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New “domus” will be open in Pompeii

Starting form August 4th, more guardians have been recruited in Pompeii archeological site, so it will be possible to visit many “domus”  that have been closed sice now. They will make the site much more interesting.

 

Pompeii_ceii

Pompeii_ceii

 

The “domus” at issue are:

Termopolio di Vetutio Placido
Casa dei Ceii
Casa del Larario di Achille

Casa di Marco Lucrezio Frontone

Casa dell’Ara Massima
Casa di Apollo

Terme Suburbane
Casa della Caccia Antica

Casa di Cornelia

Casa di Marco Lucrezio

 

Pompeii_map

Pompeii_map

 

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Pliny the Younger, the eye witness of the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius in 79AD

At the time of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79 the Roman fleet under the command of Pliny the Elder was stationed across the Bay of Naples at Misenum.

Pliny was a scientist, a historian and a naturalist and he felt the need to get closer to observe the phenomenon of the eruption.

He decided to land in Stabia, where lived his friend, but he died because of the toxic gases.

Miseno_Stabia

The route taken by Pliny the Elder from Miseno to Stabia during the eruption in 79AD

Pliny’s nephew, whom we know as Pliny the Younger, was with him at Misenum, but did not venture out on the ships with his uncle. He stayed back at Misenum and observed the events from there. He also received first-hand reports from those who had been with his uncle at his death. Based on this information Pliny the Younger wrote two letters to the historian Tacitus that recount the events surrounding the eruption of Vesuvius and the death of Pliny the Elder.

The letters survive and provide a vivid account of the events.

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Pompeii in 3 D – Film

Pompeii 3 D - Film

Pompeii 3 D – Film

Pompeii (referred to by marketing as Pompeii in 3D) is an upcoming American disaster-adventure film co-written, produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, the film starsKit HaringtonEmily BrowningCarrie-Anne MossAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeJessica Lucas, with Jared Harris, and Kiefer Sutherland.

 

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anfiteatro(2h)

Cape Misenum, the Rome foremost military port

Miseno

According to the mythology Misenum was named after Misenus, a companion of Hector and trumpeter on the Aeneas ship as recounted in Virgil’s poem.

Cape Miseno is the headland that marks the northwestern limit of the Gulf of Naples as well as the Bay of Pozzuoli in southern Italy. The cape is directly across from the island of Procida and is named for Misenus, a character in Virgil’s Aeneid.

Misenum was the largest base of the Roman navy, since its port (Portus Julius) was the base of the Classis Misenensis, the most important Roman fleet. It was first established as a naval base in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, the right-hand man of the emperor Augustus.

In 38 BC, Misenum was the site where a short-lived pact was made between Octavian and his rival Sextus Pompeius.

With its gorgeous natural setting close to the naval base and the nearby important Roman cities of Puteoli and Neapolis, Misenum became the site of Roman luxury villas.

Pliny the Elder was the praefectus classis in charge of the naval fleet at Misenum in AD 79, at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius visible to the south across the Bay of Naples.

Seeing the beginnings of the eruption, Pliny left for a closer view in Stabia and to effect a possible rescue, and was killed by the eruption.

The account of his death is given by his nephew Pliny the Younger, who was also resident in Misenum at the time.

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pliny_route

The Pliny’s route

In Miseno there is the biggest Roman cistern  of drinkable water ever built called Piscina Mirabilis, realized during the Augustan period. Entirely excavated in the tufa rock, it has a capacity of 12.000 cubic meter of water, it’s 15 meters high, 72 m long and 25 m wide and it is covered by a vault, supported by 48 enormous cruciform pillars to form five long naves. The cistern was built to collect water for the fleet of the Roman Empire that docked in Miseno’s harbour.

It represented the final tank of the Augustan aqueduct (Aqua Augusta) that, from its springs in Serino and for 100 kilometers, brought water to Naples and the Phlegrean Fields.

piscina mirabilis

Piscina Mirabilis at Miseno

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The papyrus

roman papyrus

The Latin word chart, from the Greek  χαρτης describes a sheet made by juxtaposing and stacking thin layers made from the papyrus stem. The papyrus was common in swampy areas and warm climates. The romans perfected the process for treating it, which the Egyptians used as early as 3000 BC, described by Pliny the Elder. Romans made lightweight sheet with smooth surface on which they could write easily with a calamus, a pointed reed, dipped in ink, which was made of water, sap, squid ink, and soot.

Herculaneum papyrus

The Herculaneum papyri are more than 1,800 papyri found in Herculaneum in the 18th century, carbonized[clarification needed] by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. After various methods of manipulation, a method was found to unroll and to read them.
The papyri, containing a number of Greek philosophical texts, come from a single personal library associated with the Epicurean philosopher and poet Philodemus, who has been identified as the author of 44 rolls.

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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.

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+39 3284134719

Lupanar (the brothel)

LupanarProstitutes were called ‘lupae’, and the word ‘lupanare’ indicated a brothel. In Pompeii, 25 different brothels have been found. There were entire houses used for this purpose such as the one found in Regio VII having 10 small rooms with stone beds that were then covered with matrasses. Five rooms were on the ground floor and five upstairs and could be reached through a small wooden stair. Along the ground floor corridor, paintings of erotic scenes have been found, probably used as a sort of catalogue for the possible requests or more realistically just as a collection of images from the ‘Schemato Veneris’, one of the illustrated manuals of ‘ars amatoria’ written by the female poets Philainis and Elephantis from Samo in the III  and IV centuries B.C.

In this brothel, a number of inscriptions, comments and names were found, which helped to identify at least 80 prostitutes and clients. It is also possible to identify the sexual preferences and sometimes the contagious sexual diseases transmitted. Contraceptive methods were used such as oils and the insertion of wool soaked in lemon juice.

The “lupanares” could be located at the top of the shops such as the ‘cauponae’ or above the baths and sometimes they were just single rooms placed along the roads or inside private houses.

In ancient Rome prostitution was commonly accepted. Catone the censor, although famously strict according to Horace (Satires), once saw a young person coming out of a ‘lupanar’ and praised him because he had let out his sexual appetite with a prostitute rather than doing it with someone else’s wife. Clients usually belonged to low social classes: they were mainly merchants and foreign sailors. Prostitutes were slaves and their earnings went entirely to their owner called Lenone. The average price was 2 aces, the price of a glass of wine.

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