The Bath-Gymnasium at Sardis is the most important known example of a complex that combines the gymnasium, a Greek institution, with the Roman bath, a unique architectural and cultural embodiment comparable in size and organization to the great Imperial thermae of Rome. The restoration by the Harvard–Cornell Expedition of the “Marble Court” or Imperial cult hall provides a rare opportunity to appreciate firsthand the scale and elegance of the major Imperial monuments.
In this fully illustrated volume Fikret Yegül describes the complex from the palaestra of the east through the richly decorated Marble Court to the vast swimming pool, lofty halls, and hot baths, including analysis of the excavation, evidence for structural systems, roofing, vaulting, and decoration, and the significance of building inscriptions. The author traces the building history from its completion in the second century through five centuries of renovation and redecoration. Mehmet Bolgil, a practicing architect who was in charge of the restoration at Sardis, contributes a clear description of the reconstruction process.