Gibbon says of Caracalla (Emperor – 209-217 AD)
that Caracalla was the common enemy of mankind
that the repentance of Caracalla only prompted him to remove from the world whatever could remind him of his guilt, or recall the memory of his murdered brother
and refers to
the wild ambition and black passions of Caracalla’s soul
his timid and brutal cruelty
and describes with some enjoyment, tempered by a little scepticism, how from the Caledonians under Fingal he fled from his arms along the fields of his pride
how he killed 20,000 men and women who he suspected of being sympathetic to his murdered brother Geta
De Quincey suggests that on his subsequent wanderings over the empire he was
pursued into every region by the bloody image of his brother
So what would you do if you’d made such a filthy great stinking macchiato of your soul?
Build a rucking great bath.
The hot rooms to either side of the great circular caldarium offered a range of different kinds of dry heat. Their missing front walls were composed almost entirely of glass, taking advantage of natural solar energy. The surrounding surfaces on the outer facade wall were finished with coloured glass mosaic, so that the whole block will have shimmered in the afternoon sun. All that survives of the caldarium proper (which equalled the Pantheon rotunda in height and was three-quarters its diameter) are two piers of brick-faced concrete 35m high. It contained seven plunge baths and the domed ceiling was probably lined with gilded sheet bronze.
The baths could seat ten thousand people.
Hot damn, wish I could have seen that.