Welcome to the Roman Baths Blog!

This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Meet Beau the Hippo!

Beau the hippo is our mascot for our Heritage Lottery Funded Beau Street Hoard Project.  But why a hippo?

Beau the hippo announcing the latest news of the Beau Street Hoard

When we saw the first coins from the Beau Street hoard, they were all uncleaned and some of them were quite corroded. Sifting through them, we were delighted to see a hippo, albeit a rather miserable looking one, on one of the reverses.

one of  the hippos on the coins

We fell in love with him and realised that a hippo, which is happiest wallowing in the mud and water, was appropriate for a Bath coin, having been excavated in the mud, and from Bath famous for its spring water.

The coin that features the hippo was issued by the Emperor Philip I in 248 AD. This year was the 1000th anniversary of what the Romans considered to be the founding of Rome by Romulus.  As part of the anniversary celebrations many wild animals were transported to Rome to be killed in gladiatorial and wild beast hunts. Other animals represented on his coins include antelopes, wolves and lions. But the hippo coins actually have his wife, Otacilia’s head on the obverses; perhaps she liked the hippos best.

So with Beau we are remembering all the animals that died in the name of “entertainment”.

Beau dressed as a Roman soldier

Look out for Beau and some of his cousins at our Beau Street Hoard events over the next 15 months!  And if you meet a hippo be sure to take a photo and share it with us on Facebook!
A delft hippo giving scale to some of the coins from Bag 7 of the Hoard

To find out more about Beau and all our coin related events and activities follow us BeauStHoard on FlickrTwitter: and Facebook


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