AS Classical Civilisation: City Life in Roman Italy Part 1: Pompeii

In which city does the House of Menander reside?
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How was the house named?
Named after an ancient comedy playwright, Menander.
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Who is believed to have owned the House of Menander?
The Poppaei Sabini family, owners of Oplontis.
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What external architectural feature marks the room with exceptional dimensions?
The triangular pediment with rich mosaic description
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What room is visible from the peristyle?
The fastigium.
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How is this room visible?
The double spaced columns in the fastigium illuminates the high ceiling reception room and also the room has wide opening windows.
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Are the double spaced columns a typical feature in a Roman peristyle?
The columns are, as the word 'stylos' is Greek for column, but the columns in this house have been purposefully spaced to create a vista from the baths to the triclinium.
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What decorative aspect of the baths parallels decoration of the Pompeii forum baths?
The painted telemones.
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Where were the service quarters in relation to the rest of the house?
They were marginalised and were situated around the main around the main oecuses and stretched around the back of the house.
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How were these rooms accessible?
They were only accessible by long narrow corridors.
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How many main reception rooms were in the house?
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What evidence supports the idea that these rooms were not open for public access?
They were away from the front door. These rooms bordered the peristyle, which was at the heart of the house.
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What colours were used to decorate the rooms?
Red, yellow, and black.
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Where did the corridor between the red and black rooms lead to?
A more private area of the house, possibly a cubiculum.
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What are some details on the two rooms near the atrium, possibly being the ala?
They were decorated in green, red and yellow, which implies they were distinctly decorated for receptions.
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What is said to have gone on in these two rooms?
Guests to the home would wonder in awe of the house. The master of the house would then decide where to hold court in the home.
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What feature of the house indicates immense wealth of the owner?
Own bathing facilities.
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Why could this be deemed a manifest of waste of money and space?
The Stabian Baths were 50 feet from the front door of the House of Menander.
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What main aspects of the house show the owner was a man of status and money?
Large peristyle, elaborate decor, private baths, spectacular silver service, and extensive service quarters.
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Where in the house was evidence for the silver service found?
In the cellars of casa del Menandro.
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What else was found in the cellar of the house?
Marble and bronze statuary, marble tables and furniture, precious metals objects such as coins, plates, and jewellery, and ivory combs, alabaster scented bottles, and Arretine pottery.
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What were the dimensions of the largest room in the house and why would it's size shock a Roman visitor?
90m^2. The size of this one room in the house is the size of the average home in Pompeii.
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What room indicates economic activity and how?
The stable at the back where animals would be kept and possibly traded.
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How many sides did the peristyle have?
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What did the peristyle contain?
A recess in the peristyle contained a shrine to ancestors.
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What was special about the decoration in this recess?
It maintained it's late Republican decor when the rest of the peristyle was redecorated.
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What were some benefits of the location of the House of Menander?
The Stabian Baths were 50 feet from the front door of the house and the house was fairly close to the main central crossroads of town.
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Why was this important?
The Stabian Baths were a commercial and social centre of the town, and the location near the crossroads meant the house was easily accessible.
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What could the owner of the House of Menander been if it wasn't the Poppaei Sabini family?
An oedile, politician in charge of organising festivals and processions.
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What specific pieces of art were found in the house of Menander?
A painting of Menander, after which the house was named, a painting of Dionysus, god of theatre, a painting of Euripedes, a famous tragedian actor.
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Which house is known as a 'miniature villa' in Pompeii?
The house of Octavius Quartio.
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Who referred to the house as being such?
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What is different to the layout of this villa?
The view from the fauces does not centre on the tablinum but a doorway into a three sided portico around the garden.
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What is to the left of the garden?
A main reception room for dining or entertainment.
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What runs through the house?
A canal runs east to west that feeds to the north to south canal.
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What are the main features of the house?
Canal, rear peristyle with oecus, temple with images of Diana, biclinium with fountain, statuary- Isis, Dionysus, Muses.
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What five myth cycles are painted on the walls?
Meleager's boar hunt, Aetaeon and Diana, Orpheus, Narcissus and Echo, Pyramus and Thysbee.
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What two sagas are in the oecus?
Hercules and Achilles.
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What does the canal also double as?
A fishpond.
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What has the owner tried to portray through his gardens?
Garden is more spectacular than house- sanctuaries, garden architecture, fountains, paradeisoi(painted wild animal parks), means to show he possesses a bit of villa luxury.
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Which house in Pompeii was located near the Marina Gate?
The house of Umbricus Scaurus.
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Who was Scaurus?
He was a well known wealthy garum(fish sauce) maker in the city of Pompeii.
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Where was his house situated?
Very close to the forum and Basillica and by the Marina Gate.
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Why is the location of his house important?
It is impressive to a visitor and convenient to Scaurus not only for trading and accessing products(fish) with close proximity to the ocean(all trade by boat), but to further his political career(location near Basillica- law courts).
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What did his house overlook?
The Suburban baths.
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Why was this important?
The Suburban baths were a commercial and central gathering place in Pompeii.
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Why was the proximity to the sea important for trade?
All trade happened by boat, and this assisted in the administration of his father's garum trade.
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How did the proximity to the sea make for a desirable location?
Location by the sea meant house was outside the city walls, quiet and aesthetically attractive.
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Why would the location of this house be more preferable to that of Lucius Secundus?
L.S's house was located in the middle of the cramped city. The house's location made a statement about the success of the Umbricii if they could afford to live outside the city walls.
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What was unique about the decoration in the House of Scaurus?
Frescoes depicting amphoras lined the walls and slogans for urcei were featured at the corners of his impluvium.
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How did he use the decoration in his home to further his business?
There were numerous mosaics in the home advertising his sauce.
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Would this have been tacky and undesirable?
Yes. Business and pleasure were kept separate in ancient times, and the home was typically decorated with elaborate frescoes and mosaics from the time, not with advertisements.
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What feature of the house could be described as luxurious?
The private bath suite in the home.
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Where do we see evidence for Scaurus's commercial success, other than his house?
Inscriptions. Many inscriptions were found around Pompeii, such as, "Scaurus's finest mackerel sauce by Scaurus Eutyche", and "Best fish puree of Aulus Umbricus Scaurus".
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Which woman stood out as being very unique in Pompeii?
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Who was Eumachia?
A public priestess in the town of Pompeii.
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Unlike most citizens whose houses attract the most attention, what gives us the most information on Eumachia?
Her building and tomb.
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Where was her building situated?
On the east side of the forum, on the corner of the Street of Abundance.
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What is the date of Eumachia's building?
Early first century AD, in the late Augustan or Tiberian period.
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Who is Eumachia said to have been married to and what was he?
Marcus Numistrius Fronto, a duumvir.
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What was Eumachia's building used for?
The purpose of her building is unknown, however it is suggested that it may have been used as a fullonica or a commercial building.
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From which evidence do we assume this?
The statue of Eumachia in a purpose built niche toward the rear of her building,"To Eumachia, daughter of Lucius public priestess, the fullers(set this up)". Also, across from the entrance of her building hundreds of water basins were found.
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Why could this assumption be discredited, despite the evidence suggesting it's purpose?
Eumachia's building was the largest and grandest in the forum, so it is unlikely such a grand building would have served such a noxious purpose.
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There were two statue bases found at Eumachia's building. Who were they dedicated to?
Romulus and Aeneas.
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What does this say about Eumachia?
This shows that Eumachia is pro-Roman and is loyal to Rome, which will have made her popular at this time as Pompeii had just become a Roman town having previously been Oscan.
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How is Romulus depicted in his statue?
Banishing the spolia opima(and award made to a general who had killed in battle the leader of the enemy).
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How was Aeneas depicted in his statue?
Carrying his father Anchises on his shoulders and leading his family to safety from Troy.
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Eumachia was an euergetist. What is euergestism?
It means to do well.
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What other facts show the grandiose of Eumachia's building?
The building was over 40m wide and 70m deep. It had 63 small rooms around the perimeter of a large central space around which was a colonnade.
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Where was Eumachia's tomb located?
Outside the Nucerian Gate in Pompeii near to the entrance of the amphitheatre.
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Why was this a good location?
The amphitheatre was one of the largest attractions in Pompeii were thousands of citizens would flock to daily, meaning the tomb would attract many visitors.
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Eumachia's tomb consisted of three main parts. What were they?
A large terrace raised up above street level, a huge seating area, and an enclosure where burials were placed.
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What topped the tall frontage at the rear of the building?
A frieze of an Amazonian fight.
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What does this say about Eumachia?
It shows Eumachia was pro-feminist as she is depicting a race of warrior women in battle.
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How big was the frieze?
13.9 metres long and 13.09 metres deep.
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What made Eumachia's tomb different to that of other benefactors in Pompeii?
She was not the recipient of a public seat-tomb.
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How did she compensate for this?
She built a huge seating area that was 13.55 metres by 5.65 metres, which was much bigger than any seat granted by the council.
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Who built Eumachia's tomb?
Eumachia herself.
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What does the seating area say about Eumachia?
The size of the seating area shows her influence and popularity in town and also makes a great statement of her greatness in Pompeii.
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What were Eumachia's own funerary inscriptions?
A simple epitaph divided in two across the main facade of the tomb.
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How many herms were found on the terrace?
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How many of these herms bear inscriptions?
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What information can we gather from the four inscribed herms?
It is possible to trace how the use of the tomb was extended from Eumachia and her immediate family in Tiberian times to the family of Alleius Nigidius Maius in Neronian times.
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What do the herms record?
The burial of the adoptive mother of Nigisius Maius and some of his freedmen.
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What does this imply about Eumachia's family and the family of Nigidius Maius?
The two families may have become linked, possibly through adoption.
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Who else's tomb in Pompeii was located just outside the Nucerian Gate?
The tomb of Munatius Faustus.
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Who built this tomb?
Faustus himself.
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Who was the tomb built to hold?
Faustus and his familia(i.e. household).
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What was found inside the tomb?
A number of herms.
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What did these herms mark?
The burial of himself and members of his household(both freed and slave).
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Who was Faustus's wife?
Naevolia Tychee.
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Why is she not buried in the same tomb as her husband?
Evidently she was unsatisfied with the tomb her husband had built so she built another much more elaborate for herself.
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Where was this monument for Tychee located?
Outside the Herculaneum Gate.
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What was depicted on this tomb?
On one side a bisellium, an honorific chair, on the other side a ship. On the front there is the depiction of a distribution, perhaps of money or grain.
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What decoration is at the top of the tomb?
A window with a woman's face peering out, the face said to be of Tychee herself.
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Where was the amphitheatre located in Pompeii?
In the south eastern part of the town, positioned against the embankment that backed onto the city's defensive walls.
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How many people could the amphitheatre seat?
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Who built the amphitheatre?
Quincius Valgus and Marcius Porcius.
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When was the amphitheatre said to have been built?
70 BC.
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How did the Pompeiians adjust the landscape to support the seating?
They had to remove large quantities of soil.
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What were the canvas awnings called that stretched over the top to shade spectators?
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How was the seating arranged?
The seating was known as a cavea, or tiered seating. The senatorial class and sponsors of the show would sit closest to the stage, and it would go back in tiers, to citizens, freedmen, all the way back to women, children, and slaves.
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What would one normally go to see at the amphitheatre?
Gladiatorial games, sacrifices, naumachia(sea battles).
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Where would gladiators enter the amphitheatre?
Corridors running below the amphitheatre would be where they entered and where they were kept until their fight.
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Who else would be kept under the amphitheatre?
Animals awaiting execution or battle.
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When would the games normally take place?
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What was the name of a gladiator trainer?
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What are the two phrases that would have been said when deciding the fate of a gladiator?
Pollicem vertere(to turn the thumb), pollicem premiere(to press the thumb).
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What was the word for 'show'?
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What two types of gladiators would mainly be seen fighting in the amphitheatre?
Retiarius(net man), Secutor(persuer).
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How were people enlisted as gladiators?
Prisoners of war, volunteers, captured by pirates, slaves ordered by masters.
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What happened in AD 59 in the amphitheatre?
There was a riot.
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Who was the riot between?
The Nucerians and the Pompeiians.
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What happened as a result of the riot?
Gladiatorial combat was banned for ten years by the Roman Senate.
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Who lifted this ban?
Emperor Nero.
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Who won?
The Pompeiians.
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From which literary text do we learn about the riot?
The Tacitus Annals.
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How did the Pompeiians celebrate their victory?
Depicted their victory in a painting.
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What were the two main temples in Pompeii?
The temple of Isis and the temple of Jupiter.
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Who was the temple of Isis to?
Godess Isis.
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Who was she?
An Egyptian godess who promised of afterlife.
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Where was her temple located?
In the Theatre District in Pompeii.
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When was it established?
End of the second century BC.
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Where is there other evidence for the popularity of this cult, besides the temple?
The discovery of statuettes of Isis and cult rattles(sistra) found in private homes. Twenty household shrines were decorated with pictures of Isis.
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When was the temple discovered?
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What was found when the temple was discovered?
Carbonized remains in pits and on the altar, a dead body(presumed to be a priest), statuettes and well preserved paintings.
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What was discovered in front of the temple that emphasises the foreignness of the goddess?
A tablet with genuine hieroglyphs.
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What other Egyptian gods were depicted in the temple of Isis?
Dog-headed Anubis, Bes, Osiris, and Harpocrates.
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What was the name of the small structure that is believed to have provided purifying water for religious ceremonies?
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There was a statue to whom in the temple of Isis?
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How was he depicted?
With a panther as a version of the Egyptian god Osiris.
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Where was it displayed in the temple?
In a small niche incorporated into the rear wall of the temple which had ears in stucco on either side.
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What were the stucco ears a symbol of?
The deity's responsiveness to prayer.
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Where was the temple of Jupiter located?
On the north side of the forum in Pompeii.
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The temple was flanked by what?
Two opus latericum(brick) arches.
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Who were the arches for?
Augustus and Germanicus.
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How many columns support the front of the temple and what kind are they?
Six corinthian columns.
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How many held up the side?
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There was a statue base in the cella lengthened for which three deities?
Jupiter, Juno, Menerva.
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What stood on either side of the altar?
Two equestrian statues.
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How many storeys was the temple?
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Which type of columns did the lower storey have?
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Which type of columns did the upper storey have?
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What style of decoration is in the temple of Jupiter?
Second style.
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What type of decoration is on the floor?
Opus sectile(cut marble). Diamond shaped 3-D cubes with a black and white frame.
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Which temple was finished first?
The temple of Isis.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


How was the house named?


Named after an ancient comedy playwright, Menander.

Card 3


Who is believed to have owned the House of Menander?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What external architectural feature marks the room with exceptional dimensions?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What room is visible from the peristyle?


Preview of the front of card 5
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