Pompeii


Standing at Via dell’Abbondanza towards the west and how it appeared before the war. Today the buildings on the left show signs of decay due to the infestation of various plants, while the debris accumulating on the footpath indicates erosion of the infrastructure. 
Looking in the other direction towards me after the bombing in an October 1943 photograph. The footpaths and road have also been worn down by pedestrian activity since excavation. Tourism has been a mixed blessing for the site. As there are 2.5 million visitors to both cities every year, their presence allows for education on the conservation issues on the site. Additionally, a law was passed in Italy in 1997, which allowed for all money raised from these tourists to be directly channelled to helping with the conservation of the site.  However, the massive number of tourists also causes many problems through the gradual wearing down of the roads and pavements, particularly in the more frequented areas like the Pompeiian Forum complex. Vandals also take chips of rock or stone from the site, as well as accidentally brushing against the walls and frescoes, further increasing their rate of deterioration. The open nature of both sites to tourists is also a leading cause in vandalism and theft as will be shown below.
   
Via dell’Abbondanza in 1932 and today, looking along the north side and looking south down via di Nocera towards the tombs.
The Stabian baths in 1945 and today with considerable alterations   This is the town's most ancient bath building (2nd century ВСE), built over a previous facility (4th-3rd century ВСE) and later restored. East of the porticoed central palaestra are the bathing rooms, divided into women's and men's sections: frigidarium (with tub for cold bath), apodyterium (dressing room), tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot bath), furnaces (to produce heat). To the north is a large latrine, to the west a swimming pool (natatio). At the entrance and in the palaestra we can still see elegant decorations of polychrome stucco, dating from just before the eruption in 79 AD, with figurative and mythological subjects in the 'fourth style'; made of lime and calcite, stucco was moisture resistant. One should note the method used to heat the rooms: the floor was supported by short brick pillars (suspensurae) to leave an empty space (hypocaustum) below, through which the warm air produced by the furnaces could circulate: it also flowed through ducts in the walls, to envelop the room completely.  

The caldarium in the female baths showing the damage over time; the latest photo shows steps being taken to reduce this by limiting access.  Few other baths throughout the Roman empire had separate bathing facilities for both men and women; it was more common (and certainly more cost effective) to have separate bathing hours for men and women. The women’s facilities are smaller and their apodyterium (changing room) doubled as a frigidarium, containing a small pool of cool water.
 Inside are the plaster casts of two victims
     
The Statue and Arch of Marcus Holconius Rufus in 1900 and today, the statue since having been removed. The inscription reads:
M. HOLCONIO M. F. RVFO
TRIB. MIL.
A POPVL. II VIR. I. D. V.
QVINQ. ITER.
AVGVSTI CAESARIS SACERD.
PATRONO COLONIAE.

[Dedicated] in accordance with a decree of the city council to Marcus Holconius Rufus the son of Marcus, five times duumvir with judiciary authority, twice quinquennial duumvir, military tribune by the choice of the people, priest of Augustus, and patron of the colony.
Now in the museum at Naples, the life size marble statue of Marcus Holconius Rufus once stood at the crossroads of the Via dell’Abbondanza, in its widest part (almost a little piazza) outside the Stabian Baths, next to a large arch which spanned the road and may have carried statues of other members of his family. This is not far from the Forum, where most of the other images of local worthies and imperial grandees stood, erected by a grateful (or carefully calculating) city council – the emperor and his relations occupying the most prominent positions in the piazza, the locals arranged round about so as not to upstage the imperial family. But Holconius Rufus would have stood out by being slightly separate from all the rest, and it is probably this location that accounts for the statue’s survival. The Roman salvage operations after the eruption seem to have made a bee line for the statues in the Forum, leaving very few to be found by modern archaeologists. The salvagers missed Holconius Rufus, who was standing away from the main group, a little way down the street. 
The statue is a proudly military figure, dressed in an elaborate cuirass and a cloak, his right hand originally holding a spear. When he was rediscovered in the 1850s, clear signs of paint were still visible: the cloak had once been red, the tunic under the breastplate white with a yellow border, the shoes black. It is a splendid piece. The only jarring element is the head, which looks somewhat too small to fit. Indeed, it does not fit. The head, as we have it, is a replacement, perhaps for the original damaged in the earthquake of 62 (or that is one guess). Careful examination shows that it was not originally made for our statue at all. Another portrait head has been recut with the features of Holconius Rufus and inserted into the neck. So whose portrait suffered the indignity of removal and reworking, in this ancient version of identity theft? One ingenious idea is that the replacement head had belonged to a statue of the emperor Caligula, and had been surplus to requirements after his assassination in 41. Not only was the city very likely to have commissioned a statue of Caligula, given his two periods as duumvir, but archaeologists who have closely examined the reworked head think they can detect some telltale traces of Caligula’s distinctive hairstyle surviving the otherwise complete makeover. To us, the idea of recycling the head of a disgraced emperor to play the part of Holconius Rufus seems faintly ridiculous, but this practice of ‘changing heads’ is in fact surprisingly common among the portrait statues of the Roman world.       
Beard  (206-208)
The caldarium in the Forum baths, built after 80 ВСE following the same layout as the larger Stabian Baths: on either side of the furnaces are the men's and women's sections, according to the sequence apodyterium (dressing room), frigidarium (cold bathing room), tepidarium (warm room), caldarium (hot room). The tepidarium (lukewarm bath) on the right was not heated using modern means, but by a large bronze brazier donated by M. Nigidio Vaccula. Telamons separate the niches to hold unguents and bath items; stuccoes in relief (from the later restoration in 62 CE) decorated the vault with geometric partitions and mythological figures.
Beside the statue of Apollo on east side of Temple of Apollo, shown in 1944 and today. Along with the Doric temple, this is the most ancient sanctuary in Pompeii as evidenced by the surviving architectural decoration dating from 575-550 ВС, although the current layout is from the 2nd century ВСE, (subsequently redefined until the earthquake in 62 CE), when the tufa quadriporticus was built with its Ionic columns and Doric trabeation with metope and triglyphs. The building combines Italic (high podium with front entry stairs) and Greek elements (colonnade around the cell). The floor of the cell is made of polychrome stone diamond shapes, creating a cube-like effect. On either side of the portico are the statues of Apollo and Diana, depicted as archers (originals at the Naples Museum); the altar at the foot of the steps is from the Sullan period whilst the colonnade with sundial dates from Augustus. 
Standing in front of the painting of the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe in the so-called House of Loreius Tiburtinus or House of D. Octavius Quartio, so called after the name on a signet ring found in one of the shops there, which was being renovated at the time of the eruption. The remains partly retain its original layout (2nd century ВСE): the bedrooms (cubicula) and triclinium open onto the atrium, the heart of the dwelling. 
"Whoever decided to decorate the wall above one of the couches of the outdoor dining installation in the House of Octavius Quartio with a painting of the mythical Narcissus gazing at his own reflection in the pool must have thought that the diners would enjoy the joke. For this was one of those upmarket installations (as in the House of the Golden Bracelet), with a gleaming channel of water between the pair of couches on which the company reclined. Presumably as you gazed at your reflection in the water, you were supposed to enjoy a wry smile at the overlap between myth and real life, while reflecting, perhaps, on the myth’s lesson about the tragic consequences of falling in love with that image of yourself."
Beard (110)
The so-called House of the Fugitives, showing the shed wherein were found thirteen unfortunate victims. This large space was cultivated as a vineyard, which houses the plaster casts of a few of the victims from 79 CE, overcome by the fury of the eruption while they sought an escape. The director of the Pompeii digs from 1860 to 1875, Giuseppe Fiorelli, introduced the plaster cast method that is still essentially the same one used today: liquid plaster is poured into the cavity left in the bed of ashes by the gradual decomposition of the victim's body. As the plaster solidifies, it reproduces the body's shape. The vineyard also contains a triclinium, with masonry couches for dining outdoors.The fine ash that covered Pompeii in the lethal fourth and subsequent surges had hardened and sealed organic material. Over time, these remains decomposed and were drained through the porous layers of ash and pumice on which they lay. This left what were essentially moulds of the shapes of organic remains as they had appeared at the time of the destruction.  An attempt was made to preserve the forms of victims found in the Villa of Diomedes but only the impression of the draped bosom and arms of a woman could be properly salvaged. They were first transported to the Real Gabinetto di Portici, and eventually were moved to the Palazzo degli Studi in Naples. These remains provided an image of a young woman, apparently in the last moment of her existence. The responses of those who viewed the ash image tended to be rather melodramatic and are best captured in Gautier’s short story Arria Marcella, published in 1852. The excavators of the Villa of Diomedes also recognised the forms of nonhuman organic material that had decomposed over time in the hardened ash. A technique was developed in the nineteenth century to reveal the shapes of wooden furniture by pouring plaster of Paris into cavities in the ash and removing the ash when the plaster dried. A door was cast in this manner in 1856. Seven years later, Fiorelli revolutionised the way human remains from Pompeii were regarded when he and his assistant Andrea Fraia applied this method to Pompeiian victims whose forms had been preserved in the fine ash of the second phase of the eruption. The first casts were made of four victims in the so-called Street of the Skeletons on 5 February 1863. It has been suggested that there had been earlier but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to cast human victims, first of a presumed female from the House of the Faun in 1831 and again in 1861 when a victim was found with a clear impression of clothing and a jewellery box in the surrounding ash.
The Forum Holitoriumis, formerly the grain market, is now used as a storage area, with bodies of victims exhibited among so many vases, urns and debris. One such victim is the tethered dog directly behind Drake Winston:
As the cinders raining down through the hole in the centre of the roof (compluvium) accumulated in the passageway, he climbed on top of them, twisting himself with his back to the ground and his legs raised upwards, wrenching his neck and his head to get free from the rope fastened to a ring of bronze which can still be seen attached to his collar.
Ruggiero (1879)
The man splayed out at the bottom of the staircase behind me was discovered in the house of Fabius Rufus along with several others, whose casts have since been lost. The body on the top right was the first and only body form to be cast in epoxy resin. 
The reason for this is probably cost and the relative complexity of the resin casting method, which involves the use of a variation of the ‘lost wax’ technique. The experimental work to develop a new casting technique was undertaken by Amedeo Cicchitti. Wax was poured into the cavity that was observed when the body was first exposed. It was then encapsulated in a plaster matrix and the wax was replaced with transparent epoxy resin. It is unfortunate that this technique is no longer employed as resin has several advantages over other materials. It is relatively durable, which facilitates transport and handling. Since resin is fairly inert, it is much less likely to react with skeletal material than the injected cement that has more recently been used for casting victims, as the latter contains lime. Further, being translucent, resin is much easier to x-ray.  On the basis of visual inspection and associated artefacts, most notably a bracelet on the victim’s arm, it was assumed that the body was that of a young female. One of the aims of this work was to test these assumptions.
Estelle Lazer, Resurrecting Pompeii
 
View of the Macellum then and now. In the foreground, part of the stylobate (the top step of the crepidoma on which colonnades of the temple columns are placed). The platform was built on a levelling course that flattened out the ground immediately beneath the temple. The building, which was the city's main market, dates from the 2nd century ВСE and underwent subsequent renovations: the bases in front of the entrance portico held commemorative statues of illustrious citizens. 
 
Two bodies used to be exhibited here as seen in photos I took over a decade earlier.
 
The woman is presented on her back although she was found sprawled on the ground face-front, to better engage the interest of paying tourists.
This one was first discovered on December 28, 1882 . Wearing a heavy belt, his skeletal remains are evident under the plaster mould. While there are many cases of well-preserved bodies from around the world, the casts of the forms of the Pompeian victims are remarkable in that they represent individuals who do not come from a burial context. These people were victims of a mass disaster who, along with their culture, were preserved in the destruction layers. Not only is the viewer acutely aware of their untimely deaths, they are also exposed to the smallest details associated with the daily life of the victims. Despite the fact that the flesh has not survived, it is probably easier to relate to these casts than preserved bodies from tombs that have been subjected to unfamiliar death rituals.  The impact of the casts on nineteenth-century visitors is exemplified by this description by Marc Monnier:
 Any one can see them now, in the museum at Naples; nothing could be more striking than the spectacle. They are not statues, but corpses, moulded by Vesuvius; the skeletons are still there, in those casings of plaster which reproduce what time would have destroyed, and what the damp ashes have preserved – the clothing and the flesh, I might almost say the life. The bones peep through here and there, in certain places which the plaster did not reach. Nowhere else is there anything like this to be seen. The Egyptian mummies are naked, blackened, hideous; they no longer have anything in common with us; they are laid out for their eternal sleep in the consecrated attitude. But the exhumed Pompeians are human beings whom one sees in the agonies of death. Because of the survival of considerable personal detail, the casts could be employed as even more eloquent props than skeletons to illustrate the terrible fate of the victims of the eruption. Circumstantial evidence, in the form of associated artefacts, was combined with the attitude and perceived expression on the faces of the casts to establish their final moments. 

 
Looking towards the Macellum from the forum after the war and today
   
The Stabiae Gate in a 1910 print and 1936 and its dilapidated form today. It was one of Pompeii’s most heavily trafficked gates, as well as the earliest of those standing in 79 CE. It is 26 feet high and had been uncovered in 1851.

The temple of Vespasian (or Temple of the Genius of Augustus). Attributed to the worship of the Genius of the emperor Vespasian, the building was under construction or being remodelled at the time of the eruption. At the back of an outdoor courtyard is the small temple, with four columns on the front, accessed by stairs on either side of the podium, with the statue of the emperor In the centre, on a low plinth, is the white marble altar: on the long side is the scene with the sacrifice of a bull, typical of the imperial cult; in the background, a temple similar to this same building has led scholars to suggest that it is a sacrifice celebrated for its inauguration.
American troops around the altar of Vespasian in 1944
On the short sides are the tools of the ritual; on the other long side is the civic crown of oak leaves resting on a shield, a prerogative of his imperial majesty. A few scholars believe that the temple was dedicated to the Genius of Octavian Augustus, the first Roman emperor: the religious title of 'Augustus' was granted by the Senate in 27 ВСE, then to the Genius of the various emperors that followed, and finally to Titus Flavius Vespasian.

Carved into an altar also found in the Pompeian Forum is a scene of that most iconic of ancient rituals: animal sacrifice. We see it here in its classic guise, as it was described by Roman writers and plastered across the Roman world in thousands of images from coins to triumphal arches. It repays a closer look. For there are details and distinctions that do not immediately strike the modern eye. In the centre is a tripod, serving here as a portable altar. Next to it, the sacrificer, whether a priest or a political official (for both conducted sacrifices on behalf of their community), is reciting the prayer, whilepouring an offering of wine and incense. He is wearing a toga, but has pulled part of the material over his head, as was the rule when sacrificing. A musician in the background plays the double pipes, while behind him some attendants (including a child) carry more equipment, including just the kind of shaped bowls and jugs that you can now see filling the cases of the Naples Museum. On the other side of the tripod, the splendid bull is being led to the scene, by three slaves. These are specially dressed for the killing that they will shortly carry out, naked to the waist. One of them is holding an axe ready for the slaughter.
Beard (290-1) Pompeii
Drake at the entrance to the House of the Tragic Poet with its famous mosaic with a chained dog and the message CAVE CANEM ("beware of the dog"), typical of other dwellings in Pompeii; this warning is also recalled in literary sources such as Petronius's Satyricon in which the protagonist is frightened to death by the large painted cane. 
It would be dangerous to take Petronius’ fantastic novel too literally as a guide to daily life in ancient Pompeii. But it does offer a hint here of how we might reconstruct the scene at the entrance of the House of the Tragic Poet. The door was very likely open for much of the daytime. But the security would not have been left to the mosaic guard dog, however fearsome or lifelike it might have been, or even to the actual dog signalled by the image (like the one which Trimalchio later brings into his dinner party, with predictably disruptive results). Almost certainly a porter, albeit more modestly dressed than Trimalchio’s, would have kept an eye on who was coming and going. In fact a small room just inside the house, under the stairs, with a rough floor, has been tentatively identified as the porter’s cubby‑hole. 
Beard (85) Pompeii
This is the house, uncovered 1824-1825, that served as a model for the home of Glaucus in the Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii (1834). The name given to the house comes from the mosaic emblema in the tablinum, depicting the scene of a theatre rehearsal by a choir of satyrs, now at the Naples Archaeological Museum along with other paintings of Admetus and Alcestis and episodes from the Iliad.
Named, when it was excavated, after one of its wall paintings – then believed to depict a tragic poet reciting his work to a group of listeners (now re‑identified as the mythical scene in which Admetus and Alcestis listen to the reading of an oracle) – the house was built in its present form towards the end of the first century BCE. The surviving decoration, including a striking series of wall paintings which featured scenes from Greek myth and literature, is somewhat later, the result of a makeover in the decade or so before the eruption. A few years after they were discovered, most of the figured scenes were cut out and taken to the museum in Naples, creating unattractive scars on the walls of the house. What was left in place – the surrounding patterns and the general wall colouring – is now dreadfully faded, despite the fact that it was roofed over in the 1930s to protect it from the elements. The impact is obviously much less breathtaking than when it was first discovered. That said, we can still fairly confidently reconstruct its ancient appearance and organisation, as well as glimpse something of the tremendous impression it made on visitors in the nineteenth century. 
Beard (82-3)
Drake and I in front of the painting of the marriage of Mars and Venus on the west wall of northern portico of the House of Ephebus, and showing it as it appeared when first excavated in 1912. It is on a wall hiding a water tank beside the arched lararium niche behind us, shown on the right also when just excavated. On the right is Drake at the triclinium which overlooks the porch with the central floor decorated with inlaid marble, with rosettes and lotus flowers, which is unique in Pompeii. Behind him is a reproduction of a couch. There is a small chapel in the garden dedicated to worship, decorated by a large painting of Mars and Venus. A number of statues, originally in the garden, were moved to other rooms of the house at the time of the eruption to avoid being damaged by the restorations in progress among which was the remarkable bronze statue of Ephebe, adapted for use as a lamp bearer, which gave its name to the house. The house probably belonged to Publius Cornelius Tages, a wine merchant whose name appears in the electoral inscriptions read near and on amphorae found inside the dwelling.
 
Drake and I at the summer triclinium and Drake showing how much damage to the east wall has occurred over the last decade despite the recent restoration; note the bed recess to the left.
New Zealand troops in January 1944 looking at a painting from a felt shop showing Venus being driven by elephants whilst below shows felt makers. 
 Venus, the city’s patron goddess, rode in a chariot pulled by elephants; on the other Mercury, the divine protector of commerce, stood in his temple grasping a fat bag of coins. Under Venus was a scene of workers busy combing the wool and making felt (with the boss himself, presumably, showing off a finished product on the right); under Mercury, the lady of the house, or perhaps an employee, is busy selling her wares (which appear now to be largely shoes). Sadly, one of the most striking examples of this type of painting – and one which captured the imagination of nineteenth century visitors – has now disappeared completely, a victim of the elements. Decorating the front wall of a bar, near the town gate leading to the sea, was a large picture of an elephant with a pygmy or two – and a painted sign saying ‘Sittius restored the Elephant’. Sittius was probably the last landlord, and he had restored either the painting or maybe the whole place (‘The Elephant Bar’). If so, he had a good name for a barman, so good one suspects that it may have been a ‘trade name’. For the best English translation of ‘Sittius’ would be ‘Mr Thirsty’.
Beard (59-60)
   
Drake at the Fullonica of Stephanus along the Via dell'Abbondanza, going into the remains of the portico which had served as the drying area the fullery outside the back of the house in the garden. It is clear through the GIF that the site has been extensively cleaned and renovated over the past several decades. On the right is how it would probably have appeared. This is the best preserved of Pompeii's four fulleries. Fullers were launderers- according to Pliny the Elder, their was taken very seriously and the Metilian Law stressed the use of Cimolian earth to brighten and freshen colours that had faded due to sulphur whilst stating that the mineral saxum was useful for white clothing but harmful to colours. Fullones had a legal responsibility of the clothes they were washing and were subject to penalties if they returned the wrong clothes or damaged the clothes. 
 
Drake at the House of Fabius Amandius, and how it appeared when excavated in the early 20th century showing how much has been reconstructed.

The Herculaneum Gate, looking down the Street of Tombs. The gate is so named because it opened onto the road linking Pompeii to Herculaneum although to the Roman inhabitants it was known as the Porta Saliniensis or Porta Salis, that is ‘Salt Gate’ (after the nearby saltworks). It has three barrel arches, of which the side ones are smaller: the vault is partly collapsed. The gate was built after the city was conquered by Sulla in 89 ВСE during the Social War resulting in Pompeii becoming a Roman colony with the name of Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum. Inside, the walls adjacent to the gate date from the 3rd century ВСE. The staircase visible to the right of the gate allowed easy access to the patrol walkway. Outside the gate, on the left, there are still the walls built with large blocks of tufa, approximately seven metres high. Along this section one can still make out the marks left by the stone shots launched against the city during Sulla's siege; a section of the walls can be seen when entering the gate on the left.
Drake on the left at the Casa dei Ceii, first excavated in 1913-1914. Based on the election slogan on the façade, this may have been the residence of Lucius Ceius Secundus which is found down the lane leading off to the right from Via dell'Abbondanza. The back wall of its garden, not much more than 6 by 5 metres, is dominated by a dramatic hunt, with lions, tigers and other varieties of more or less fierce creatures. But then turn to left or right, and the side walls are covered with images of the Nile and its inhabitants – pygmies hunting a hippo, sphinxes, shrines, shepherds muffled in cloaks, palm trees, sailing boats and barges (one loaded with amphorae).
 
The junction of Via Consolare and Vicolo di Narciso
 
The House of the Faun in the 1860s with the empty plinth and today topped by a copy with the wife and Drake Winston. 
During the war under German occupation from a soldier's personal photo album. At 2,970 square metres it is the largest house in Pompeii: built over a previous dwelling at the beginning of the 2nd century ВСE, its current form is the result of subsequent alterations. The entrance on the left leads directly into the public section, the door on the right to the private rooms: an atrium whose roof is supported by four columns, stalls, latrine, baths, kitchen. At the entrance is the Latin message HAVE. The 'first style' decoration, the floors of sectile opus, and the mosaic threshold (now at the Naples Museum) highlight the dignity of this house, more similar to the aristocratic Roman domus than local upper class dwellings. In the centre of the impluvium is a bronze statue of the 'faun' dating from the 2nd century ВСE- the original is in Naples and a facsimile has since been added); around it are rooms that held mosaic paintings on the floor and 'first style' decorations on the walls. Between the two porticoed gardens is the exedra, the core of the dwelling, with Corinthian columns, stuccoed and painted capitals, a splendid mosaic (now at the Naples Museum) depicting the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, King of Persia, which has helped suggest a connection between the Macedonian ruler and the unknown, educated, and wealthy owner of the house.
Standing in front of the Alexander mosaic in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples with how it appeared in the 1876 edition of Nordisk familjebok. It  was found inlaid into the ground of the House of the Faun in between two open peristyles on October 24, 1831. The mosaic was used to decorate the exedra, an open area containing seating used for conversing. The mosaic is made of about one and a half million tiny colored tiles called tesserae, arranged in gradual curves called opus vermiculatum, (because they seem to replicate the slow motion of a crawling worm). The colour scale of Roman mosaics are extremely rich in gradation. The process of gathering materials for mosaics was a complex undertaking since the colour scale was based solely on the pieces of marble that could be found in nature. The mosaic is an unusually detailed work for a private residence and was likely commissioned by a wealthy person or family. The fact that this scene was made to be viewed in the house of a Roman civilian reveals that Alexander the Great was more than just a heroic image to the Romans. Because Roman leaders followed after Alexander's image, Roman civilians also aspired to emulate the power he represented. Since the mosaic was arranged on the floor where the patron could receive guests, it was the first decorative object a visitor would see upon entering that room. 
Standing at the original location and its reconstruction placed in situ since 2005 after the International Centre for the Study and Teaching of Mosaic (CISIM) in Ravenna received approval to recreate the mosaic. Severo Bignami and his eight-person team took a large photograph of the mosaic, made a tracing of the image with a dark marker and created a negative impression of the mosaic.  The team composed the mosaic in sections in 44 clay frames, trying to preserve the pieces of the mosaic in the exact positions they are in the original mosaic, having to keep the plates wet at all times. Then they pressed a tissue on the clay to create an image of the outlines of the mosaic in the clay. The team recreated the mosaic with about 2 million pieces of various marble types. When they had placed all the pieces, they covered the result with a layer of glue and gauze and pulled it out of the clay. They placed each section on synthetic concrete and then united the sections with the compound of glasswool and plastic. The project took 22 months at a cost equivalent to $216,000.
At the brothel (Lupanare) excavated 1862; it is clear how poorly the site has been preserved since. It is the most famous brothel and is of particular interest for the erotic paintings on its walls. Lupanar is Latin for "brothel". The Pompeii lupanar is also known as Lupanare Grande. Lupa in Latin means prostitute, and this is the best organised of Pompeii's many brothels, the only one designed specifically for this purpose: the others were simply single rooms, or part of the top floor of a shop. There are five rooms on the ground floor as well as the upper floor plus a latrine; the stone beds were covered by a mattress. Paintings depicting the different positions to be used in the erotic games decorated the lupanare. The prostitutes were slaves, usually of Greek or Oriental origin. Prices ranged from 2 to 8 as (a portion of wine cost 1) but the revenues, being earned by women without legal standing, went to the owner or manager (lenone) of the brothel. The building dates from the city's final days: in one cell, fresh plaster captured the print of a coin from 72 CE. There have also been 134 graffiti transcribed from the Lupanar which served as one of the criteria for identifying the building as a brothel. Examples include: Hic ego puellas multas futui ("Here I fucked many girls").  Felix bene futuis (meaning either "Lucky guy, you fuck well," or "Lucky guy, you get a good fuck").


 At the Casa della Venere in Conchiglia (House of Venus in the Shell) or House of D. Lucretii Satrii Valentes. Damaged by one of the bombs that fell on Pompeii in 1943, and uncovered in 1952, this house seems to be built over an older one, with a larger peristyle and triclinium and new arrangement of the rooms, which go almost all the way around the garden. The house was made famous by the beautiful painting on the south wall: a lush garden, filled with flora and fauna, with a low transenna and other decorative elements spread across three panels. To the right is a fountain basin painted with birds, to the left a statue of Mars. A central window gives the illusion of opening onto the sea, where the goddess Venus lies with two cherubs in a pink seashell, practically thrust towards Pompeii, of whom she was protectress. Although clumsily painted, the composition is not lacking in dramatic effect if viewed from a certain distance.
Entrance to the so-called House of the Bronze Bull, named after a small fountain statuette found on the edge of the impluvium in the atrium now gone as shown in the GIF on the right. It is therefore also sometimes referred to as the House of L. Pontius Successus after a seal stamp found near the main entrance inscribed T(iti)  Pont(i)  Success(i). The house is now in a poor condition having been neglected and left to the ravages of the elements since it was initially excavated in 1836. The monumental entrance on the Via di Nola, built of regular blocks of tufa, was crowned by figured capitals, of which the eastern one was found in situ; note how the capital has since been removed. When first excavated the walls of the atrium were found to be decorated with frescoes in the second style. Unfortunately little trace of this decoration remains today.
Inside, seen roughly a century apart- the bronze bull too having been removed and looking eastwards across the atrium, then and now
Immediately outside Porta Nocera is this necropolis of considerable importance with its exedra and aedicula tombs. The funerary building, dating from the Tiberian period (14-37 CE) is architecturally imposing, built by Eumachia, priestess of Venus, for herself and her family members. The structure, in opus caementicium, was covered with Nocera tufa and divided into niches with statues, separated by half columns and crowned with a decorated frieze. The tomb was inserted between two other previously existing aedicula burial sites from the late Republican period, consisting of a podium supporting the cell containing the statues of the dead. The GIF on the right shows the condition of the tombs on the Porta Nocera after excavation and how it appears today.
Just beyond is this containing the plaster cast of a victim
   
The so-called Arch of Caligula in 1944 on the left, with Vesuvius still erupting in the background, and comparing it with how it might have appeared. This arch marks the start of Via di Mercurio, in front of the Forum Bath and the Temple of Fortuna Augusta, near the intersection where Via delle Terme, Via della Fortuna, Via del Foro and Via di Mercurio cross. This is an honorary arch in brick with a single passage-way and its attribution to Caligula is based on an equestrian statue in bronze, found in fragments, which must have originally been set on top and which has since been identified as Caligula. 
  
On the left is a fresco from the Casa della Rissa nell'Anfiteatro showing the Amphitheatre at Pompeii, depicting the riot between the Nucerians and the Pompeians. This occurred in about 59 CE when a deadly brawl occurred between Pompeians and residents of Nuceria during games in the amphitheatre, resulting in a 10 year ban on such events, a provision cancelled after the earthquake in 62 CE: the outbreak may have disguised some resentment towards Nocera by Pompeii, since the former had recently become a colony and absorbed part of its territory. 
  The amphitheatre in 1944 and today, showing how much is a reconstruction. Built around 80 BCE, this is the earliest Roman amphitheatre known to have been built of stone; previously, they had been built out of wood. The next Roman amphitheatre known to be built from stone is the Colosseum in Rome, which postdates it by over a century. Contemporaneously, it was known as a spectacula rather than an amphitheatrum, since the latter term was not yet in use at the time. It was built with the private funds of Quinctius Valgus and Marcius Porcius.  The amphitheatre's design is seen by some modern crowd control specialists as near optimal. Its toilet, located in the neighbouring palaestra has also been cited as an inspiration for better bathroom design in modern stadiums. Built (approximately 70 ВСE) , this is one of the oldest and best preserved amphitheatres in existence, and held over 20,000 spectators. The auditorium is divided into three sectors: the ima cavea (front row) for important citizens, and the media and summa, higher up, for everyone else. A velarium, or awning, was often spread over the stands to protect spectators from the sun. The building was used for gladiator battles. Two gates opened onto the main axis of the arena: participants in the games paraded in through one gate, while the dead or injured were carried away through the other.
From Marc Monnier's The Wonders of Pompeii (1871) on the left, and during the war under German occupation and with my mother in the centre today.
Modern Crowd Control Lessons (from Ancient Pompeii) 
Drake Winston atop the Large Theatre. The appearance has changed considerably, especially since the the 1950s when, in an effort to preserve the original steps, iron frames were installed that allowed for wooden boards to be rested upon them to provide seating. In 2008 a restoration effort began to allow for further theatrical and musical performances. The theatre was built into a natural hill in the second century BCE, sitting roughly 5,000 spectators and is one of the first permanent stone theatres built in Rome. The tiered seating extends from the orchestra carved out of the hillside in the Greek style whilst the Roman influence is seen above this gallery where four tiers rested upon an arched corridor. The cavae (audience seating area) was divided into three sections: the lowermost section, the ima, was reserved for senators, magistrates, and other noble people. The middle section, the media, sat the middle class and the top, the summa, was reserved for the plebeians. The tiers on the "ima" were wider and not as steep as the "media" or the "summa" to make it more spacious and comfortable for the higher class. The upper class was also separated from the other seating by a short wall, this was to show the class system, and the divide within the social standings of the classes in Rome.  Following the earthquake of 62 CE, renovations were made to the theatre. The colonnade leading to the theatre was converted into barracks for gladiator residence.
At the covered theatre, or Odeon, which sat up to 2000 people. Erected in the early years of the Roman colony by the same men who built the Amphitheatre, by the time the first permanent stone theatre was put up in the city of Rome in the 50s BCE, financed from the spoils of Pompey the Great’s Eastern wars, Pompeii itself had had two theatres for almost two decades. This theatre follows the plan of other Roman theatres and odeon structures. Where the Large Theatre was used primarily for staging drama, the Odeon was intended for a more educated audience, as well as a musical concert performance. The thin walls and rectangular plan lead to the conclusion that the roof would have been wood rather than vaulted stone. There are two raised tribunalia, platforms, above the seating that were reserved for important visitors. These platforms are cut off from the general seating completely with entrances from narrow staircases near the stage. The stage featured five entrances on the back wall; following ancient theatre tradition, a machine used for suspending the gods and heroes was located at the left side of the stage.
   
Close-up of Ares and Aphrodite in 1904, the arrival of Dionysus on Naxos with a sleeping Ariadne in 1908, and an episode from a myth of Hercules and how they appear today.
 Painted lararium with Mercury depicted in the niche with the Agathodaemon, a large snake representing a nature spirit and companion to the household guardian spirit of the place in the cryptoportico that survived the September 19, 1943 bombing which had destroyed the portico next door. Here it is shown before the war and today as well as the north wing of the building then and now, after restoration.
 
The tomb of Aesquillia Polla in 1910 and today
 
The fountain nearby
American troops at the Temple of Isis during the war and at the site today; it's clear how much has been reconstructed since. Dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis, it was among one of the first discoveries during the excavation of Pompeii in 1764. It is one of the best-preserved, and least looted, buildings in the town. Tucked into a small site right next to the Large Theatre, which looms above it, it had been recently completely rebuilt by 79 CE. It was hidden from the street by a high curtain wall, broken by a single main entrance up two steps and with a large wooden door. Enough survived of this for the eighteenth-century excavators to see that this door was made in three pieces.
In the 1760s, the Temple of Isis was among the first buildings fully excavated on the site. It was a lucky find and it instantly captured the imagination of European travellers. True, a few killjoys found it disappointingly small. But for most it offered double excitement: simultaneously a glimpse of ancient Egypt and of ancient Rome. Exotic and a little bit sinister, it gave Mozart, who visited Pompeii in 1769, ideas for the Magic Flute . Fifty years later, it gave Bulwer-Lytton the idea for the nasty conniving villain of his Last Days , the Egyptian Arbaces – who was written up with all the predictable racial stereotypes. But it was responsible for even more powerful myths too. For it was the pristine state of the temple, almost undisturbed, that helped to create ‘our’ myth of Pompeii, a city interrupted in mid-flow. 
Beard (307) Pompeii
At the so-called Villa of the Mysteries. For visual impact and intriguing subject matter, pride of place among friezes must go to the even more extraordinary series of paintings found in the Villa of the Mysteries (part working farm, part lavish domestic property), just over 400 metres outside the Herculaneum Gate. At one end, the god Dionysus lounges in the lap of Ariadne, whom he rescued after she had been abandoned by the hero Theseus – itself a favourite theme of Pompeian painting. Around the other walls, we are faced with a curious array of humans, gods and animals: a naked boy reading from a papyrus roll; a woman bringing in a loaded tray turns to catch our eye; an elderly satyr plays a lyre; a female version of the god Pan (a ‘Panisca’) suckles a goat; a winged dæmon whips a naked girl; another naked woman dances to castanets; a woman has her hair braided, while a winged Cupid holds up the mirror. And that is to pick out only about half of what is going on. To be honest, this is all completely baffling, and no amount of modern scholarship has ever managed to unravel the meaning – or, at least, not wholly convincingly. The house has been called the Villa of the Mysteries , after the Dionysiac ‘mysteries’ of initiation, following the strictly religious reading of the frieze. The truth is that these paintings are mysterious in the popular modern sense of the word too. At the far end of the room the god Dionysus slumps in the lap of his lover Ariadne. On the left, opposite the large window, some of the figures that make up the procession are visible: a child reads from a scroll watched over by a seated woman, perhaps his mother. Most Pompeian houses have now lost their sparkle – their interior decoration, as we have already noted, sadly faded, or worse.
Beside the villa's winepress
What makes the frieze in the Villa of the Mysteries so memorable is not just its curious subject matter. It is the completeness of the images that surround you, the luscious red background behind the figures and the glistening sheen of the paintwork. Here is one of the few places in the city where the full ancient experience of the painted walls seems to have been preserved. Sadly not. The fact is that this is no miraculous preservation, but the product of aggressive restoration after its excavation in April 1909. To be fair, what we now see may give roughly the right impression of the original. But the paintings were not in this perfect state when they were dug out of the ground, in a private-enterprise dig, by the local hotel keeper, and they were further damaged by the various strategies of conservation that followed. In the months after the discovery, these famous images were exposed to the elements, protected only by hanging cloths, which did nothing to prevent damage to the area above Dionysus in an
As it appeared when first excavated
earthquake in June 1909. A worse problem was the rising damp. From the moment they were exposed, salts rose from the ground and leached through the paintings, leaving nasty white patches. Starting only days after the discovery, these were removed with a mixture of wax and petroleum which was repeatedly applied to the surface. Hence not only that impressive sheen, which (even though some wax might have been applied in antiquity) is not itself ancient at all, but also the deep hue. A recent ‘excavation’ back to the Roman paintwork has revealed a distinctly lighter background colour. More radically, though it was standard practice at the time, stretches of the original walls of the room were demolished and replaced with damp-proof versions, the paintings being first detached from their original surface then reset into the new. All this had happened before a German team arrived in the autumn of 1909 to restore the frescoes, and to return them so far as possible to their pristine state. The Villa of the Mysteries is one house in Pompeii which doeshave a sparkle. But, despite its iconic status, that sparkle is not an ancient one. It is in large part the work of modern restorers. 
Beard (132-133) Pompeii 
American B-25 Mitchell Bombers Flying Past Vesuvius, March 17–21, 1944. Such bombers dropped 150 bombs on Pompeii in the Second World War as part of Operation Avalanche to liberate southern Italy in the autumn of 1943. British and American forces fought to dislodge German soldiers and disrupt their resupply routes. Important targeted roads, railways, bridges, and overpasses were located near the archaeological site of Pompeii, whose ruins were badly damaged by a series of bombings carried out by American and British fighters. Significant destruction occurred throughout the site, and some of Pompeii's most famous monuments, as well as its museum, were struck. After the war, many of the structures were rebuilt. Ironically, the recent, highly publicized collapse of some Pompeian buildings did not involve ancient structures but rather post–Second World War reconstructions shown in the comparison photos below. The map on the right shows the bomb damage on Pompeii.
We have received from a British officer, who recently visited Pompeii, an account of the damage done to the place during September, when the Germans were encamped on the site and allied aircraft were obliged to treat it as a military objective. The following is a summary of the damage observed:                                     
“There is one crater in the arena of the Amphitheatre, and several near misses. The wall of the Gladiator's Training School was hit in three places. There is a crater in the eastern end of the Via dell' Abbondanza, to which incomplete excavation had prevented further damage. The houses of Rex Tiburtinus and of Trebius Valens were hit. The Cenacoli and house of Epidius Rufus were destroyed. The houses used for restorations north of the Via degli Augustali and the adjoining house were destroyed. The Temple of Jupiter on the western side of the Forum was hit. The Temple of Apollo and the House of Triptolemus north of the Via Marina were badly damaged. The Museum is now in ruins, but how much of the contents perished remains to be disclosed. The director of the excavations at Pompeii, Professor Maiuri, whose contributions to The Times will be remembered, was last heard of in a hospital at Torre del Greco with a leg injury received in an air raid.”  
The officer was told that two bombs had fallen on the Temple of Hercules in Region 8, and that the Houses of Sallust and Pansa in Region 6 had also received direct hits.
From The Times, 9 November, 1943
 Much of what we see are reconstructions after the original sites were destroyed in allied bombing:
The Large Palaestra and, on the right the 'Samnite palaestra' behind the temple of Isis, which a dedication engraved in the Oscan language dates to the second half of the 2nd century ВСE stating that the building was erected by the duumvir Vibius Vinicius with money which Vibius Adiranus had left for the use of Pompeii's youth.
The House of Triptolemus (aka House of the Cissonii or House of L. Calpurnius Diogenes) located in front of the Basilica and adjacent to the Sanctuary of Apollo. The residence had been named after a fresco depicting Triptolemus destroyed by the 1943 bombing (shown on the right in a 1944 USAAF photo from the air). Triptolemus was usually depicted as the messenger of Demeter when she restored fertility to the ground having taught and spread her arts of agriculture to new lands at that time and later, often travelling in a magical car drawn by winged dragons, a gift of Demeter. He is sometimes merged in identity with the infant Demophon of the Hymn or said to be his brother; in Plato, Triptolemus is a judge of the dead.
The Schola Armaturarum Iuventutis Pompeianae (aka House of the Gladiators) from the early 1930s and after it had been been bombed in 1944 after having been reconstructed from the wartime bomb damage.
 
How it is thought to have originally looked, with the façade in 1916 and today
 
How it appeared before and after its sudden collapse on November 6, 2010. Known officially by its Latin name “Schola Armatorum ” the structure was not open to visitors but was visible from the outside as tourists walked along one of the ancient city’s main streets. There was no immediate word on what caused the building to collapse, although reports suggested water infiltration following heavy rains might be responsible. There has been fierce controversy regarding the collapse.


Porta Marina before the war and today, and surveying the bomb damage in 1944. This is the most imposing of the seven gates of Pompeii and takes its name from the fact that its road led to the sea. It has two barrel arches (round arch opening), later combined into a single, large barrel vault in opus caementicium. The ring of walls visible today, already present in the 6th century ВСE, is over 3,200 metres long: it is generally a solid ring of wall, protected on the outside by a moat and inside by an embankment, atop which runs the patrol walkway. Twelve towers to the north, where the flat ground made Pompeii more vulnerable, also ensured its defence. Pompeii's definitive entry into the Roman orbit (with the Sullan colonisation: 80 ВСE) reduced the importance of the walls, which were occasionally reused or destroyed to make room for houses and baths.
 
Damage is not of course always accidental. Whilst Pompeii is supposedly guarded, many artefacts still find their way to the illicit antiquities market. Often these acts of theft also cause accidental damage to surrounding objects, and the thieved antiquities are no longer in situ and lose their context and cultural associations.  In 2003, two frescoes were hacked off a wall in the House of the Chaste Lovers in Pompeii. This act of theft also damaged several other frescoes in the house, and, though a camera system exists in Pompeii, it had been out of operation for several months when the event took place. These frescoes were recovered some months later, but many others have disappeared from the site, never to be returned.
 
Vesuvius erupting in 1944, seen from Naples

From where the so-called Secret Cabinet (Gabinetto Segreto) is found, containing the collection of erotic or sexually explicit finds from Pompeii including this formidable statue depicting Pan engaging in sexual congress with a goat.
A piece from Pompeii contributes to a surviving legacy of the fascist era in Japan- Benito Mussolini had heard of the story of the Byakkotai- a group of very young soldiers who committed ritual suicide- and was deeply impressed despite the fact they had been fighting against the militarists who dominated the Meiji restoration and who would become the bestial eastern allies of Hitler and Mussolini.  In 1868 a group of twenty teenage samurai, known as the Byakkotai (White Tigers), looked down upon Tsuruga-jō, saw it shrouded in smoke, and concluded that imperial forces had captured the castle. Rather than surrender, they committed seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment); one lad survived and devoted the rest of his life to passing on the story. In 1928, he donated a column from Pompeii to be erected by the graves at Iimori Hill; this column remains there to the present day. Topped by an eagle, it surveys the horizon from the top of Iimori-yama, surrounded by Byakkotai graves and the steady stream of Japanese tourists scanning the horizon to see what the White Tigers couldn’t: a fully intact castle.
It reads (in preposterously pompous language):
S.P.Q.R.                                                                                     S.P.Q.R.
NEL SEGNO DEL LITTORIO                                                  IN THE NAME OF FASCES
ROMA                                                                                      ROME
      MADRE DI CIVILTÀ                                                   MOTHER OF CIVILISATION
CON LA MILLENARIA COLONNA                                 WITH THIS COLUMN MILLENARY
TESTIMONE DI ETERNA GRANDEZZA                          WITNESS FOR ETERNAL GREATNESS
     TRIBUTA ONORE IMPERITURO                                  GRANTS IMPERISHABLE HONOUR
   ALLA MEMORIA DEGLI EROI DI BIACCO-TAI       TO THE MEMORY OF THE HEROES OF BYAKKOTAI
ANNO MCMXXVIII - VI ERA FASCISTA                              YEAR MCMXXVIII - VI FASCIST ERA








Sacred to Augustus. Aulus Lucius Proculus and Aulus Lucius Julianus, sons of Aulus of the voting tribe Menenia, at their own expense.