from July 2003, updated March 2010

It's not a Gorgon's head; it's Typhon!zeus &

The Bath Logo is taken from a stone carving found near Bath's Roman Baths.  It's normally called the Gorgon's head, because the Romans dedicated Bath's baths to Minerva (Athena) and she had a Gorgon's head on her shield. But the Gorgons were female and our mascot looks male.  This used to disturb me a bit (blame my Chicago education), but not enough to make me ask any questions.

But then I went to the baths and and actually saw the thing.  In real life (or even on flickr), it's a lot easier to see that:
bath logo It's pretty hard to make out this detail from our logo, but it's really very clear if you go look at the stone (which is free if you are a B&NES resident.)

With a bit of research, I found a theory (due to John Hind) that the head really portrays Typhon (Typhoeus). (Note that if you google "John Hind Bath Gorgon's head" it is easy to just get the first page of that article, which discusses Oceanus.)  I did a quick Google search, and this pot (another shot), totally convinces me this theory is right.  Besides looks, Typhon was generally blamed / credited with geothermal activity since Jove (Zeus) managed to bury him under a mountain during a fight.  Another drawing, a mural.

Read about Typhon's wife & kids.  Klimt thought he looked like an ape for some reason. Update:  I've seen the original Klimt and it has huge snake bodies and wings as well! Now I'm on a quest to get a picture of the whole thing, despite it being wrapped around two orthogonal walls. The exhibits at the museum it is in is otherwise not great (and I say that as a big fan of contemporary art), so I'm waiting for the next Long Night of the Museums.

Joanna  Bryson