Pompeii: The Villa of the Mysteries

Topics: Bedroom, Rooms, Naples Pages: 5 (1374 words) Published: December 2, 2008


Evidence for the worship of Dionysus in [pic]Pompeii is found in the Villa of the Mysteries, where a triclinium (dining room) had all its walls painted with flamboyant scenes from the Dionysiac secret rites. The mistress of the house was probably initiated into the sect herself, satisfying her need for spirituality. This particular religion was adapted from the Greek's.


Pompeii's main temple, when the city fell under the Roman Republic's rule is the Temple of Jupiter. A capitalism in structure and in pure Italic style, the temple was constructed on a high base, measuring 10 feet in height, 121 feet in length, and 56 feet in width, with a double flight of stairs at its front. Inside the temple lay the "cellar", accessible only to the priests, and which contained three niches at its far end. Statues of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva occupied thesis niches. In 62 CE, the temple was seriously damaged in an earthquake, and was in the process of being repaired when Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 CE.


The temple was constructed and dedicated to Isis, a goddess from the Egyptian triad, a cult that was quickly spreading throughout the Roman Empire. The cult of Isis was one of the most popular in [pic]Pompeii, which carried over in the construction of the temple itself. When completed, the temple was beautifully painted, on a raised platform and facing east so as to illuminate its interior from the rising sun. Inside, the open cellars held the instruments and symbols sacred to the cult and were used during the ceremonial rituals.


The Samnites constructed the Temple of Apollo on a site where the Greeks are thought to have consecrated to Apollo's worship as early as the 5th century BCE the sacred area and temple was surrounded by a portico which can still be seen today. Like the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Apollo was constructed in an Italic style, with a flight of steps leading up a high base. Originally surrounded by 28 Corinthian columns, only two remain standing at its entrance.


The italic house is what the Pompeian's built and lived in. The basic italic house consisted of a courtyard surrounded by rooms with a small garden at the back. A passageway entered the house with a bedroom on either side. The passageway led directly to the courtyard. This was enclosed over except for a central whole through which rain fell into a basin set in the courtyard floor. This rainwater was collected in a well beneath the courtyard.

Along each side of the courtyard were the bedrooms. The rear of the courtyard was extended on either side to form two wings. In the centre of the rear wall was a large room. This is usually the reception room or sometimes it's the master bedroom or office. The picture below may give you a good idea of a typical Pompeian house.

One particular villa in [pic]Pompeii "Lucius Ceius Secundus" is a very good example of modified italic house. There was no room for bedrooms on either side of the courtyard. Therefore the bedroom had to be put round the garden at the back of the house. There was also no room for the large room in the centre. It had to be moved to the left. Bedrooms were built on either side of the entrance however later on the one onto the left of the entrance was turned into the kitchen. The ceiling was lowered and servants' quarters were built above it. Just before the eruption of Vesuvius, it was decided that the house was still too small. A stair way was put in leading up to the balcony along the rear wall of the courtyard. From here a corridor constructed above the passageway top the garden. These alterations were not complete at the time of the eruption; the boxed stairway had not yet been plastered.


[pic]Pompeii had many places for socializing and entertainment. There were two main centres of entertainment at [pic]Pompeii, the theatres near the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about pompeii
  • pompeii Essay
  • Pompeii Essay
  • The Villa of the Mysteries: Stylistic and Religious Influence of Hellenistic Civilization Essay
  • Essay about Pompeii and Herculaneum
  • Pompeii Ruins Essay
  • The Forum Pompeii Essay
  • Volcano and Pompeii Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free