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Baths of Caracalla: View in interior of the complex, capital in the foreground
The stripping of the decoration began in the medieval period. In the 12th century some capitals were used in the building of S Maria in Trastevere, Rome. Many sculptures were unearthed in the 16th century, including the Farnese Hercules; excavations in 1824 uncovered the athlete mosaics (Rome, Vatican, Mus. Gregoriano Profano).
Vast Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla. The baths remained in use until the 6th century when the complex was sacked by the Ostrogoths during the Gothic War, destroying the hydraulic installations. The Caracalla bath complex of buildings was more a leisure centre than just a series of baths. The "baths" were the second to have a public library within the complex. The bath complex covered approximately 25 hectares (33 acres).