Brill’s New Pauly

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(605 words)

[German version]

A. Terminology

The Latinized Greek term baptisterium (βαπτιστήριον; baptistḗrion, from βαπτίζω; baptízō, ‘dip’) was first used by Pliny (Ep. 2,17,11) for a bathing pool; in Greek literature, however, this meaning of the word is unknown.

[German version]

B. Bathing pool

In sources related to Roman baths ( Thermae [1]) the term baptisterium appears very rarely;  piscina is more widely used. Such cold water pools were usually rectangular or apsidal and placed …

Cite this page
Nielsen, Inge (Hamburg), “Baptisterium”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 02 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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