bathing and pinecone

Following the discussion here

The thyrsus, associated with Dionysus (or Bacchus) and his followers, the Satyrs and Maenads, is a symbol of prosperityfertilityhedonism, and pleasure/enjoyment in general.[1] It has been suggested that this was specifically a fertilityphallus, with the fennel representing the shaft of the penis and the pine cone representing the “seed” issuing forth.  source:

And just for fun: recent cipher with same association:

source  or

googling on:   Thyrsus fons

I was looking for references on Greec of Roman fountains.

and found this:

with the following text:

The atrium or quadri-portico was entered by three gateways, the middle one of which had doors of bronze inlaid with silver. The nielli represented castles, cities, and territories which were subject to the apostolic see. The doors were stolen in 1167, and carried to Viterbo as trophies of war.


The fountain in the centre of the atrium was a masterpiece135 of the time of Symmachus (498-514), who had a great predilection for buildings connected with hygiene and cleanliness, such as baths, fountains, andnecessaria.[81] The fountain is described in my “Ancient Rome,” p. 286; let me add here the particulars concerning its destruction.

The structure was composed of a square tabernacle supported by eight columns of red porphyry, with a dome of gilt bronze. Peacocks, dolphins, and flowers, also of gilt bronze, were placed on the four architraves, from which jets of water flowed into the basin below. The border of the basin was made of ancient marble bas-reliefs, representing136 panoplies, griffins, etc. On the top of the structure were semicircular bronze ornaments worked “à jour,” that is, in open relief, without background, and crowned by the monogram of Christ. This gem of the art of the sixth century was ruthlessly destroyed by Paul V. The eight columns of porphyry, one of which was ornamented with an imperial bust in high relief, have disappeared, and so have the bas-reliefs of the border of the fountain, although Grimaldi claims to have saved one. The bronzes were removed to the garden of the Vatican, but, with the exception of the pine-cone and two peacocks, they were doomed to share the fate of the marbles. In 1613 the semicircular pediments, the four dolphins, two of the peacocks, and the dome were melted to provide the ten thousand pounds of metal required for the casting of the statue of the Madonna which was placed by Paul V. on the column of S. Maria Maggiore.

[81] Venuti: Ragionamento sopra la pina di bronzo, etc., in the Codex Vaticanus 9024.—Gayet Lacour: La pigna du Vatican, in the Mélanges de l’Ecole française, 1881, p. 312.—Lanciani: Il Pantheon e le terme di Agrippa, in the Notizie degli scavi, 1882.—De Rossi: Inscriptiones christianæ urbis Romæ, vol. ii., 428-430.—Gori: Archivio storico artistico, 1881, p. 230.

The most important monument of the atrium, after the fountain, was the tomb of the emperor Otho II. († 983), or what was believed to be his tomb, as some contemporary writers attribute it to Cencio, prefect of Rome, who died 1077. The body lay in a marble sarcophagus, which was screened by slabs of serpentine, the whole being surmounted by a porphyry cover supposed to have come from Hadrian’s137 mausoleum. The mosaic picture above represented the Saviour between SS. Peter and Paul. This historical monument was demolished by Carlo Maderno in the night of October 20, 1610. The coffin was removed to the Quirinal and turned into a water-trough. Grimaldi saw it last, near the entrance gate from the side of the Via dei Maroniti. The panels of serpentine were used in the new building, the picture of the Saviour was removed to the Grotte; the cover of porphyry was turned upside down, and made into a baptismal font.


reconstruction drawing of the nymphaeum of Regilla at Olympia, modern
This monumental fountain is often called “the nymphaeum of Herodes Atticus” by modern scholars, but the dedicatory inscription names only Regilla, wife of Herodes.
Olympia, Greece: Archaeological Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2007
Keywords: women donors; imperial family; honorific statues


fontana della pigna:

By lance_mountain [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

There is another fountain known as Fontana della Pigna in Rimini, Italy. Where there is also a gate with crenelations.

Nice evening picture

The question is in relation to the VMS-pinecone-water interesting and the answer on “why the Romans used a pinecone” and “what is relation pinecone and water/fountain”

can be found using this search:

che significa Fontana della Pigna ?
La pigna è simbolo dell’albero della vita nel paradiso (l’atrio) e lavarsi le mani con l’acqua che sgorga dalla pigna significa illuminazione.
“The pine cone tree is a symbol of life in paradise (the atrium) and wash your hands with water that flows from the cone means illumination.”

La fontana

della vita in quanto albero della vita è indicata dalla pigna anche su sportelli d’armadio (Venezia, basilica di S. Marco) e in immagini dell’Annunciazione (per es. nel mosaico della chiesa del monastero di Dafni, presso Atene, 1100 ca.).
Teofane Continuato (829-842) descrive una fontana esistente nel palazzo di Costantinopoli decorata da una pigna dorata; in occasione di feste la vasca veniva riempita di pistacchi o altri frutti come noci e nocciole, mentre dalla pigna sgorgava vino aromatico (Petersen, 1903, p. 319). A Costantinopoli il tipo di fontana a pigna è attestato ancora dalla pigna forata in granito del chiostro di Sulu Manastir, probabilmente databile al 12° secolo. La fama del cantaro romano di S. Pietro fu tale che il simbolo della pigna venne spesso scelto nel Medioevo per il coronamento di fontana; è il caso delle fontana duecentesche di Viterbo, come quelle di S. Tommaso, detta della Morte, di S. Faustino, di S. Maria in Poggio e di Pianoscarano (Colasanti, 1926, pp. XVII-XVIII). Da ricordare anche la fontana dell’abbazia di St. Maria und Johannes Evangelist a Sayn, presso Bendorf (Renania Palatinato), eretta nel 1200 ca. (Hoffmann-Curtius, 1968, fig. 52).
Nelle fontana frequente è anche la presenza di figure di leoni o di protomi leonine: per es. la fontana a due vasche in bronzo (sec. 12°-13°) posta nella piazza del mercato a Goslar (Bassa Sassonia) e proveniente (Griep, 1973) probabilmente dall’area del palazzo imperiale.

L’acqua vi scorreva uscendo dagli otto doccioni a protome leonina della vasca superiore ricadendo in quella inferiore, più grande; al colmo è posto un bocciolo sferico, fornito a sua volta di otto doccioni a protome leonina, coronato da un’aquila ad ali spiegate, mentre sulla colonna che sorregge la vasca superiore siedono, in funzione di condutture di deflusso, quattro draghi alati con figure umane nelle fauci spalancate; da un mascherone sul lato sud della tazza inferiore si poteva attingere l’acqua tramite una lunga conduttura di deflusso. Figure di leoni compaiono pure nella fontana Grande a Viterbo, chiamata anche Sepalis, iniziata dai maestri Bertoldo e Pietro di Giovanni nel 1212; la struttura originaria, con vasca cruciforme in pietra e con due vasche quadrilobate in bronzo poste su una colonna, risale al 1279, mentre le grandi protomi leonine furono restaurate da Benedetto da Perugia nel 1422.

The fountain of life as a tree of life is indicated by the cone even on the closet doors (Venice, Basilica di San Marco) and the Annunciation images (eg. In the mosaic of the Monastery of Dafni church, near Athens, 1100 approx).
Theophanes Continuato (829-842) describes an existing fountain in the palace of Constantinople decorated by a golden pine cone; at parties the tub was filled with pistachio nuts and other fruits like walnuts and hazelnuts, while the cone gushed aromatic wine (Petersen, 1903, p. 319).

In Constantinople the type of fountain pinecone stood still from the perforated cone granite of the cloister of Sulu Manastir, probably dating from the 12th century. The fame of the Roman cantaro St. Peter was such that the symbol of the pine cone was often chosen in the Middle Ages for the crowning of the fountain; It is the case of the thirteenth-century fountain of Viterbo, such as those of St. Thomas, called the Death of S. Faustino, of Santa Maria in Poggio and Pianoscarano (Colasanti, 1926, pp. XVII-XVIII).

We should also mention the abbey Fountain St. Maria und Johannes Evangelist in Sayn, near Bendorf (Rhineland Palatinate), erected in 1200 (Hoffmann-Curtius, 1968 Fig. 52) .In frequent fountain is also the presence of figures of lions or lion heads: eg. the fountain with two bowls bronze (sec. 12 ° -13 °) located on the market square in Goslar (Lower Saxony) and from (Griep, 1973) probably from the Imperial Palace.
The water flowed out from the eight lion gargoyles falling into the lower basin; the ridge is placed a spherical bud, provided in turn eight lion gargoyles , crowned by an eagle with spread wings, while on the pillar that supports the upper basin sit, depending on the outflow pipes, four winged dragons with figures human in the open jaws; of a mask on the south side of the lower cup you could draw water through a long pipeline flow. Figures of lions also appear in the Big fountain in Viterbo, also called Sepalis, begun by Bertoldo masters and Peter John in 1212; the original structure, with cross-shaped stone bath and two basins quadrilobate bronze placed on a column, dating from 1279, while large lion heads were restored by Benedetto da Perugia in 1422.


Ninety-nine of the Eagle spouts, made by Tancredi Pentima in 1272 and placed in a trapezoid square, surrounded on three sides of different length by tall limestone walls and hanging a checkered white and rose (on the fourth side a staircase leads to the church St. Vitus).
Water flows from ninety-nine masks zoomorphic and anthropomorphic in the narrow rectangular tank top;

Fontana Maggiore

The water rose from the center and flows into the bronze basin, overflowing the top marble basin and down through twelve busts in bronze animals on the bottom, decorated with reliefs fifty: from N to S philosophy, the seven liberal arts, the twelve months, fabulous animals, historical figures and reliefs with moral significance;

Se si considera la collocazione della f., corrispondente in origine all’atrio del duomo, diventano evidenti sia il suo ruolo di paradisus della città sia il simbolismo numerico dei cinquanta rilievi: vi si riconosce un’allusione alla pentecoste, mentre le ventiquattro figure del bacino superiore si riferiscono ai ventiquattro vegliardi dell’Apocalisse, quali rappresentanti della Ecclesia universalis, il potere spirituale e secolare, Roma e Perugia.


When you consider the placement of the fountain, correspondent in the atrium of the cathedral origin, become evident is its role paradisus the city is the numerical symbolism of the fifty reliefs: you recognize an allusion to Pentecost, and twenty-four of the basin Figures top refer to the twenty-four elders, as representatives of the Ecclesia universalis, the spiritual and secular power, Rome and Perugia.

Ecclesia universalis: 1850

Le tre fanciulle in bronzo al centro e nel punto più alto della fontana sono forse le personificazioni delle virtù teologali oppure Ecate, Demetra e Persefone.

The three maidens bronze at the center and at the highest point of the fountain are perhaps the personification of the theological virtues, or Hecate, Demeter and Persephone.


Anche a Perugia come coronamento finale è inserita una pigna, che qui vale come fons vitae: grazie all’ampliamento del programma iconografico si evidenzia l’intento del committente di arricchire di significato profano l’acqua, che esemplava in senso trascendentale battesimo, morte, risurrezione e rinascita.

Even in Perugia as a final crowning is inserted a pine cone, which here serves as fountain of life: thanks to the expansion of the iconographic program highlights the intention of the user  to enrich the meaning profane water, which is an example (?) of the transcendental sense in baptism, death, resurrection and rinascita (?).

 Espressione della tendenza ad ampliare i programmi iconografici e a rendere progressivamente sempre più complesse le strutture architettoniche erano le fontana gotiche piramidali caratterizzate dallo slancio verso l’alto, con pinnacoli e statue in edicole, senza dubbio influenzate dall’architettura delle cattedrali e diffuse essenzialmente nei paesi d’Oltralpe, come il Schöner Brunnen a Norimberga, eretto nel 1385-1396 da Heinrich Beheim
Expression of the tendency to expand the iconographic programs and to make architectural structures more complex gradually were the pyramidal Gothic fountain characterized by upward momentum, with pinnacles and statues, newsstands, no doubt influenced by the architecture of the cathedrals and disseminated mainly in the countries beyond the Alps, such as the Schöner Brunnen in Nuremberg, built in 1385-1396 by Heinrich Beheim
Schöner Brunnen a Norimberga
Schöner Brunnen (en:beautiful fountain) is a 14th-century fountain located on Nuremberg’s main market next to the town hall and is considered one of the main attractions of the city’s Historical Mile. The fountain is approximately 19 meters high and has the shape of a Gothic spire.
The myth of the brass ring seamlessly forged into the iron bars:Der Meister Kuhn, der das Gitter um den Brunnen gebaut hat, hatte eine Tochter namens Margret, die von seinem Lehrling umworben wurde. Da er aber sein Kind nicht einem armen Burschen geben wollte, verbot er diese Werbung und warf ihn hinaus. Es soll so etwas gesagt haben wie: “Daraus wird ein für allem nichts! So wenig wird etwas daraus, wie du es fertig bringst, dass die Ringe am Brunnengitter sich drehen können!” Der Meister ging daraufhin auf Reisen und der Lehrling wollte beweisen, dass er etwas konnte und stellte den Ring heimlich her. Dann schnitt er ihn auf, fügte ihn ins Gitter ein, lötete, hämmerte und feilte so lange, bis man keine Nahtstelle mehr sehen konnte. Dann hat er die Stadt verlassen und kam nie zurück. Nachdem der Meister nun wieder nach Hause kam, sah er ein, dass er zu streng gewesen war. Er bedauerte den Rauswurf, und hätte den geschickten Lehrbuben gerne wiedergehabt und ihm auch seine Tochter gegeben, aber es war zu spät und die Margret weinte sich die Augen aus.


in the Islamic world (next to other terms such as Çeşme, Sabil, siqāya, Birka, etc.), derived from the name of the source of paradise mentioned in the Koran (LXXVI, 17-18) which reads: “They will be, there, given to drink with cups whose mixture is of ginger and water from a source located therein, Salsabil called “Islamic the architecture, which was usually a mainly arid territory to the theater and with few water resources, he gave, by reaction, a place of primary importance to f., realized both for purposes essentially practical, both for decorative reasons, both for liturgical reasons.
It was formed by a water jug pouring out from a niche often decorated muqarnas, which then flowed on an inclined plane (Persian shādirwān, ‘carpet’ or ‘curtain’), finally flowing out into a narrow straight channel interrupted by a or more vasche.L’esempio most famous and best preserved is that of the fountain
text source:’_Arte_Medievale)/
The muqarnas (Arabic: مقرنص‎; Persian: مقرنس‎‎) are a form of architectural ornamented vaulting
Found already in the 11th century, in Algeria, Egypt, Iran etc.  -link-
Fountain house
muqarnas fountain
Google on  Fountain house palace muqarnas
and you will see that in Palermo, il Castello della Zisa,
also shows  12th century muqarnas.
Door Bernhard J. Scheuvens aka Bjs - Scanned from the film negative. Self-published work by Bernhard J. Scheuvens, CC BY-SA 2.5,
Door Bernhard J. Scheuvens aka Bjs – Scanned from the film negative. Self-published work by Bernhard J. Scheuvens, CC BY-SA 2.5,
It seems you can see  more muqarnas on Sicily.    and here
Google on  Fountain house palace of the lions for more info on those muqarnas in Spain.
muqarnas dome hall of the two sisters is interesting in Granada, Spain.  In medieval times  the Alhambra, an abbreviation of the Arabic: Qal’at al-Hamra, or red fort, was built by the Nasrid Dynasty (1232-1492)—the last Muslims to rule in Spain.


colonne Bohaz e Jakin:   Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood in the porch of Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.


The fountain of Venus, also called nymph, is placed inside a niche and was made by Raffaele Sangallo in 1569. The name is explained paying attention to the figure placed in the foreground on a natural background: it is the goddess Venus, portrayed dormant in a pose of sweet abandon.



(notice the waves resemble the waves on the Rosette page in the VMS)

This stucco, made around 1569 by Curzio Maccarone, shows the temple of the Sibyl and the white eagle of the Este arms. (read more: book link)



Villa d’Este
The Organ Fountain, as you can imagine, the name derives exceptional hydraulic mechanism that was playing a real organ, its construction began in 1568, the project was designed, once again, by our architect Pirro Ligorio, it is a building, which could be called Baroque, whose facade is decorated with floral motifs, mermaids, winged victories, sea shells and the inevitable heraldic symbols, Pirrin of Gagliardo created four colossal telamons to support a pseudo-arc, to the center was placed an apse that originally housed the statue of Mother Nature, now placed in another part of the house, on the right and left of the apse there are two niches, one on each side, containing a statue of Apollo and that of Diana, the fountain ends with a spa surrounded by a balustrade with small columns. Cardinal Alessandro d’Este made to add, in the apse, a small temple or shrine, as much because he did not want to miss anything, made him realize by Bernini, the small structure was to protect the hydraulic organ that was built by Claudio Venard. The mechanism, very particular and ingenious, who conceived the French was based fundamentally on the fall of the water by the force of gravity, through a pipe the water rushing into an underground cavity at once, by compressing, in this way, the air present in ‘environment and it was to form a strong jet of air, forced into a pipe, he worked as bellows, letting the air in organ pipes. Then there was another jet of water, very powerful, that was going to drive a toothed roller, the teeth of the latter pushed the organ keys spreading around the sweet melodies, the difficult and laborious restoration work has allowed in recent , who returned to play the organ. Again you can mention an anecdote, it seems that Pope Gregory XIII, was so astonished and enchanted by the melodies that would not believe the mechanism and checked personally, wanted to be sure that no human being was playing.




German video:

– other fountains

other bathing women in paintings

Other Interesting read:

Other nice drawings: dorotheum

City structure – Sforzinda

-on interlocking similar or corresponding figures and ornamental patterns of cubic equatations-

Botanical contributions from the Western Islamic tradition:



Found the colored version of the BH Ms. 0838.

Nomina et virtutes balneorum Putheoli et Baiar[um]
Tabula sup[er] balneis P… ([anterior a 1494]).

“De Balnea Puteolanis”

Universitat de València.  Biblioteca Històrica: BH Ms. 0838

Distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Títol: Nomina et virtutes balneorum Putheoli et Baiar[um] Tabula sup[er] balneis Puteoli co[m]posita per Raynaldu[m] de Villanova. 
Data: [anterior a 1494]

Ms. il·luminat Títol obtingut de la rúbrica (f. 2r). Tabula super balneis Puteoli atribuïda a Arnau de Vilanova (f. 1r)

Col·lació: Vitel·la, f. i (pergamí actual) + 38 (el f. 38v en blanc) + f. i (pergamí actual) ; foliació moderna a llapis

Composició: Escrit a 13 línies i la Tabula a 3 columnes

Escriptura: Humanística antiqua. Copiat per Virgilio Ursuleo (f. 38r)

Decoració: Números i noms dels banys al marge superior dels fulls, I-XXXV (f. 2v-35v). 35 il·luminacions a tota pàgina. Caplletra amb orla lateral en or i colors (f. 2r) amb escut de Calàbria dintre duna corona de llorer, De Marinis (tipus 4); majúscules alternant en or i blau, caplletres orlades en or i colors; els títols dels poemes en or

Enquadernació: Pell llaurada, sobre taula, amb escut del Duc de Calabria i amb cants daurats. Restaurada en 1972

Origen: Realitzat probablement a Nàpols amb anterioritat lany 1494, moment en el qual Alfons, duc de Calàbria, esdevingué rei

Signatura anterior: Ms. 860

Signatura actual: València, Universitat de València. Biblioteca Històrica, BH Ms. 838


Catalogat des del manuscrit original. Lectura i identificació de textos pel Prof. Francisco M. Gimeno Blay; bibliografia, documentació i normalització per M. Cruz Cabeza Sánchez-Albornoz i Silvia Villaplana Traver

Vida y Peregrinación, p. 219-220, n. 92; Ex-libris Universitatis, p. 196-197, n. 36; Germana de Foix i la societat cortesana del seu temps, 228



ritual-f2r ritual-water4 ritual-water3 ritual-water2 ritual-water

Universitat de València.
Biblioteca Històrica:
BH Ms. 0838
Shelfmark Valencia Universitat de València, Biblioteca Històrica BH Ms. 838
Author Arnaldus, de Villanova, d. 1311
Petrus, de Ebulo, fl. 1196
Copyist Ursuleo, Virgilio
Date of Origin before 1494
Place of Origin Naples
Material parchment
Extent 38 f.
Dimensions 300 x 219 mm
Illuminated yes
Language Latin



ritual-water6 ritual-water5

Codex “De Balnea Puteolanis” was written by Petrus Ebola in the early thirteenth century poems in hexameters.  The benefits of the different thermal waters of Pozzuoli and Baia are described.   Unlike some manuscripts of this work, the University of Valencia appears at the beginning of “Tabula super balnea Puteoli” attributed to Arnau of Villanova where one can read a list of diseases, in alphabetical order, indicating where restrooms they can be cured.

This particular copy was made near the end of the fifteenth century for Alfonso II, Duke of Calabria. Deluxe copies of books of regimen—how to live a healthy life, eat right, take proper exercise, and so forth—were often owned by nobility. This image shows women bathing in one of the Pozzuoli baths, many of which were recommended to treat fertility problems.


The Bared Breast in Medieval Ashkenazi Illumination: Cultural Connotations in a Heterogeneous Society, by

Fig. 5. Judith before Holofernes, Hamburg Miscellany, Meinz (?), ca. 1428–1434. Hamburg, Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Hebr. 37, fol. 80v, detail (© Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek, Hamburg)


  • the knobs on the tents
  • the David Kaufman collection. With Kind Solomon… on his throne, while in the left-hand turret there is a lamp – the eternal light.



Kunstwerk: Gussarbeit-Bronze , Plattnerarbeit-Bronze ; Flurdenkmal ; Brunnen ; Rännacher Lienhart (bis 1518 nachweisbar) , Mülich Peter ; Passau Dokumentation: 1515 ; 1518 ; St. Wolfgang ; Österreich ; Oberösterreich Anmerkungen: St. Wolfgang ; Wallfahrtsbrunnen ; Norbert Loidol, Renaissance in Oberösterreich. Weitra 2010, 214f. , Jörg Oberhaidacher, Der Pilgerbrunnen von St. Wolfgang, in: ÖZKD 43 (1989), H. 1-2, 6-25


A Nymphe or Fischmensch can be seen on that work of art, where Triton is shown.