Andrea Palladio's measured plan of a bath complex on the Aventine Hill in Rome is of considerable interest in view of current skepticism about the archaeological accuracy of Palladio's studies of baths. This article shows first that the drawing is the result of Palladio's own survey of this complex, the Baths of Trajan Decius (A. D. 249-51); secondly it demonstrates the accuracy of Palladio's measurements; and thirdly, on the basis of Palladio's inscription on the plan, it redates the drawing to Palladio's last trip to Rome in 1554, and argues that Palladio learned of the complex from the Roman antiquarian and archaeologist, Pirro Ligorio. The plan of the Baths of Decius thus illustrates that Palladio's interest in Roman baths went beyond the most famous examples of thermae in Rome. His survey is shown to have been extremely accurate in measuring the remains of this complex, while his inscription indicates that he sought the most up-to-date (albeit erroneous) antiquarian information for the lesser-known monuments he drew.

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