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The baths of the legionary fortress, the Thermae Maiores
One of the halls of the legionary fortress’s baths was found in 1778, during the first archaeological excavation in Aquincum. The excavator, István Schönvisner published his findings in the same year in “De Ruderibus Laconici Caldariique Romanorum”. The excavated section of the baths was soon presented to the general public in a protective building. Today we are familiar with almost the entire legionary baths. The monumental structure (120 m by 140 m) lay at the intersection of the fortress’s two main roads. The baths’ main entrances opened onto these two roads. The building was constructed in the 2nd century and remodelled a number of times afterwards. We know its Latin name from a reconstruction inscription from 268. The bath complex offered soldiers an exercise court (palaestra), cold, warm, and hot pools, baths, steam bath, and spacious halls with underfloor heating. Soldiers here had numerous opportunities to exercise and bathe. The last reconstruction of the baths took place in the first half of the 4th century, when a new fortress was built to the east of the old base. After the reconstruction, the building complex likely served as the palace of the military commander of the province of Valeria.
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