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Caerleon and the Roman army : Roman…
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Caerleon and the Roman army : Roman Legionary Museum: a guide

by Richard J. Brewer

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Recently added bySwallowtail, Petra.Xs, AllieW, unittj, SJJM

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Caerleon is a village close to where I grew up. My auntie lived there so the Roman ruins were just part of the landscape. When we went for tea triangle sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, meringues (the best ones I ever had), bara brith, home-made fruit cake, a Victoria sponge with home-made jam and maybe a chocolate sponge cake and some easter biscuits or welsh cakes as well. Those days have gone... The last summer I was in Wales I went and explored the amazing baths lined with mosaics and the amphitheatre and now have this book to read up on the history.

It's amazing how the inventions of the past got lost for a thousand years or more and are still not commonplace in many places. Things like underfloor heating, running water sanitation and sports complexes for instance.

At Caerleon there is a huge bathing complex, a Turkish bath and a beautiful indoor swimming pool with a mosaic bottom of immense beauty. The pool is surrounded by niches in the walls for massages and massages from the local camp followers. The naked soldiers might also have sat in them to have their body hair plucked away. Apparently the Romans, the men at least, liked to be baby-smooth down there. They also seemed to have liked jewellery as the museum contains rings, pendants and chains that they lost while bathing and came out down the drain some nearly 2,000 years later.

But most amazing of all in cold, rainy Wales, a huge outdoor, bigger than Olympic-size swimming pool heated from beneath. Imagine the Roman centurians were able to swim in heated water while all around them lay piles of snow.

There was also a gymnasium for the obligatory working-out.

Here are some pics. https://www.google.com/search?num=40&hl=en&biw=1366&bih=655&q=roman caerleon -school -children&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Ols1Ufi1AcLC0QHI3YDYDAYou can see the amphitheatre and the Roman walls, some of a beautiful herringbone dry-stone walling that still completely surround the Old Town. In 2011, much more was discovered, it was a whole port stretching down to the river Usk. http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/9210919.Caerleon_Roman_harbour_f... So that will be interesting to see next time I go home to Wales.

There isn't any substitute to walking around the well-preserved remains of a Roman settlement and looking at artifacts in a museum, but without a guide book little has more than 'oh look at that!' meaning. This is a good guide book and my only criticism is it's too small, I want to know more. ( )
  Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
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