The development of an experts’ network facilitating the study of baths and bathing in the ancient world is the aim of a new academic initiative.

As stated in an official announcement released yesterday, BATH – BAlnea & THermae is an international network of scholars aiming to facilitate contacts between bath scholars worldwide, to stimulate cooperation and knowledge transfer among international scholars, to communicate and promote recent developments in the field, and to promote research on baths among scholars and to a wider audience.

To facilitate so, BATH’s core group has created, a website which will act as a portal for the network and a research tool for scholars and a wider audience alike. Through the website, the visitor may browse resources for the study of ancient baths, as well as news, articles and a database which is in currently in progress.

The announcement also states that the initiative may be seen as the spiritual successor to the 1990s’ International Association for the Study of Ancient Baths (IASAB). Indeed, BATH, is affiliated to IASB, following permission by the latter’s heads, Inge Nielsen and Janet DeLaine. In the framework of affiliation, IASB’S newsletter Balnearia, will be available online through BATH’s website.

The initiative was taken during the roundtable of the international conference ‘Roman Baths and Agency’ (Rome, October 18-20, 2023), where bath scholars from around the world agreed that there was a dire need for a platform that would enable scholars working on the topic to meet, communicate, exchange and collaborate. A small group of engaged specialists set out to create this international network and launch an accompanying website.