Under the sea: Exploring the historic secrets of Ancient Rome
NEW underwater photographs reveal the scale and beauty of Baiae resort near Naples where the elite indulged their passions for opulence and orgies.
In the Bay of Naples lies a lost wonder of the ancient world where mosaic floors shimmer beneath the warm turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, the barnacle-encrusted statuary of Baiae – 150 miles south of Rome – is home to shoals of fi sh but in the 1st Century AD this fashionable seaside resort was the playground of the Roman elite and a celebrated retreat from the pressures of city life.
A favourite of emperors and Rome’s super-rich including Julius Caesar, Nero and Hadrian, it was the setting for parties, love affairs and plots against political rivals.
Said to have been named after Baius – the helmsman of Odysseus’s ship in Homer’s Odyssey – Baiae sank beneath the waves 1,700 years ago.