Plate XXVI - Court of the thermae

The court of the baths seems to be the only substitute at Pompeii for those numerous appendages of porticos and places of exercise which are said to have belonged to the magnificent thermae of great cities. Under the porticos, which consisted of Doric columns one foot six inches in diameter on two sides, with arches on the third, those who came to bathe might wait till their turn for admission arrived. There is a recess in the centre, in which it is supposed the guardian of the thermae delivered tickets of entrance ; and as this cell was at the back of the tepidarium, it is not impossible that he was enabled to observe, through the opening in the wall, when there was room for a new visiter.

An inscription or advertisement, painted on the wall, proves that this was a place of general resort ; and the fourth wall, which was whitened and without a portico, might possibly be what was called an album for public notices of sales, gaines, and scenic exhibitions.