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city (1991 pop. 84,283), Bath and North East Somerset, SW England, in the Avon River valley. Britain's leading winter resort, Bath has the only natural hot springs in the country. Engineering, printing, bookbinding, wool-weaving, and clothing are among Bath's industries.

In the 1st cent. A.D., the Romans discovered the natural springs and named the site Aquae Solis ("waters of the sun"). They then built elaborate lead-lined baths with heating and cooling systems (first excavated in 1755). In Saxon times the city was destroyed and the baths buried. From the time of ChaucerChaucer, Geoffrey
, c.1340–1400, English poet, one of the most important figures in English literature. Life and Career

The known facts of Chaucer's life are fragmentary and are based almost entirely on official records.
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 until the Tudor era, Bath had a flourishing wool and cloth industry.

In the 18th cent. Beau (Richard) NashNash, Beau
(Richard Nash), 1674–1761, Englishman of fashion. As master of ceremonies at Bath he was the recognized leader of society. He maintained his luxurious mode of living by gambling until gaming was forbidden in 1745. He died a poor pensioner.
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, establishing social standards equal to those of London society, and the architect John Wood and his son transformed Bath into England's most fashionable spa. The Woods, using Bath stone from nearby quarries, built Queen Square, the Circus, and the Royal Crescent, all excellent examples of Georgian architecture. The Assembly Rooms, of the same period, were destroyed by air raids in World War II but later restored. Near Bath is a museum of American arts and crafts.


city (1990 pop. 9,799), seat of Sagadahoc co., SW Maine, on the west bank of the Kennebec River near its mouth on the Atlantic; settled c.1670, inc. as a city 1847. It is a port of entry with a good harbor. Once a great shipbuilding center, it still has active shipyards and marine manufactures, but summer tourism is becoming increasingly important. ChamplainChamplain, Samuel de
, 1567–1635, French explorer, the chief founder of New France.

After serving in France under Henry of Navarre (King Henry IV) in the religious wars, Champlain was given command of a Spanish fleet sailing to the West Indies, Mexico, and the
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 and others visited or passed near this site when exploring the Kennebec River, and at nearby Popham Beach a short-lived colony was established (1607) by George PophamPopham, George
, c.1550–1608, early colonist in Maine, b. England. He was named in the patent granted to the Plymouth Company in 1606. In consequence of the colonization project of his uncle, Sir John Popham, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, George Popham, in the
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. Shipbuilding began early; many clipper ships were constructed in the 19th cent., and the Bath Iron Works began producing steel warships and commercial vessels in the 1880s. The city flourished, particularly during World Wars I and II, when a large number of destroyers were built. There is a marine museum and many old mansions in Bath.


See M. Sanders, The Yard (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


An open tub used as a fixture for bathing; the room containing the bathtub. The Roman public bathing structure consisted of hot, warm and cool pools; sweat rooms, athletics and other related facilities.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt (c. 2500 BCE), the oldest known writings, there is mention of the ritual bath as being both purifying and revivifying. The Pyramid Texts deal with mortuary practices designed to ensure the successful resurrection of the dead. But similar baths were applicable to the living. In the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation started with bathing in the sea, to cleanse the Initiate both physically and spiritually. In the Mysteries of Cybele and Attis there was also a ritual bath, known as the rite of taurobolium, although this time it was in the blood of a sacrificed bull.

Ritual baths, designed to cleanse spiritually, are a part of many cultures and have been for millennia. The Dead Sea Scrolls speak of such rituals, saying of the new member to a holy community that "his flesh will be cleansed by the sprinkling of water for impurity and by the sanctification of himself with purifying water."

In most Witchcraft traditions, there is a ritual bath before every Circle. It is especially important, of course, prior to an initiation. The bath consists of no more than a partial ritual immersion in water to which salt, symbolizing the life force, has been added. Some Witches do add herbs to their baths (e.g. lavender, lemon verbena, rosemary, valerian) and some add oils, but only the salt is mandatory.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a bath?

To determine the meaning of bathing in a dream, one might first ask what the individual associates with bathing. For some people it is simply cleaning, so a dream of bathing indicates the cleansing, or need for cleansing, of some area of life. For other people, a bathtub represents the supreme arena of relaxation, during which she or he is free from the demands of work and from the rest of the family. Baths can also represent baptisms, an initiation ritual in which the old person is cleansed or purified to make way for the rebirth of the individual undergoing the baptism. Finally, water represents the unconscious, so bathing can mean immersion in the unconsciousness.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


1. An open tub used as a fixture for bathing.
2. The room containing the bathtub.
3. (pl.) The Roman public bathing establishments, consisting of hot, warm, and cool plunges, sweat rooms, athletic and other facilities; balnea, thermae.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a vessel in which something is immersed to maintain it at a constant temperature, to process it photographically, electrolytically, etc., or to lubricate it


an ancient Hebrew unit of liquid measure equal to about 8.3 Imperial gallons or 10 US gallons


a city in SW England, in Bath and North East Somerset unitary authority, Somerset, on the River Avon: famous for its hot springs; a fashionable spa in the 18th century; Roman remains, notably the baths; university (1966). Pop.: 90 144 (2001)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Taking a bath in a dream may represent your need to undergo some form of cleansing. If you are currently changing things in your daily life, or if you have freed yourself from bothersome emotions, this dream may be an affirmation of that. Taking a bath represents a cleansing of the outer self, the washing away of those things that are difficult or disturbing and relaxing for a while. The deeper meaning may be that the bath represents the letting go of old and useless ideas, opinions, or prejudices. Often this dream is a call to relax, to free your mind of daily troubles, and to put your problems away for a while.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.