Houses of Pompeii

3 summaries of the houses in pompeii for OCR Classical Civilisation (City life in Roman Italy)

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House of Umbricius Scaurus

  • 4 larger than life depictions of garum vessels with promotional inscriptions near around the impluvium
  • "Scaurus' finest mackerel sauce from Scaurus' workshop"
  • "Finest fish puree"
  • "Scaurus' finest mackerel sauce"
  • "Best fish puree from Scaurus' workshop"
  • Adverts found in entrance 14, therefore this is a public/sales entrance,
  • 15 might have been a family entrance
  • 13 had narrow corridors therefore might be slave/workers entrance
  • Reported to have his own bath house
  • Fish sauce receipts found all over the empire, including southern france!
  • 30% of fish sauce found in campania came from him.
  • 12 pints cost 1,000 sesterces "almost no fluid except perfume beins to fetch a great price (Pliny the Elder)
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House of Menander

  • Named after the comic Playwright Menander depicted holding a scroll in the peristyle. Shows the owner to be cultured and educated (although he is wearing a roman, not a greek toga)
  • Had a private bath suite (very luxurious) but it appears to have been out of use because underneath the rooms which should be used to heat the bath had been walled off (air can't circulate) and things were being stored there ("arranged in series" - not a hurry) which would be unlikely if they were doing repairs.
  • Had lots of 4th style decoration (e.g. 4th style decoration on the ceiling of room 18 and in the entrance way)
  • Also appears the impluvium was being repaired as parts of it were found in other rooms (impluvium brackets found in the Tablinum).
  • The atrium lacked some items we would expect such as statues of the Lares. Instead we found a modest altar in room 25 although it appears to have been in permanant use.
  • What was once a stable for animal was housing a commercial quantity of amphorae (vessels for liquids) suggests argricultural/commercial use.
  • Room 41 appears to be another atrium and contained a medly of items so maybe the house wasn't under single occupancy at the time of the eruption.
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House of Octavius Quartio/Loreius Tiburtinus

  • Had many characteristics of typical pompeii house
  • Had 1 biclinium (more intimate dining experience, no social distinction)
  • Had a picture of Pyrimus and Thysbe --> Shows devotion (like Isis)
  • Had a picture of Narcissus --> Reminds us won't look handsome forever.
  • Representation of the River Nile, plus sphinx, evocative of Egypt
  • Also white painting (late 3rd style), unusual colour (not in Egypt).
  • The river could only be seen once you entered the house, secretive.
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Thanx!!! :)

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