In the studies of the urban Roman baths carried out, the water supply is one of the least addressed issues. Although water was the decisive element for the functioning of the Roman baths (whether large or small), in most of the editions (general or on specific monuments) the attention was focused above all on technical-functional aspects (such as heating techniques), decorative (pertaining to flooring and covering wall, as well as sculptural material) or social (such as the role in Roman society). But the water supply of thermal baths built in urban areas is a subject not evaluated in its complexity, which instead needs to be examined with particular attention. The most emblematic case in this regard is constituted by the Baths of Agrippa, the first urban public spa, inaugurated in 12 BC contextually with the construction of the Aqua Virgo, the first aqueduct useful to serve the Campo Marzio, in 19 BC. Undoubtedly, the progressive construction of aqueducts in cities in Italy (as well as in the provinces) starting from the Augustan age constituted a decisive opportunity in many cases for the construction of new baths, but the aqueducts-baths association, however, it was by no means a fixed rule. By analyzing some cities of Roman Italy, it is clear that urban baths have often used water supply methods other than connection to public aqueducts. These cases, duly analyzed, offer not only an articulated picture of the baths-water relationship, but also consequences that are not secondary at a topographical, architectural as well as economic level.
Spanu, M. (2022). Terme urbane romane e approvvigionamento idrico . .. In AMNIS. L’acqua dalla materialità alla parola (pp.23-39). Sesto Fiorentino : All'Insegna del Giglio [10.36153/amnis.02].