from July 2003, updated March 2010
It's not a Gorgon's head; it's Typhon!
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
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
on flickr), it's a lot easier to see that:
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
- The thing has wings (Gorgons didn't!)
- There are a few snake heads coming up at the top.
- It looks like there are snake bodies underneath the head! What's up
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
totally convinces me this theory is right. Besides looks,
generally blamed / credited with geothermal activity since Jove
to bury him under a mountain during a fight. Another drawing,
Read about Typhon's wife &
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
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