Pompeii

Pompeii HistoryPompeii Photos
    The ruins of Pompeii were discovered in the late 1600's. The discovery of this ruined city turned out to be an archaeologist's dream come true.  Pompeii had been a thriving Roman port town in 79 A.D. when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, covering the the entire town and literally freezing it in time. The discovery of this ancient city has given archaeologists a clue to what everyday life was like in the Roman empire. That was because the eruption preserved the buildings. It preserved the art work. It even preserved some of the people (seven of which can be seen in the court yard of the fools). The discovery of Pompeii was like going back in time to the day the eruption occurred because everything was as it was the day Vesuvius erupted.
    Walking the streets is like walking back through time. You walk among the stone buildings. You walk by homes that had huge gardens which stand side by side with little tiny lots where a store stood, or poor person had lived.  It is truly amazing to walk along the streets of this town, releasing that you are walking down a street almost 2000 years old, and it hasn't change a bit. You can walk into the house if ill repute and look at pictures of the services which were offered. You can climb to the top of the preserved theater and look over the ancient ruins. You can walk through the ancient Agora (sorry forum) and imagine what it was like when it was a bustling market place. You can look over where the port was said to have stood thinking about what the coast must have looked like before Vesuvius reorganized the coast of Italy.
      Pompeii was originally a Greek city, though with the decline of the Greek empire and the rise of the Roman Empire, Pompeii was assimilated by the Romans, adopting many of the customs of the Roman people but at the same time retaining much of its Greek heritage. As mentioned above, Pompeii was an important port, south of Naples it was a major stop on the sea route to Rome from Africa. It most likely connected to a road across the "boot" to modern Brendisi connecting the east and west coasts together. Pompeii was a well to do city. Many of the houses had beautiful mosaics or murals. (Which have been moved to Naples.)

    I hope you enjoy the photos. Any comments, please E-mail me, .


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All photos by John L. Polos
Copyright October 9, 1997

 


Basilica
This was a Roman Temple, right off of the Forum.

Porta Marina
Before the eruption, some think the sea came all the way to these buildings.

Temple of Apollo
Now what's a self respecting Greek god doing in a Roman town?

The Forum
This was the religious, commercial and political center of towns at this time.

Atrium of a House

Elaborate Garden
House of Vettii
Many of the middle and upper class houses had gardens in them Some were simple like the one on the left, with just a small pool of fountain. Others were large like the one on the right. Someone has planted flowers and decorated this one how it may have looked when the volcano blew.

Yard/House?

Store?
I'm not sure exactly what these two pictures are. The one on the left looks like it was a garden of some kind. The one on the right was a store or a grain storage place. You can tell by the pots baked into the counter that it was some kind of storage place.

Dancing Faun

Grannary or Thermopolium
This is the "Dancing Faun". This sculpture was found in a very large yard, of a dancing man and thus gave the name of the house, the house of faun. It was one of the largest houses in Pompeii and it was here that many of the treasures of Pompeii (that were not already stolen, including the famous mural "The Battle of Issus." This store had several pots in it. Some are inbeded in counter, others are in the back. There is a Bakery near by so I think it may have been a granary.

The Brothel

Middle Class House's Garden
One of my guide books said was that you would have no trouble finding a woman on the night in Pompeii. Where they got that idea, I do not know. However, most people agree that this was a Whore House. It had several small small rooms, each with a small bed, on the ground floor, and more rooms on the top. The walls all had, interesting , cartoons to keep the clients aroused as they waited. Hopefully the beds had some padding though since all that is left of them are slabs of rock. This is a typical middle-upper class garden. Fairly large size with a pool or fountain in the center of it.

Garden of the fools.
This is known as the garden of the fools. It the far corner of this garden were found several "bodies" of men, women and children. Apparently, these people thought that the smoke would go away or the volcano would not erupt. At the last minute they realized their error and tried to make a run for it. However the fumes overcame them and they never made it out of the garden.

My book says Temple of Jupiter
But another person says it is the House of the Floating Venus

Major Street
House of Vettii on side

"Preserved" Body
In the house of the Ceii Garden

Water Spout

Small Theater

Temple of Iris

House I

House II

House III

House IV

Steam Bath

Middle Class House's Garden
Thank you for viewing part I.