Pediment from the Roman Temple in Bath

Contributed by Bath Museums

Pediment from the Roman Temple in Bath

The pediment from the Temple of Sulis Minerva at Bath is one of the best-known objects from Roman Britain. It originally looked down on people entering the temple precinct from a height of 12 metres. Colourfully painted, it would have been full of meaning to pilgrims from around the Empire. It consists of a central roundel surrounded by oak leaves, held aloft by Victories on a shield and containing the conflated heads of Neptune and a Gorgon. Other emblems represent the theme of water and the goddess Minerva through her symbol of an owl. It was probably carved by Gaulish sculptors in the 1st century AD. The building of the Baths and Temple around Britain's only hot springs reflected a new more conciliatory approach to the governance of Britannia in which the local population was gradually introduced to the benefits of Roman culture. It was found in the 1790s during construction of the Grand Pump Room and can be seen in the Roman Baths Museum.

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Probably carved in the late century 1 AD

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