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The cost of living in Pompeii

The cost of living in Pompeii seems to have been relatively low.

The Roman currency was comprised of coins which included asses (copper), dupondii (bronze), sestertii (bronze), denarii (silver) and aurei (gold).
Other denominations used were the quadrans, the quinarius argenteus and the quinarius aureus.

According to the sums of money found on the bodies of its inhabitants, Pompeii had some wealthy citizens.

coins in Pompeii

Some examples of basic costs are

Foodstuff:

A measure of ordinary wine     1as

A loaf of bread                          2 asses

A pound (0.33kg) of oil             2 dupondii

A modius (6.5kg) of wheat        15 dupondii

Utensils

Pot                           1 as

Plate                        1 as

Drinking cup            2 asses

General

Laundering a tunic           4 sestertii

A new tunic                     15 sestertii

1 mule                             130 denarii

1 slave                             630 denarii

Schermata 09-2457281 alle 18.27.16

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The restoration of the bread of Pompeii

Piece by piece. With great patience, Antonio Stampone, technical Research Laboratory of the Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii, is recovering along with the loaves of bread transformed into hard lumps of coal from the cloud of hot gas and ash in 79 AD, poured on the southern slope of Mount Vesuvius.

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Fresco from Pompeii, Archaeological Museum of Naples

Pane

Patience and glue. The bread in the Vesuvius, in the first century after Christ was marked in a way that it can be easily broken and divided into segments. Panis was called quadratus. The piece of bread could be obtained by breaking the loaf along the lines that branched radially from the center of the form.

With about thirty public bakeries, the pistrina, Pompeii shows, therefore, how the bread was the main food of the time. There were many types of bread: emmer, first quality, second quality, less refined, for legionnaires, for sailors, then that consumed by poor people or dogs. The work had reached perfection and the bread was also claimed in graffiti. “Viator – reciting one of them – Pompeis panem gustas, Nuceriae Bibes ‘or’ traveling, eating the bread of Pompeii but drink wine in Nocera.”

Eighty-one of the loaves sometimes fragmented to become fine powder, were found in 1862, in the oven so-called “Modesto” in the firing chamber again sealed by a little iron.

oven-in-pompeii

Emiliano shows a brick oven to bake bread

Pistrina SAP-03(1)

Millstone

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The Exhibition: Pompeii and Europe. 1748–1943.

A great exhibition project to recount the fascination that the archaeological site of Pompeii held for artists and the European imagination, from the start of excavations in 1748 to its dramatic bombing in 1943.

Pompeii and Europe. 1748–1943, the exhibition devised by the Superintendent for Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae Massimo Osanna, unfolds along a twofold route, at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples and simultaneously at the Amphitheater in Pompeii.

A temporary 12-metre wooden pyramid will house exhibition on Pompeii.
Inside are the casts of 20 victims buried by ash during the 79AD eruption
The installation was designed by renowned Italian architect Francesco Venezia.
The shape is said to be a tribute to the temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis, one of the first to be discovered by archaeologists in town

The plaster casts are placed in the centre, while the exhibition also features archival photographs documenting the work in the excavations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Exhibition in Pompeii 20150525_piramide

Excavations of Pompeii – Amphitheater

Opening hours

Open daily, 9:00 19.00
until October 31, 2015
last admission at 6 pm

From 8.3017.00
1st and 2nd November
last admission at 15.30

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“Memento Mori” the moseic loved by the Pink Floids

Memento mori

Memento Mori, Pompeii, Artwork-location: Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Archaeological Museum)

The mosaic represents an allegorical and symbolic philosophical theme of the transience of life and death that eliminates disparities in social class and wealth. The summit of the composition is a level with his plumb line, a tool that was used by masons to control the levelling in construction.

The axis of the lead is the death (the skull), under a butterfly (the soul) balanced on a wheel (Fortune).

Under the arms of the level, and opposed in perfect balance, are the symbols of poverty on the right (a stick a beggar and a cape), and wealth to the left (the sceptre a purple cloth and the ribbon).

Popular belief says the phrase “Memento mori” originated in ancient Rome: as a Roman general was parading through the streets during a victory triumph, standing behind him was his slave, tasked with reminding the general that although at his peak today tomorrow he could fall or be brought down. The servant is thought to have conveyed this with the warning “Memento mori” that means  “Remember that you will die”.

This moseic have been also used for the cover of the Pink Floids’ album “Live at Pompeii” recorded in the Amphitheatre of the city in the year 1971.

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Napoli-museomosaico-extract

This shot of a Roman mosaic appeared at the start of Careful With That Axe, Eugene, in the Pink Floyd’s masterpiece “Live at Pompeii”

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