of some structures without any fixed

Literature : Tudor D., Oltenia Romană, ed. 2., 1958, 17-29; Bichir Gh., Cercetările arheologice de la
Stolniceni-Râmnicu Vâlcea, Buridava, Studii şi materiale, 4, 1982, 43-54.

21. Arutela – Cozia (fostă Bivolari), Vâlcea

The Arutela archaeological ensemble is located on the left bank of the Olt River, located between the villages
Păuşa and Căciulata, in the "Poiana Bivolari" point near Călimăneşti town. The first archaeological investigation
took place in the years 1888-1889. The bathhouse discovered at the end of the 19th century, located 50 m
north of the camp, has disappeared. It was partly destroyed by the waters of the river Olt and by the
construction of the modern raildroad (along the section of Râmnicu Vâlcea - Vad River). As the published plan
show, the bath has a circular trajectory. Of the 6 rooms identified at the time of the digging 2 were later partially
destroyed by the riverberd of the Olt. 4 areas we know of had underfloor heating. The rooms were interpreted
as follows: I, II - caldarium (none with an apse), III - tepidarium, IV - laconicum, with two praefurnia; room VI
without heating equipped with a basin, probably a frigidarium and area V, the largest room considered to be
an apodyterium. Thus, the baths of Arutela, presumably fall into the category of ring type baths, which are
widespread in Dacia, and also shows some atypical attributions: such as the lack of areas with semi-circular
termination ( ex. Vitruvian apses). (Figure 21)

Literature: D. Tudor, Gh. Poenaru-Bordea, Cr. M. Vlădescu, Arutela I-II. Rezultatele

primelor două campanii arheologice (1967-1968) în castrul roman din poiana Bivolari (oraşul
Călimăneşti), Studii şi materiale de muzeografie şi istorie militară 2-3, 1969-1970, 8-44; D. Tudor,
Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 313-314

22. Rădăcinești, Vâlcea

The Roman fortress is situated on the bank of the Olt river, between Tulburoasa brook and Fântânii, on the road
of Titeștilor. At 40 m from this military camp old research signaled the location of a bath building, originally
considered to be the commander’s residence, praetorium. The plan shows a simple structure, with an apse on
the eastern side. According to another plan communicated later, a number of 8 rectangular rooms were
identified, of which 3 were fully excavated: B and E with underunderfloor heating, A, C-D, F-H without explicit
attributions and generally none of the rooms with any certain function. The edifice belongs to the group of ring
types baths. (Figure 22)

Bibliografie: Gh. Poenaru-Bordea, Cr. M. Vlădescu, Primele săpături arheologice în

fortificația romană de la Rădăcinești, Studii și Cercetări de Istorie Veche 23, 1972, 477-486; D.
Tudor, Oltenia Romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 361

23. Bumbești-Jiu, Gorj

The site is located a few kilometers south of the Jiu gorge and was first mentioned at the end of the 19th
century. T. The bathing facility was identified 50 m south of the camp. Research revealed a bath structure with
circular trajectory, consisting of 7 rooms: a semi-circular laconicum, two large rooms without heating –
apodyterium/frigidarium (?), other two heated rooms - without a certain function, one of them probably a
caldarium. On the southern side of the building research identified another small, rectangular space – presumed
to be the frigidarium. (Figure 23)

Literature: Ex. Bujor, Așezarea romană de la Bumbești-Jiu, Jud. Dolj, Materiale și Cercetări Arheologice
10, 1973, 107-115 (107-110); D. Tudor, Oltenia Romană, ed. 4, 1976, 315-316
24. Cătunele, Gorj
The archaeological site is situated 500 m north of the village, between the left bank of the Motru River and the
right bank of the Gura Chivadarului Stream. We dispose of very little information concerning the bathhouse: it
is located 100 m east from the north-eastern corner of the fortification. The surface investigated by
archaeologists showed signs that the bath was indeed equipped with elements of underfloor heating.

Literature: Gr. Tocilescu, Fouilles et recherches arhéologique en Roumanie, Bucureşti 1900, 132; D.
Tudor, M. Davidescu M., Săpăturile arheologice din castrul roman de la Cătunele, jud. Dolj. Drobeta 2,
1976, 62-80; D. Tudor, Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 361 fig. 96 (2)

25. Cioroiu Nou, Dolj

Teh bathing facility discovered during excavations carried out recently (2008- 2010), is base upon Roman mliatry
brick stamps is presumed to have been built by the Legion VII Claudia. The bath building lies within the camp,
in the north-western corner which is understandable, considering it was built relatively late during the 3rd
century. The systematically researched area shows it bared 5 rooms arranged on parallel axes: a "large hall" on
the western side with semi-circular termination and underfloor heating - probably a "vitruvian" caldarium To
the east of this area research identified an apodyterium, and other three rectangular areas, without any certain
function. (Figure 25)

Literature: D. Bondoc, Cioroiu Nou. 100 de descoperiri / One hundred archaeological dicoveries,
Craiova, 2010; D. Bondoc, Toilet and cosmetic objects discovered inside the baths of Legio VII Claudia
of Cioroiu Nou, Tibiscum, Serie Nouă, 1, 2011, 107-116

26. Voinești, Argeș

The archaeological site of Voinesti is located on the left bank of the river Târgului, in the eastern part of the
village of Voineşti at the toponymic point „Malul lui Cocoş” or Măilătoaia. The baths are located 40 m southeast
of the fort. Their archaeological investigation began thanks to a the interest shown by enthusiasts in 1973. As
investigations in progressed they led to the identification of a bathhouse built with bricks bearing the military
stamp of XI Claudia pia Fidelis legion as well as the I Flavia Commagenorum cohort. More recent findings have
identified: on the eastern side of the baths an area with underfloor heating, another area without special
attributions, respectively, discovered in section C, an apse with a basin; respectively on the southern side two
other spaces, of which the larger one with hypocaust and water basin, identified as an caldarium. (Figure 26)

Literature:Fl. Matei-Popescu, C. C. Petolescu, I. Dumitrescu, Voineşti, com. Lereşti, jud.

Argeş, Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice din România, Campania 2015 (2016), 108-110; Fl. Matei-
Popescu, C. C. Petolescu, I. Dumitrescu, Voineşti, com. Lereşti, jud. Argeş, Punct: Malul lui Cocoș –
Măilătoaia, Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice din România, Campania 2016 (2017), 160-161

27. Rucăr, Argeș

The military camp and bathhouse of Rucăr were identified at the point called Scărișoara, near the Roghina
spring. Discovered during the systematic excavations conducted in 1904, the ruins of the baths were originally
interpreted as a burgus. The partially researched building is believed to have had a rectangular layout comprised
of two rows of rooms. (Figures 27.1 and 27.2)

Literature: D. Tudor D., Considerații asupra unor cercetări arheologice făcute pe limes transalutanus,
Studii si cercetări de Istorie Veche, 1-2, 1955, 87-97 (92)

28. Drajna de Sus, Prahova

The Roman fortification is located on Grădiştea hill, between the Drajna River and the Ogretinul stream. The
ruins were first signalled at the end of the 19th century, when the ruins were discovered due to agricultural
work. A structure situated inside the camp, called large structure A captured the attention of scholars, due to
its areas meant for bathing. First results concluded that the identified building is a praetorium (the garrison
commander’s residence, built in the manner of a domus) comprised of a several rooms equipped with
underfloor heating ex. areas5, 6 (praefurnium) and their water basins, another rectangular basin, as well as a
vestibule. At the present there is insufficient data available to consider these rooms as part of a bath, it is more
probable they belong to the praetorium. We suppose that the fortress baths functioned east of the fortification,
in the vicinity of the stream Ogretin. (Figure 28)

Literature : Al. Bărcăcilă, Raport asupra cercetărilor de la Drajna de Sus , Prahova, Anuarul
Comisiunii Monumentelor Istorice din 1942, Bucureşti, 1943, 106-110; Zahariade 1995, 211-213; M.
Zahariade, T. Dvorski, The Lower Moesian Army in Northern Walachia (A.D. 101-118). An Epigraphical
and Historical Study on The Brick and Tile Stamps Found in The Drajna de Sus Roman Fort, Bucureşti
1997; M. Zahariade, Marinela Peneş, T. Dvorski; L. M. Mureşean; Ioana Creţulescu; Fl.
Topoleanu, Drajna de Sus, com. Drajna, jud. Prahova Punct: Castru roman, Cronica Cercetărilor
Arheologice din România, Campania 2014 (2015), 48-49
29. Mălăiești, Prahova
The Roman fort and bath from Mălăieşti, as called by specialised literature, is another example of a Roman site
that has functioned for a relatively short time in the northwest area of Muntenia. The archaeological ite is
located near Sfârleanca village in Dumbrăveşti county. The Roman baths are 50 meters northwest of the military
camp, at the foot of the plateau housing the garrison - located on a former terrace of the Vărbilău River, which
provided water supply and waste drainage possibility.
The plan of the bath was first documented by Constantin Zagorit in 1940, as well as another layout was drawn
up by Dan Lichiardopol in 1979. The bathhouse of Mălăieşti offers the image of a bath prototype, which despite
of the short functioning period has undergone several changes, but no major changes that would burden
identifying layout and planimetry. Research results show that the bath belongs to the widespread category of
ring type baths. The excavations brought about the discovery of the bath in its entirety, including the related
spaces. Archaeologists identified 5 areas A - D, B1 of which A, B, D with underfloor heating. The results of the
excavation show that the bath had all the typical rooms of a Roman balneum: A - apodyterium, B - tepidarium,
B1 - frigidarium, C - caldarium rectangular and D - laconium or sudatorium. (Figures 29.1 and 29.2)

In the northern area the first praefurnium (P1) was located in the vicinity of a podium that sustained a water
tank, collecting water. From this, the water was distributed to the cold water basin, respectively to the boilers.
With the extension of the bath, a praefurnium (P2) was built in the southern part. The waste water was drained
on the eastern side, where the site was supposed to be latrines.(Figures 29.1 and 29.2)

Literature : O. Țentea, Al. Raţiu, A. Frânculeasa, Bianca Preda, Raluca Bătrânoiu, C. Coatu, N. Szeredai,
Imola Boda, Sfârleanca, com. Dumbrăveşti, jud. Prahova [castrul Mălăieşti], Cronica Cercetărilor
Arheologice, campania 2012 (2013), p. 117-118; O. Țentea, Al. Rațiu, A. Frînculeasa, Bianca Preda, A.
Cîmpeanu, N. Szeredai, T. Nica, Sfârleanca, com. Dumbrăveşti, jud. Prahova [castrul și băile romane de
la Mălăieşti], Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice, campania 2013 (2014), p. 126-127; O. Țentea, Al. Rațiu,
A. Cîmpeanu, Bianca Preda, N. Szeredai, Sfârleanca, com. Dumbrăveşti, jud. Prahova [castrul și băile
romane de la Mălăieşti], Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice, campania 2014 (2015), 102-103; O. Țentea,
Al. Rațiu, A. Cîmpeanu, Sfârleanca, com. Dumbrăveşti, jud. Prahova [castrul și băile romane de la
Mălăieşti], Cronica Cercetărilor Arheologice, campania 2015 (2016), 84-85

30. Târgșor, Prahova

The site of Târgşoru Vechi is located about 8 km west of Ploieşti, near the Leaota brook. During the excavations
from 1976-1978 the baths were discovered, situated 50 m south of the fort. Today, the structure is partially
overlapped by a medieval church. According to archaeological research and the partially restored planimetry
we are dealing with a ring type bath. The bath building has 5 identified bathing areas – conventionally named
area A – E, as well as a drainage system. Room A, according to initial research, was equipped with a preafunium
on the western side - new research in 2014/15 does not confirm this data. Area B is a caldarium and C a
frigidarium, both functioned as bathing areas limited to the north side by a praefurnium (B) had a basin
equipped with an alveus or bathtub (C). Rooms D and E relatively large in size had no certain function: E - may
have been an apodyterium without a basin and D - possibly tepidarium. (Figure 30)

Literature: A. Măgureanu, B. Ciupercă, C. Constantin, A. Anton, The Roman Baths in Târgșoru Vechi,
Caiete ARA, 8, 2017, 103-117; Magda Tzony, Gh. Diaconu, Raport asupra cercetărilor arheologice de la
Tîrgşoru Vechi, Materiale 13, 1979, 263-264

31. Pietroasele, Buzău

The Roman fortress is located north of Pietroasa Mică, on the right bank of the Dara brook at the lower half of
the slope of Istrița. The baths are 500 meters east of the Roman military camp. The archaeological research
undertaken since the 1970s by Magda Tzony at 400 m east of the southeast corner of the camp unveiled the
ruins of ring type bath, with circular trajectory and related elements: a water pipe in the area of the
apodyterium, palaestra. Later, other areas were identified by additional excavations: A - laconicum equipped
with labrum, B without function, G - tepidarium, F, D, E, P - no function. (Figure 31)

Literature: Tzony Magda Tzony, Termele de la Pietroasele, Materiale și Cercetări Arheologice, 14,
1980, 348-351; Monica Mărgineanu-Cârstoiu, Un balneum à Pietroasele, Caiete ARA - Asociaţia
Arhitectură. Restaurare. Arheologie 6, 2015, 91-120

Legionary fotress baths

I) Potaissa-Turda, CLuj
Potaissa is one of the best-researched Roman sites in Dacia. The legionary fortress and civilian settlement are
to be found in the southwestern outskirts of city of Turda. The V Macedonica fortress bath was built together
with the completion legion’s fortification, after the garrison was re-stationed to Dacia after 168. The thermae
were placed in retentura dextra (right rear range of the camp), research identified the following areas: a
palaestra, bathing areas (14 of which with no certiant function), frigidarium I, a rectangular cold water basin,
frigidarium II, cold water basin with semi-circular shape. Observing the layout of this bathing complex, we can
assume two separate bathing sectors, equipped with own bathing areas: a larger ring type bath with a palaestra,
and a smaller ring type bath set on the eastern side of the camp. (Fig. I.1 și I.2. )

Literature: Bărbulescu, M., Ana Cătinaş, Claudia Luca, A. Husar, P. Husarik, M. Grec, Cornelia
Bărbulescu, The Baths of the Legionary Fortress of Potaissa, Proceedings of the XVIIth International
Congress of Roman Frontier Studies, Zalău, 1997, 14; Cornelia Bărbulescu, Arhitectura militară și
tehnica de construcție la romani: castrul de la Potaissa, Cluj-Napoca 2004

Urban Thermae
I) Colonia Aurelia Apulensis - Alba Iulia, Alba
Located in the valley of Mures, under the current town of Alba Iulia, near the gold mines of Alburnus Maior
(Rosia Montana), the urban center of Apulum represents the largest settlement in Roman Dacia. The Roman
cities, formed around the XIII Gemina Legion, will become one of the most significant expressions of Northern
Danubian Roman culture and civilization. Colonia Aurelia Apulensis developed in the vicnity of the present
Partoş district, while the citizens of the second Roman town municipium Septimium Apulense (which later
became Colonia Nova Apulensis) settled in the area called Furcilor Hill, on the territory of the current city of
Alba Iulia. The excavations carried out in 1888-1908 in Colonia Apulensis targeted one of the most interesting
archaeological objectives, the Palace of consular governor of the three Dacian provinces, the praetorium
consularis, located east-south-east of the fort of the XIII Gemina legion (today south eastern corner of the city).
Through these excavations, several structures have been discovered considered as a bathing facility and named
by Béla Cserni “large thermae”, bu also known as the Bath of the Governor's Palace. Subsequent excavations
observed that the area was infact a complicated structure and belonged to the praetorium. (Fig. II.1. și II.2.)

Literature: A. Cserni, Apulumi maradványok, Alsófehérmegyei Történelmi, Régészeti

ésTermészettudományi Egylet tizenharmadik évkönyve, vol. III-VI, 1890; A. Cserni, Apulumi
maradványok, Alsófehérmegyei Történelmi, Régészeti és Természettudományi Egylet tizenharmadik
évkönyve, vol. III-VI, 1891; A. Cserni, Apulumi maradványok, Alsófehérmegyei Történelmi, Régészeti és
Természettudományi Egylet tizenharmadik évkönyve, vol. III-VI, 1892; A. Cserni, Apulumi maradványok,
Alsófehérmegyei Történelmi, Régészeti és Természettudományi Egylet tizenharmadik évkönyve, vol. III-
VI, 1894; F. Schäfer, Praetoria. Paläste zum Wohnenund Verwalten in Köln und anderen römischen
Provinz haupstädten, Köln 2014, 264-450
III) Municipium Septimium Apulense, Alba Iulia, Alba
In the course of rescue archaeological research from 1995-97 in the Furcilor Hills area, south of the legionary
fortress a bath was discovered, named by the archaeologist “small thermae” , in order to distinguish them from
discoveries made a century earlier. The data regarding on bath building is quite scarce. Four areas and a corridor
were excavated, and result show they are arranged in two parallel rows, the ones on the eastern side being
heated. In many cases only the footprint of the walls was preserved. The edifice belongs to the category of
baths arranged in parallel axes, with a central corridor serving as a way to access both "wings". Research
identified: an apodyterium, a frigidarium, a caldarium on the eastern side with semi-circular termination, and a
sudatorium. The authors of the excavations were of the opinion that "small thermae”; are part of a larger
Due to the analogies with the baths from Slăveni and Buridava, it is possible that this building was a actually
balnea. In the 3rd century AD, the bath was destroyed almost entirely by a Roman dwelling. (Figure III)

Literature: R. Ciobanu, Les petits thermes d`Apulum. Typologie et décor, Plafonds et

voûtes à l`époqueantique (L. Borhy ed.) Budapest, 2004, 333-337; R. Ciobanu, M. Drîmbărean, N.
Rodean, A. Gligor, Raport privind Cercetările arheologice de salvare din Dealul Furcilor şi str. Arhim.
Iuliu Hossu (Brânduşei) Alba-Iulia, campaniile 1996–1999 (2), Apulum 37, 1, 1997, 293–338; R.
Ciobanu, N. Rodean, Raport preliminar privind cercetările, arheologice de salvare din Dealul Furcilor –
Alba Iulia; Campania 1995 (1), Apulum 34, 1997
IV) Colonia Dacica Sarmizegetusa, Sarmizegetusa, Hunedoara
Colonia Dacia Sarmizegetusa was the first Roman town founded after the Roman conquest of the northern
Danube territories. According to older research a very large public bath was located in the area between the
northern boundry of the town and the amphitheater.
The bathhouse consisted of four distinct sections: an area for men, one for women, a steam bath and a cold
water bath. According to data published in detail by Gábor Téglás, the following rooms were identified: the
entrance area, capsatorius (here you could pay the entrance fee); areas marked with 1-2, two separate
apodyteria (left leadin to the steam bath and right to the man’s bath); 3 - frigidarium, centrally located in the
layour, followed by the 4-tepidarium, 5-caldarium, 6-labrum, without a specific function, 8 - tepidarium, 9 -
another frigidarium, 10 - and 11 - the so-called bath with mirrors, and 12 - another apodyterium. Téglás similarly
describes the women's bath, which had areas 12 - apodyterium, 13-frigidarium, 14 - water basin, 15-tepidarium,
16-17 caldarium, 18-room without function, 19 - unguentarium and 20- laconicum which ties in the row of
bathing spaces with area nr. 1 - the apodyterium, which leads the visitor to the steam bath mentioned above.
(Figures IV and IV A). Other baths have been reported, placed the east of the domus procuratoris, which should
be linked to this conglomerate of buildings.

Literature: G. Kuun, K. Torma, G. Téglás, Hunyadvármegye története, Budapest 1902,

V) Drobeta, Drobeta Turnu Severin, Mehedinți
The fortification and Roman town of Drobeta are now overlapped mostly by the city of Drobeta Turnu-Severin.
The baths are located on the upper terrace of the Danube, west of the amphitheater as well as 200 m west of
the Roman bridge. Research identified three bathing facilities. The first is composed of six rooms distributed on
an aparaent circular trajectory, and has the following bathing areas: A - tepidarium, B - caldarium, C - a caldarium
with an enclosed labrum or alveus, D- without function, E- laconicum / “fire room”, F- frigidarium with a
decorated circular basin, H-drainage channel, respectively G - without certain function.
This building was endowed with also with a palaestra - P, situated to the northeast, surrounded by two apses
and partly heated rooms. Towards east the building continues with a structure, with its rooms aligned on a
linear axis, of which: I-J, K-L, M-O, with no established function, being partially destroyed. (Figures V.1 and V.2.)
Literature: M. Davidescu, Monumente istorice din Oltenia, București 1964, 12-13; D.
Tudor, Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 315-320

VI) Romula, Reșca, Olt

The ruins of the Roman town are overlaid by the central part of the village of Reşca. The thermae were identified
in 1900 on private property, located near the river Teslui. The layout of the bath displayed a building with an
atypical planimetry, nonetheless with its bathing areas arranged on a circular trajectory. Twelve rooms were
identified, non of wich with a semi-circular termination: C- a narrow apodyterium; D, E - probably tepidarium,
B, K, N – rooms with underfloor heating, and A, C, G with no specified function. According to several scholars,
it is possible that this building didn't serve as a bath, but as a residence. (Figure VI)

Literature: D. Tudor, Oltenia romană, ed. 4., București 1976, 321-323

VII)Alburnus Maior – Roșia Montană, Alba
Situated in the central area of Roşia Montană, on Carpeni Hill, the site provided over time a series of
archaeological finds, inscriptions as well as fragments of building materials (ex. military bricks stampes) which
connected the site to the XIII Gemina legion. During the archaeological campaings between 2001-2003, two
buildings with underfloor heating were excavated: E1 – at Tomus and E2 – at Bisericuță,, which could have
functioned as a bathhouse. The layout shows the building is comprised of five areas: A, D - hot water basin, B,
B' and I - cold water basin or frigidarium, as well as a service area called C – a basin with hot water / maybe
sudatorium. The building had two construction. In a final phase the bath was extended towards west and north,
making the functionality uncertain, and left open to interpretations. Following recent mineralogical analysis,
the origin of the ceramic material found in the two buildings is established to be Apulum. Both E1 and E2 were
produced ceramic brick material marked with the stamp of the XIII Gemina legion. (Figure VII)

Literature: O. Țentea, Bath and Bathing at Alburnus Maior, Cluj-Napoca 2015

VIII)Alburnus Maior – Roșia Montană, Alba

The ruins of the Roman settlement of Şibot were discovered following resue intervention (excavation) carried
out 1.5 km east of Şibot, at the point "In Obrej" located on the banks of the Cugir River.
As a result of these archaeological researches, a significant part of the civilian settlement, an industrial area and
necropolis, all located along the imperial Roman road, were discovered. The bathhouse was identified in the
western part of the settlement, located in the vicinity of the river, an area where some buildings housed other
civilian functions.
The rectangular building, 26 × 15 m in size, belongs to the category of ring type baths. The building is divided
into five quadrilateral areas. Two of these were equipped with underfloor heating, two rectangular rooms have
considerably large dimentions, and one has a circular shape and therefore should be considered a laconicum .
Literature: Adela Bâltâc, P. Damian, V. Apostol, Alina Streinu, Alexandra Dolea, Ioana Paraschiv-
Grigore, Eugen Paraschiv-Grigore, Corina Nicolae, B. Voicu, Cercetări arheologice preventive din
așezarea romană de la Șibot, punctul “În Obrej” (jud. Alba) – considerații preliminare. Cercetări
Arheologice 23, 2016, 49-106, pl. IX

When building baths and bathhouses the Romans used almost all tools and features of the technology
availablein their time. Military baths located in the provinces differ in many respects from the big public bathing
structures found in Rome. Architecturally they represent some of the oldest military structures and their
category includes a manifold of public and private buildings alike. This aspect is also reflected in the realities of
Roman Dacia. Bathing itself was a public activity involving a large number of people who swam, relaxed, had a
sauna after exercises and, above all, socialized with friends.
Among the differences registered between the legionary troop baths and the auxiliary garrison’s baths, the
most important seems to be their location, namely the legionary baths (thermae legionis) were built inside the
camp and were free of charge, whilst the baths to which the auxiliary regiment had access to (balnea) were
built outside of the fort, and bathing was done by paying a toll. This is explained by the fact that the attendance
of public baths by auxiliary soldiers was only generalized starting with the second half of the 1st century (the
Flavian age), so it comes that the internal layout of forts didn’t even considered the placement of a bathhouse.
Later, as use of baths spreas on to the category of the auxiliary garrisons, the baths that served such purposes
would be placed siply outside the camp, since at that time the inner space of the fortifications was insufficient,
and the rules of arrangement regarding interior buildings was habitual, utilized in a widespread manner.
Most of the bath buildings found in Dacia are located near the auxiliary forts, respectively in the civil
settlements, situated in their vicinity. Determining the use of these baths is difficult. Higher ranking categories
of the regiment were customarily supposed to have enjoyed private baths, inside the camp.

In light of these aspects, the social component of the baths correlated with the different chronological phases
of Romanization in a provincial context can help identify the problems of localization of bathing facilities in
future studies. There is no evidence to be found on the border areas of the Dacian province , which show
defining or exceptional topographic factors, as is the case for example of Moesia Superior - where it appears
that early baths are located near auxiliary fortifications and important mining areas. As far as the baths of Dacia
are concerned – concerning the current state of research - we can profess that most of them are located outside
the forts, about 50 meters or more away and in the vicinity of a waterway.

These baths retain their main features, dimensions and shape throughout the entire Roman occupation period.
Since most of the sites were considered for the smaller number of soldiers of the auxiliary regiments, the
bathing facilities of Dacia can be classified as a cluster of modest structures (with a few exceptions, of course).
Unfortunately, in many cases the data for the part-and-parcel identification of all bathing areas is lacking, which
prevents a thorough understanding of the situation. Thus, as I have already mentioned, one can not reconstruct
a very elaborate image of the phenomenon that are the baths and bathhouses of Dacia.

The edifices had cold and hot bathing areas, and one-quarter of them were equipped with areas for social
interaction without an apparent correlation with the stationing military regiment. In the case of small
bathhouses, similar to other western provinces, some prototypes can be identified. The phenomenon is a result
of the act of adapting and reconditioning of various structures which belong to legionary bath architecture, but
also by the increasing demand of the auxiliary regiments. The acknowledgment of a proliferation of several
prototypes in certain areas of Dacia is a theory which holds water.