Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pompeii Ruins Part IV

In the last post, we made it as far as the Porta Erolano. It opens onto a road leading to the town of Herculaneum. The road is lined with tombs. It was a common practice to bury the dead outside of town. The area is known as the Necropolis, the city of the dead! The tombs range from the first century BC to the first century AD.

Via della Tombe as our map called it

A fancy tomb

Also fancy

Regular tombs (those are "do not enter" signs!)

Going back into town, we discovered the House of the Tragic Poet. It is so called because of the mosaics of theater rehearsals and scenes from the Iliad. They've all been taken to the archeology museum. One mosaic left behind is right by the front door--the famous Cave Canem or Beware of Dog mosaic.

Walking back into town

Entrance to House of the Tragic Poet

Cave Canem!

As much of the house as we could see--we couldn't get past the dog!

We headed back toward the forum (where the only functioning restaurant inside the ruins is located) and discovered the Temple of Fortuna Augusta, built in the first decade BC to honor the divine emperor Augustus, who had returned from a military campaign in 13 BC.

Temple of Fortuna Augusta

Memorial Arch leading into the forum

Just by the Arch is the Forum Baths, where locals would bathe, typically in the afternoons. The layout has separate areas for men and women and provides a series of rooms--the dressing room, a cold room (frigidarium), a warm room (tepidarium), and a hot room (caldarium).

Forum Baths entrance

Relaxing portico before the bath

First room

The cold room?

The tepid room?

The hot room?

We had a simple lunch at the cafeteria, the usual pasta and pizza. It wasn't particularly outstanding food but it kept us going.

L and her pizza

After lunch, we visited the House of the Faun, so named for the bronze statue of a faun found in the fountain in the main courtyard. The house is the largest in Pompeii, measuring about 3000 square meters. It has many fine decorations as well.

Entrance to the House of the Faun

Faun Fountain

Statue detail (the original statue is in a museum)

Floor mosaic

A wall mosaic

The back garden

The somewhat smaller but still opulent House of the Dioscuri (named after a mosaic of Castor and Pollux who are collectively known as the Dioscures) is up the street. It also has many paintings and mosaics, mostly taken off to the museum.

Portico still being worked on

Some still lifes that didn't get moved

This house isn't far from the town walls. We could see one of the towers that guarded the town. Sadly we could not go in the tower.

Wall tower

We also discovered the House of the Scienziati, presumably for some scientific something or other inside. This was another home into which we were not allowed.

House of Scienziati


Portico from another house

At this point (actually long before this point), the children were pretty tired, so we headed back to our hotel for an afternoon nap. It was great to visit the ruins of Pompeii.

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