The professions in the ancient Pompeii

When around the year 80BC Pompeii became a Roman colony grew both in terms of population and economy, and there was was a big boost in trade . The port guaranteed great wealth to the entire city, allowing the export of food products, textiles, cosmetics and more.

negoziEconomic activities of every kind were scattered throughout the city, especially along the “Via dell Abbondanza”, the main artery of the city so named for the relief of a cornucopia (horn symbol of abundance) on fountain near the Forum.

Often, thanks to the frescoes, the inscriptions, and the signs was possible to trace the names of the owners of the businesses located throughout the city, such us the termopolia (restaurants) of Vetutius Placidus and Asellina, and the fullonica of Sthephanus.

The professionals were usually grouped in corporations with a significant impact on the administration and policy of the city especially at the election time.

The most common occupations were those that took place within manufacturing plants and laboratories. There were bakers (pistores), the washers (fullones), numerous taverns (thermopolia), and textile and leather factories (officinae coriarorium). Some were itinerant traders or owners of shops, such as the greengrocers   (pomarii). There were  the owners of taverns (cauponae), the smiths (faber), barbers (tonsor), carpenters (lignarius), marble workers (marmorarius), goldsmiths (aurifex), the mosaicists (museiarii), peinters (pictores imaginarii or parietarii). Seems that the porters were powerful corporations (saccarii), the tenants (vindemiatores) and carters (cisiarii).

A  well paid job, of which today we see the traces on the walls of ancient Pompeii, was the one of the scriptor, who painted on the walls in bright red letters posters announcing performances, sales, leases, or elections.

Considerable importance was covered by the agrimensores, highly skilled technicians able to measure and divide lands thanks to the use of theodolites very similar to those used by modern surveyors.

We should not forget the Lupae, who practiced in the Lupanares “the oldest profession in the world,” and their owners said Lenones.

Contact me for your tour at Pompeii.

info@pompeiin.com

+39 3284134719

Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

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