Architecture Planning and Preservation Pompeii, Origins through Destruction
by
Ivo Van der Graaff
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 February 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780190922467-0040

Introduction

On 24 August 79 CE the eruption of Mount Vesuvius destroyed the southern Bay of Naples, burying the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabia together with the farms, sanctuaries, and luxury villas of the countryside. Their systematic excavation began in 1748. A community of scholars and lay people have since investigated the cities and their architecture for over 270 years. Their ranks are varied, starting with art and architectural historians, classicists, classical archaeologists, humanists, and amateurs, and continuing with scientists specialized in disciplines as varied as chemistry, biology, and forensics to name a few. The study of Pompeii and the ancient cities on the Bay of Naples is almost its own discipline that has helped to germinate art history and archaeology and spark movements such as Neoclassicism. The result is a burgeoning bibliography that exceeds 20,000 entries, with dozens of books and articles appearing each year. Given the rich architectural remains of the city, many, if not most, of these publications relate to architecture. Yet much remains unknown and considerable research on the architecture of Pompeii awaits current and future scholars. This article constitutes a basic starting point to study the architecture of Pompeii. It focuses on primary sources and monographs, and extends beyond single architectural studies because the study of Pompeian architecture requires attention to external factors governing social behavior. Domestic rituals, religious practices, technological advances, social routines, social hierarchy as well as military, entertainment, economic, environmental, and political factors all came together to shape the city. Modern research in Pompeii began with art historical and epigraphic approaches producing catalogues and publications describing wall painting, inscriptions, statuary, and the objects of the decorative arts. Expansive topographical surveys describing the city’s architecture started to appear in the 19th century and gave rise to a fascination with Pompeii throughout Europe. The expansion of the excavations in this period prompted then superintendent Giuseppe Fiorelli to organize the city into regions, insulae (city blocks), and house numbers, giving buildings the addresses they have today (e.g. VI.12.2-7 for the House of the Faun). Excavations seeking to understand the long-term history of Pompeii began in the 20th century, first, under efforts by Superintendent Amedeo Maiuri and, later, by various international teams and individual scholars, leading to the comprehensive approaches that study the city today. These efforts have produced a consensus that divides the 700+ years of Pompeian history into three mains phases: Pre-Samnite (under Etruscan, Greek, and Punic influence), Samnite, and finally Roman Pompeii, which subdivides further into the Colonial, Imperial, and Post-earthquake (after 62 CE) periods. Each phase is rich and stimulating in its own right, but the Roman period is the one that produced much of the architecture visible today; consequently, it has received the most attention due to the state of preservation.

Overviews

Overviews on Pompeii have proliferated in recent years. Most books, such as Beard 2010, Berry 2013, and Foss and Dobbins 2009, more or less deal with the principal categories of research with chapters dedicated to destruction; rediscovery; social, economic, and architectural history; and artistic development. Other approaches, exemplified in Guzzo 2007 and Ling 2005, focus on single issues, such as historical urban development. Richardson 1988 focuses on the architectural history of the city and reevaluates longstanding traditional tropes on construction techniques developed in the 19th century by scholars such as August Mau, Giuseppe Fiorelli, and their colleagues. Adam 1999 is a broad overview of Roman construction techniques with plenty of examples from Pompeii. Laurence 2010 is a seminal work on the interaction between society and urban space.

  • Adam, Jean-Pierre. Roman Building Materials and Techniques. London: Taylor and Francis, 1999.

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    This volume gives an overview of Roman construction techniques and materials. Although its scope is much larger than Pompeii, the town features prominently throughout its pages. It constitutes an essential reference for any architectural study of the city.

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  • Beard, Mary. Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town. London: Profile, 2010.

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    Accessible and lively book on daily life in Pompeii with chapters dedicated to the arts and social, political, and religious life. Beard provides a clear picture of the city and its daily aspects.

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  • Berry, Joanne. The Complete Pompeii. London: Thames and Hudson, 2013.

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    Overview of Pompeii from its origins to its final destruction. The volume gives a comprehensive approach on Pompeii with accounts on buildings, water supply, entertainment, and daily life. Its accessibility to the general reader makes the volume an ideal introduction to the city.

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  • Foss, Pedar W., and John J. Dobbins, eds. The World of Pompeii. New York: Routledge, 2009.

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    Essential edited volume for authoritative and accessible scholarship on Pompeii with contributions from experts and essential references in thirty-nine chapters. The volume divides into three main sections: Beginnings, which examines the early development of the city; The Community, which looks at the architectural layout of Pompeii; Economy and Society, which examines the social layout of Pompeii and its legacy.

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  • Guzzo, Pietro G. Pompei: Storia e paesaggi della città antica. Milan: Electa, 2007.

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    Pietro Giovanni Guzzo was a superintendent of Pompeii. In this book he uses all of his experience to bring together the history and urban development of the city in a concise overview.

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  • Laurence, Ray. Roman Pompeii: Space and Society. London: Routledge, 2010.

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    Laurence examines Pompeii to establish how the social layout and urban environment interacted to shape the city. Seminal book on the interaction between population and the urban environment.

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  • Ling, Roger. Pompeii: History, Life & Afterlife. Stroud, UK: History Press, 2005.

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    This accessible overview serves as an introduction to Pompeii. Roger Ling traces the social and urban development of the city from its beginnings to the eruption of Vesuvius. Separate chapters describe daily life and Pompeii’s modern rediscovery.

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  • Richardson, Lawrence. Pompeii: An Architectural History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

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    Expansive and sometimes controversial book on the architectural development of Pompeii. Richardson breaks with some of the ideas established in works in the section Early Topographical Accounts, by authors such as August Mau, Heinrich Nissen, and Giuseppe Fiorelli, associating the development of construction materials with the periods of urban development. Most scholars now accept that uncertainty exists in these earlier approaches.

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Edited Volumes and Museum Exhibitions

Edited volumes and exhibition catalogues give unique perspectives on the everyday life in Pompeii, such as De Carolis and Ciarallo 1999. Guzzo, et al. 2003 is a dedicated exhibit catalogue that sheds light on the victims of the eruption and the last day. Edited volumes, such as Poehler, et al. 2011, promote integrative approaches investigating art, industry, and infrastructure in the study of the city. Others, such as Bon and Jones 1997, bring together papers on the long-term development of Pompeii, or they explore new topics, such as ancient scientific advances, detailed in Renn and Castagnetti 2002.

  • Bon, Sara E., and Rick Jones, eds. Sequence and Space in Pompeii. Oxford: Oxbow, 1997.

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    With Pietro Giovanni Guzzo as superintendent, scholars launched a push to understand the development of the city without exposing more of the areas buried beneath the 79 CE eruption. This volume collects papers detailing some of these efforts with essays on urban and social development. The essays on early development by Carafa, domestic space by Leach, the Forum Project by Dobbins, latrines by Jansen, and formation processes by Bon are particularly valuable for architectural approaches.

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  • De Carolis, Ernesto, and Annamaria Ciarallo. Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town. Milan: Electa, 1999.

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    Catalogue of a major museum exhibition describing over 400 objects detailing everyday life. The catalogue brings to life the inhabitants and the buildings of the city.

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  • Guzzo, Pietro G., Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, and Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire. Tales from an Eruption: Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis; Guide to the Exhibition. Milan: Electa, 2003.

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    Exhibition catalogue of a show that focused on the last days of Pompeii. The objects illustrate how the victims died and what they carried with them at the time of death. They suggest various tales covering the elite and the slaves who inhabited the city. The English translation is shorter and with fewer objects than the original Italian version.

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  • Poehler, Eric, Miko Flohr, and Kevin Cole, eds. Pompeii: Art, Industry, and Infrastructure. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011.

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    A collection of ten essays organized into three main themes: art (architecture), industry, and infrastructure. The papers have a contextual approach to the excavated material, which is often found lacking in the descriptive typological catalogues produced earlier in the 20th century. The topics are organized to cover the post-earthquake reconstruction, patronage of wall painting, sculpture display, a fullonica (fullery), villa architecture, lead water pipes, pottery production, and craftsmanship. Available online by subscription.

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  • Renn, Jürgen, and Giuseppe Castagnetti, eds. Homo Faber: Studies on Nature, Technology, and Science at the Time of Pompeii; Presented at a Conference at the Deutsches Museum, Munich, 21–22 March 2000. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 6. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2002.

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    The volume presents a collection of papers given at a conference in Munich as part of an exhibition dedicated to the ancient engineering and scientific knowledge discovered at Pompeii. The volume is divided into two parts: Part 1 discusses craftsmanship and technology, and Part 2 addresses practical and theoretical knowledge.

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Catalogue and Reference Works

Catalogues and indexes are essential starting points for any new project in Pompeian studies because they contain basic information and bibliographies on buildings. Furchheim 1891 provides an annotated bibliography of early sources up to 1891. Ruesch and Bassi 1911, although outdated, is a catalogue of the artifacts housed in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli that is still essential to understanding the provenience of many works, including wall painting. Various authors in Deutsches archäologisches Institut 1925–1941 complete catalogues of objects recovered in various buildings in a series titled Hellenistische Kunst. Many of these artifacts were lost in the Allied bombings of 1943. Van der Poel 1977–1986 as well as Eschebach and Müller-Trollius 1993 provide indexes of buildings and bibliographies. Pugliese Carratelli and Baldassare 1990 is a fundamental catalogue on the houses of Pompeii with bibliographical references. García y García 1998 is a comprehensive bibliography of Pompeii by subject.

  • Deutsches archäologisches Institut. Die hellenistische Kunst in Pompeji, im Auftrag des archäologischen Instituts des Deutschen Reichs. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1925–1941.

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    Erich Pernice began the series that produced four volumes. Two are catalogues of objects recovered in various spaces and destroyed in Allied bombing raids during World War II. Two more focus on pavements and fortifications. See Volume 4, E. Pernice, Gefässe und Geräte aus Bronze (bronze vessels); Volume 5, E. Pernice, Hellenistische Tische, Zisternenmündungen, Beckenuntersätze, Altäre und Truhen (garden furniture and ornaments: tables, well-heads, altars, and metal chests); Volume 6, E. Pernice Pavimente und figürliche Mosaiken (pavements and mosaics); Volume 7, F. Krischen, Die Stadtmauern von Pompeji und griechische Festungsbaukunst in Unteritalien und Sizilien, specifically looks at the fortifications of Pompeii.

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  • Eschebach, Liselotte, and Jürgen Müller-Trollius. Gebäudeverzeichnis und Stadtplan der antiken Stadt Pompeji. Cologne: Böhlau, 1993.

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    Index of the buildings excavated at Pompeii with relevant bibliography up to and including 1993. Occasionally the individual entries contain information on noteworthy finds within the buildings and their whereabouts. Searchable by the popular names and formal addresses of buildings.

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  • Furchheim, Friedrich. Bibliografia di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia compilata da Friedrich Furchheim libraio. Naples, Italy: F. Furchheim, 1891.

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    A comprehensive list of early sources with annotated commentary and arranged alphabetically by author. The introduction discusses the sources and, hence, the discovery of the city chronologically.

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  • García y García, Laurentino. Nova bibliotheca pompeiana: 250 anni di bibliografia archeologica. Rome: Bardi, 1998.

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    Index of the publications related to Pompeii from its first excavation up to 1998 in two volumes. A third volume appeared in 2011 for the new publications up to that year. The entries can be consulted by author, theme, or building.

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  • Pugliese Carratelli, Giovanni, and Ida Baldassare, eds. Pompei: pitture e mosaici. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1990.

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    Catalogue of mosaics and paintings organized by houses and their modern address by region: Volumes 1 and 2, region I; Volume 3, regions II, III, V; Volume 4 and 5, region VI; Volume 6, regions VI, pt. 3, VII, pt. 1; Volume 7, region VII, pt. 2; Volume 8, region VIII, region IX, pt. 1; Volume 9, region IX, pt. 2; Volume 10, region IX, pt. 3. General index. Volume 11, La documentazione nell’opera di disegnatori e pittori dei secoli XVIII e XIX, details the drawings of traveling artists and architects who documented Pompeii in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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  • Ruesch, Alfred, and Domenico Bassi. Guida illustrata del Museo Nazionale di Napoli. Naples, Italy: Richter, 1911.

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    Catalogue of the objects and paintings preserved at the Naples archaeological museum, many of which come from Pompeii. Contains images, descriptions, formal analysis, provenience, and relevant bibliography.

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  • van der Poel, Halsted B. Corpus Topographicum Pompeianum. Rome: Researches in Campanian Archaeology (RICA), 1977–1986.

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    Topographical catalogue of Pompeii and its cartography divided into several volumes: Volume 1 (not published); Volume 2 Toponymy (topographical index); Volume 3 The RICA Maps of Pompeii (1983); Volume 3A, The Insulae of Regions I–V (maps), with L. García y García, L. and J. McConnell (1981); Volume 4, Bibliography; Volume 5, Cartography (1977). Based on the work by Tatiana Warscher.

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Digital Catalogues

A growing number of online sources offer an initial platform for further investigations into Pompeii. AD79eruption and Pompeiiinpictures are online catalogues of Pompeian buildings, whereas the Pompeii Bibliography and Mapping Project is useful to investigate the site using ArcGIS, gather shape files, and obtain bibliographic information. La fortuna visiva di Pompei is dedicated to manuscripts from the 18th and 19th centuries. Ancient graffiti find a home on the Ancient Graffiti Project website.

Guidebooks

Guidebooks are invaluable for gathering initial information and getting a sense of Pompeii’s topography. They supply plans, information on recovered objects, and narratives on the excavation history of buildings. Nappo and Foglia 2010 and Wilkinson 2017 are the most recent English-language publications.

Destruction and Rediscovery

The destruction and rediscovery of the city are long processes that are both still occurring. The destruction began with the earthquake of 62 CE, the effects of which are treated in the seminal work of Maiuri 1942, followed by Fröhlich and Jacobelli 1995, Poehler 2011, and Anderson 2011. Borgongino and Stefani 2001 discusses the date of the eruption. Modern historical events and conservation efforts have shaped the site and its architecture since the first excavations. Parslow 1995 details some of the earliest recovery and conservation efforts. The destruction of Pompeii continued in the modern era with Allied bombings, as detailed in García y García 2006. Tourism, sustainability, and conservation are ongoing issues that affect the ruins, as highlighted in Longobardi 2002 and de Caro 2015. Osanna and Piccone 2018 is a collection of papers on previous and contemporary restoration efforts.

  • Anderson, Michael. “Disruption or Continuity?? The Spatio-visual Evidence of Post Earthquake Pompeii.” In Pompeii: Art, Industry and Infrastructure. Edited by Eric Poehler, Miko Flohr, and Kevin Cole, 74–87. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011.

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    The chapter traces the evidence of the reconstruction effort occurring at Pompeii after the 62 CE earthquake. The author discusses the recovery of salvage and construction materials, suggesting an ongoing rebuilding effort.

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  • Borgongino Michele, and Grete Stefani. “Intorno alla data dell’eruzione del 79 d.C.” Rivista di studi pompeiani 12.13 (2001): 177–215.

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    In epistle VI, 16, Pliny the Younger describes the eruption of Vesuvius. Scholars have traditionally assigned the date it sets out for the eruption as 24 August. Using archaeological evidence, this article sets out a compelling argument to change that date to the autumn of 79 CE.

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  • De Caro, Stefano. “Excavation and Conservation at Pompeii: A Conflicted History.” FOLD&R Conservation Series 2 (2015): 1–31.

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    The author traces the history of excavation, reconstruction, and the strategies of restoration carried out from the Bourbon period to the modern era at Pompeii. A compelling article that highlights how successive generations made decisions that shaped the site and its buildings to what they are today.

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  • Fröhlich, Thomas, and Luciana Jacobelli, eds. Archäologie und Seismologie: La regione vesuviana dal 62 al 79 d.C.; problemi archeologici e sismologici: colloquium, Boscoreale, 26. –27. novembre 1993. Munich: Biering & Brinkmann, 1995.

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    A severe earthquake hit the city in 62 CE, but the amount of damage it caused and whether it triggered aftershocks in following years is unclear. This collection of papers stems from a conference held on the theme of earthquakes at ancient Pompeii. The papers look at individual buildings as well as broader themes such as construction, repair, and development of painting styles. Fröhlich delivers a compelling contribution on the development of opus testaceum mixtum (the mixed brick and stone technique) as a post-earthquake construction technique.

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  • García y García, Laurentino. Danni di guerra a Pompei: una dolorosa vicenda quasi dimenticata; con numerose notizie sul “Museo Pompeiano” distrutto nel 1943. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 15. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2006.

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    Allied aircraft devastated Pompeii in a series of bombings raids carried out in 1943 as part of Operation Avalanche. The raids damaged many buildings, including the Antiquarium, which served as the museum of the site. This volume examines the damage that the raids inflicted and organizes the findings into a topographical index.

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  • Longobardi, Giovanni. Pompei sostenibile. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 5. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2002.

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    This volume deals with issues of conservation and preservation as mass tourism and natural degradation continually threaten the integrity of Pompeii. A series of topical chapters address issues of future development, the history of preservation, the modern image, and the sustainability of the site in the future.

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  • Maiuri, Amedeo. L’ultima fase edilizia di Pompei. Rome: Istituto di Studi Romani, 1942.

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    Amedeo Maiuri surveys the damage of the earthquake that hit Pompeii in 62 CE and the subsequent reconstruction efforts. The volume is divided into three sections: public buildings, houses, and restoration efforts on wall painting.

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  • Osanna, Massimo, and Renata Piccone, eds. Restaurando Pompei: riflessioni a margine del Grande Progetto. Studi e ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei 38. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2018.

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    The Grande Progetto Pompeii is an ongoing restoration effort funded by the European Union that began when Massimo Osanna took office as director of the archaeological park. This volume is a collection of papers detailing past and contemporary efforts to conserve and preserve the site.

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  • Parslow, Christopher C. Rediscovering Antiquity: Karl Weber and the Excavation of Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Stabiae. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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    The author details the work of the Swiss architect and engineer Karl Jakob Weber, who was in charge of the early excavations at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabia. Weber was the first to record recovered architecture and the associated finds systematically, thereby setting an early standard for archaeology and its future development as a discipline.

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  • Poehler, Eric. “Practical Matters: Infrastructure and the Planning for the Post-Earthquake Forum at Pompeii.” In Pompeii: Art, Industry and Infrastructure. Edited by Eric Poehler, Miko Flohr, and Kevin Cole, 149–163. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011.

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    Poehler evaluates the effects of the earthquake on the Forum of Pompeii and the subsequent reconstruction effort. The article focuses on the planning of the support infrastructure, such as drainage and water supply to the area.

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  • Sirgudsson, Haraldur, and Steven Carey. “The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.” In The Natural History of Pompeii. Edited by Wilhelmina F. Jashemski and Frederick G. Meyer, 37–65. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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    This chapter traces the dynamics of the eruption that destroyed Pompeii as well as Herculaneum, Oplontis, and Stabia. Localized events, such as the frequency of pyroclastic flows and depth of pumice deposits, affected levels of conservation for buildings and organic materials and influenced modern excavation strategies. Pompeii, for instance, is easier to excavate and features less organic material due to its burial under light pumice as opposed to the deep pyroclastic material that buried Herculaneum.

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Reception

Studies on the reception of the excavations at Pompeii and the sensation they caused in the 18th and 19th centuries are relatively recent in the spectrum of Pompeian scholarship. These studies highlight the manner in which the excavations influenced public imagination and how it translates to contemporary architecture, the decorative arts, and emerging media. The European elites who visited Pompeii as part of the Grand Tour receive attention in Rowland 2005 and Hales and Paul 2011. Gardner Coates, et al. 2012 explores how successive generations have reinterpreted the legacy of Pompeii. Scientific, literary, and artistic developments find a voice in Ciarallo 2006, Harris 2007, and Moormann 2015. Harris 2007 also looks at the political repercussions of the site and their influence on national agendas and recovery efforts.

  • Ciarallo, Annamaria. Scienziati a Pompei tra settecento e ottocento. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 14. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2006.

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    This volume looks at the principal eras of rediscovery at Pompeii between 1735 and 1900. The book focuses on the scientific discoveries made at Pompeii with a particular look at disciplines such as volcanology and botany as well as the influence of the rediscovery of Pompeii on cultural and scientific movements such as the Enlightenment and Romanticism.

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  • Gardner Coates, Victoria C., Kenneth D. S. Lapatin, and Jon L. Seydl. The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection; With Contributions by Mary Beard, Adrian Stähli, William St. Clair and Annika Bautz. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2012.

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    This book contains a series of contributions associated with a traveling museum exhibition held at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in 2012. The essays look at how successive generations of artists have interpreted the legacy of Pompeii, how the site served as a model for decadence, and how public imagination has reinvented the site in the modern world.

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  • Hales, Shelley, and Joanna Paul, eds. Pompeii in the Public Imagination from Its Rediscovery to Today. Classical Presences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

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    A volume with a series of collected papers addressing how Pompeii has captured the imagination of various audiences since its discovery. The contributions explore how the gradual discovery of Pompeii has influenced art, architecture, film, and fiction.

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  • Harris, Judith. Pompeii Awakened: A Story of Rediscovery. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007.

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    The author recounts the main scientific and artistic developments brought forth by the rediscovery of Pompeii. By examining the relationship between Pompeii and politicians, such as Napoleon and Mussolini, the book also looks at how the site became and still is the object of political and cultural appropriation.

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  • Moormann, Eric M. Pompeii’s Ashes: The Literary Reception of the Cities Buried by Vesuvius in Literature, Music, and Drama. Boston: De Gruyter, 2015.

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    This volume details the reception of the Pompeii and Herculaneum in popular and high culture since their first discovery. The book also examines the reception of the cities and their portrayal in travel diaries, as well as in film, music, and theater.

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  • Rowland, Ingrid D. From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

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    Since the start of the Grand Tour, Pompeii has received visits by countless celebrities, scholars and members of the European elite. This volume looks at how the experience of the city influenced the views of artists, scholars, and politicians. These visits have had a profound impact on thinkers and influencers in society from the 18th to the 21st centuries.

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Sources

The long excavation history of Pompeii means that considerable amounts of data as well as aspects of the original appearance of buildings are lost to us. Scholars have to mine the scattered sources and the excavation reports to find information on buildings and spaces. The following sections give an initial outline of the sources as well as more comprehensive topographical overviews of the city that frequently contain lost details in their descriptions of buildings. These early accounts of Pompeii are often the only record on the ornamentation or contents of structures that have now disappeared. Many of these early sources are available online. Some sources, such as wall painting catalogues, are treated separately under the Decorations of the City.

Excavation Reports

Excavation reports are scattered and often published much later than the actual campaigns. Bechi 1821 is arguably one of the earliest sources. Giuseppe Fiorelli became director of Pompeii with the unification of Italy in 1860. He organized the site in the regions and insulae known today and advocated for the systematic publication of past and contemporary excavation reports and notebooks (Fiorelli 1860, Fiorelli 1873). Further accounts following this model are Presuhn 1878, Ruggiero 1879, and Pagano 1997. Spinazzola and Aurigemma 1953 recounts one of the largest excavation efforts of the 20th century. Guzzo and Guidobaldi 2005 and Guzzo and Guidobaldi 2008 are edited volumes with contributions from teams working on new projects in Pompeii in the late 1990s and 2000s.

  • Bechi, Guglielmo. Del calcidico e della cripta di Eumachia, scavati nel foro di Pompeja l’anno 1820. Naples, Italy: Tipografia del Deposito della Guerra, 1821.

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    Bechi narrates the discovery of the Building of Eumachia and the entrance (chalcidicum) of the Basilica in the Forum. He mostly compares the recovered remains to literary sources, but the volume contains the earliest plans and descriptions of both buildings.

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  • Fiorelli, Giuseppe. Pompeianarum antiquitatum historia: quam ex cod. mss. et a schedis diurnisque R. Alcubierre, C. Weber, M. Cixia, I. Corcoles, I. Perez-Conde, F. et P. La Vega, R. Amicone, A Ribav, M. Arditi, N.D’Apuzzo ceteror Naples, Italy: s.n., 1860.

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    Transcription of the excavation notebooks up to 1860. Fiorelli published them in three volumes in 1860, 1862, and 1864. The organization is cumbersome. Volumes 1 and 2 are divided into three parts each with their own pagination: Volume 1, Part 1, 1748 to 1780; Part 2, 1781 to 1807; Part 3, 1808 to 1818; Volume 2, Part 4, 1819 to 1830; Part 5, 1831 to 1850; Part 6, 1851 to 1860. Volume 3 features the addenda for 1814–1844.

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  • Fiorelli, Giuseppe. Gli scavi di Pompei dal 1861 al 1872. Naples, Italy: Tipografia del Regno nel Liceo V. Emanuele, 1873.

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    Published excavation report of the work conducted at Pompeii between 1861 and 1872. Excavations occurred in the following areas: region I, insulae 3 and 4; region VII, insulae 1–3, 7, 10–12, 15; region VIII, insula 4; region IX, insulae 1–3. Fiorelli includes drawings of recovered finds, plans, inscriptions, mosaics, wall paintings, and topographical descriptions.

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  • Guzzo, Pietro G., and Maria P. Guidobaldi, eds. Nuove ricerche archeologiche a Pompei ed Ercolano: atti del convegno internazionale, Roma, 28–30 novembre 2002. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 10. Naples, Italy: Electa, 2005.

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    Until the 1980s few projects looked into the pre-79 CE development of Pompeii. This policy changed with Superintendent Pietro Giovanni Guzzo, who actively encouraged excavations to understand the development of the city. This volume is a first collection of conference papers detailing investigations in the Triangular Forum, region VI insula I, the House of the Chaste Lovers (IX, 12, 6–8), the fortifications, wall painting, and water supply.

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  • Guzzo, Pietro G., and Maria P. Guidobaldi, eds. Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area vesuviana (scavi 2003–2006). Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 25. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2008.

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    Collection of sixty-five conference contributions where international teams of researchers presented their latest results of work targeting the pre-79 CE city. The focus is on the campaigns of the 2003–2006 period. The chapters are still part of the scientific discussion and often are the only reference for some of these projects. The volume focuses on domestic spaces, but a few contributions look at the Temple of Venus, domestic shrines, and the fortifications.

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  • Pagano, Mario. I diari di scavo di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia di Francesco e Pietro La Vega (1764–1810): raccolta e studio di documenti inediti. Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali/Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei: monografie 13. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1997.

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    Pagano publishes the excavation notebooks of the La Vega brothers, who were Spanish engineers and cartographers involved with the earliest explorations of Pompeii. Serves as a supplement to Fiorelli 1860.

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  • Presuhn, Emil. Pompeji: Die neuesten Ausgrabungen von 1874 bis 1881. Leipzig: Weigel, 1878.

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    Account in two volumes of the excavations conducted between 1874 and 1881, including plans, drawings, and color plates. Volume 1 (1874–1878) treats the work in regions V and VI. Volume 2 (1878–1881) describes the work in region IX, including the House of the Centenary (IX.8.6) and the Central Baths (IX.4.5). For Volume 2, see online.

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  • Ruggiero, Michele. Pompei e la regione sotterrata dal Vesuvio nell’anno LXXIX. Naples, Italy: F. Giannini, 1879.

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    Collection of articles compiled to commemorate the 1,800-year anniversary of the eruption. It includes an excavation report by Luigi Viola for the years 1873–1878 in regions I, V, VI, VIII, and IX. A plan details the excavations carried out between 1748 and 1859, 1860 and 1872, and 1873 and 1878. It also contains descriptions of wall paintings and geology.

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  • Spinazzola, Vittorio, and Salvatore Aurigemma. Pompei alla luce degli scavi nuovi di via dell’Abbondanza, anni 1910–1923. Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 1953.

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    Vittorio Spinazzola was the superintendent at Pompeii from 1910 to 1923. During his tenure he excavated most of the eastern part of the via dell’Abbondanza, which served as a main thoroughfare in the city. Salvatore Aurigemma published this three volume excavation report posthumously. It focuses on individual buildings as well as sections on architectural features, such as roof systems and balconies. The volumes also present information for upper floors later lost to the bombings of World War II.

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Early Topographical Accounts

The practices of recovery and recording were far less exacting in early excavations then they are today. Excavators often detailed recovered objects rather than architecture in their diaries. Most information that has survived on the state and appearance of buildings in the city is in early topographical accounts. Piranesi 1804 offers some of the earliest engravings of views and plans of the city. Mazois 1824–1838 and Nissen 1877 are valuable architectural overviews of the city that include plans and descriptions of public buildings. De Jorio 1828, Gell 1832, Breton 1855, Dyer 1867, Fiorelli 1875, and Overbeck and Mau 1884 give excellent general descriptions of the site that are still invaluable. Niccolini and Niccolini 1854–1896, are four volumes illustrating the city. They become progressively richer as the site was exposed and publication techniques improved. Mau 1902 is a foundational text extensively used today. The authors of these early accounts are towering figures in Pompeian studies and their hypotheses still dominate current approaches. They set out the chronology of the city according to the adoption of construction techniques and materials such as limestone (travertine), tuff, and concrete. It is Richardson 1988 (cited under Overviews) who began to challenge these ideas on chronology and many modern authors have followed suit.

Periodicals

Over the centuries a number of dedicated periodicals have emerged that have almost exclusively treated Pompeii and the sites in the Bay of Naples area. Their content is too long to list comprehensively here. However, many contain early details on recovered objects and buildings, such as plans and ornamentation. Nearly all are online and easy to consult for excavation reports and publications on buildings, inscriptions, and objects. The Annali dell’instituto di corrispondenza archeologica and the Bullettino dell’instituto di corrispondenza archeologica (later the Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung) are pioneer archaeology journals and their early issues focus on the Bay of Naples. Le antichità di Ercolano esposte con qualche spiegazione details the earliest excavations that took place in Herculaneum and Pompeii with a concentration on recovered objects and inscriptions as well as accurate architectural drawings of wall painting since lost to the elements. Bullettino archeologico napolitano as well as Giornale degli scavi follow the excavations of the mid-1800s with regular reports from the field. Real Museo Borbonico details the holdings of the archaeological museum and the objects it acquired through early excavations. The Notizie degli scavi di antichità, supplemented later with Monumenti antichi, offer reports, including plans, of excavations in the city. Cronache pompeiane, Rivista di studi pompeiani, Opuscula Pompeiana, and Vesuviana are yearly journals with scholarly contributions and the first two also include site maintenance and excavation reports. FOLD&R is an open-access journal in which those working on ongoing projects on Pompeii often publish their preliminary results.

Architecture

Architectural studies of Pompeii have focused on domestic spaces and entire insulae (city blocks). The interest in such spaces comes from their excellent state of preservation, which is otherwise lacking in other archaeological sites. Other public structures such as baths, temples, theaters, etc., sometimes lack dedicated monographs. Plans and description of these structures are often published in smaller articles and chapters scattered throughout excavation reports, guidebooks, topographical accounts, journals, and edited volumes (see works cited under Overviews as well as under Early Topographical Accounts).

Domestic Spaces

The use of space and social interaction in the domestic realm have long been part of Pompeian scholarship. Wallace-Hadrill 1994, Laurence and Wallace-Hadrill 1997, Grahame 2000, and Clarke 1991 (cited under Painting: Overviews) are several important social studies of domestic spaces and their ornamentation. Pesando and Guidobaldi 2006 singles out elite dwellings for architectural analysis, whereas Pirson, et al. 1999 focuses on smaller houses. Helg 2018 studies house facades as venues for ostentatious display. Despite the unique state of preservation and the early fascination with objects and wall paintings of domestic spaces, only Allison 2008 has recontextualized interiors with artifacts recovered there. Mogetta 2016 examines the date for the introduction of concrete in domestic construction.

  • Allison, Penelope M. Pompeian Households: An Analysis of Material Culture. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, 2008.

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    This pioneering study looks at the assemblages of artifacts recovered in thirty houses to determine the furnishings and usage of domestic spaces. Allison also compares the traditional nomenclature and usage associated with domestic spaces with the actual assemblages found during excavations.

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  • Grahame, Mark Reading Space: Social Interaction and Identity in the Houses of Roman Pompeii; A Syntactical Approach to the Analysis and Interpretation of Built Space. BAR International Series 886. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2000.

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    Grahame challenges the traditional reading of spaces in the Roman house that is based on ancient texts. The author uses 144 case studies of Pompeian houses and applies access analysis to assess how people moved through and interacted in domestic spaces.

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  • Helg, Riccardo. Frontes: le facciate nell’architettura e nell’urbanistica di Pompei e di Ercolano. DISCI Archeologia 21. Bologna, Italy: Bononia, 2018.

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    This volume traces the development of ornamental house facades in the city. House facades were a defining component of the cityscape and an integral part of elite ostentatious display. House owners sought to make an impression on viewers passing by.

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  • Laurence, Ray, and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, eds. Domestic Space in the Roman World: Pompeii and Beyond. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 22. Portsmouth: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1997.

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    The volume contains a collection of key papers on the use of domestic spaces. Many of the articles center on Pompeii and look at its urban development as well as the separation of spaces in houses, including public and private space, slave quarters, function, and ritual. Also treats development of the Roman atrium house and smaller dwellings.

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  • Mogetta, Marcello. “The Early Development of Concrete in the Domestic Architecture of Pre-Roman Pompeii.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 29 (2016): 43–72.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1047759400072044Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Scholars debate the genesis of Roman concrete. They use examples in Pompeii and the Bay of Naples as references for developments in cities such as Rome. This article examines the evidence for the introduction of concrete Pompeii and its place in the broader debate on architecture.

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  • Pesando, Fabrizio, and Maria P. Guidobaldi. Gli “ozi” di Ercole: residenze di lusso a Pompei ed Ercolano. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2006.

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    The volume traces the development of luxury dwellings in Pompeii and Herculaneum. A series of case studies in both cities as well as the villas in the surrounding territory highlight how luxury dwellings evolved from the Samnite period through the colony and up to the eruption of Vesuvius.

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  • Pirson, Felix, Claudia Dorl-Klingenschmid, and Corinna Brückener. Mietwohnungen in Pompeji und Herkulaneum: Untersuchungen zur Architektur, zum Wohnen und zur Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Vesuvstädte. Studien zur Antiken Stadt 5. Munich: Verlag Dr. F. Pfeil, 1999.

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    Study of domestic space in Pompeii has focused on wealthy households found in the city. This volume is a study of the apartments and smaller dwellings in Pompeii and Herculaneum. These dwellings often featured small shops or retail venues on the lower floor, meaning that they can also supply an economic picture of the cities.

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  • Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew. Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

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    Seminal book on the social aspects of the houses in Pompeii and Herculaneum that includes a broad range of textual as well as archaeological evidence. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 looks at the social structure of houses. In Part 2 the author uses case studies to examine houses and their place in the urban texture, the family, trade, and the spread of luxury. Includes a useful appendix with a catalogue of the houses surveyed for the book.

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Houses and Single Estates

The singularity, amount, and completeness of Roman houses in Pompeii means that many have received individual treatment in dedicated monographs. Raoul-Rochette, et al. 1828 is an early monograph on a house. Ehrhardt, et al. 1984–2004 is a series of volumes by various authors on fourteen houses. Ciarallo and De Carolis 2001; Ling, et al. 1997–2006; Laidlaw and Stella 2014 as well as Anderson and Robinson 2018 are publications on individual houses. However, much work remains to be done. Many contributions on other structures are often scattered in journals and topographical accounts that are too numerous to list here.

  • Anderson, Michael A., and Damian Robinson, eds. The House of the Surgeon, Pompeii: Excavations in the Casa del Chirurgo (VI 1, 9–10.23). Oxford: Oxbow, 2018.

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    The Anglo-American Project examined region VI, insula 2 at Pompeii in the early 2000s. This volume presents the results of the excavations conducted at the House of the Surgeon (VI.1.9–10.23) and reconstructs the various phases of its architecture and ornamentation.

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  • Ciarallo, Annamaria, and Ernesto De Carolis, eds. La Casa di Giulio Polibio: studi interdisciplinari. 2 vols. Pompei: Editore Centro Studi Arti Figurative, 2001.

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    The House of Julius Polybius (IX.13.1) is among the most recent excavations in the city and it was excavated to be a model open-air museum. This two-volume publication presents the results of these investigations in a multidisciplinary approach that includes the notebooks of previous excavations in the area.

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  • Ehrhardt, Wolfgang, Floran Seiler, Volker M. Strocka, et al., eds. Häuser in Pompeji. Munich: Hirmer, 1984–2004.

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    The publication list of the various houses in this series includes the following titles: Volker M. Strocka, Casa del principe di Napoli (VI.15.8); Wolfgang Ehrhardt, Casa dell’orso (VI.2.44–46); Dorothea Michel, Casa dei Cei (I.6.15); Volker M. Strocka, Casa del labirinto (VI.11.8–10); Florian Seiler, Casa degli amorini dorati (VI.7.38); Klaus Stemmer, Casa dell’ara massima (VI.16.15–17); Margareta Staub Gierow, Casa del granduca (VII 4, 56) and Casa dei capitelli figurati (VII 4, 57); Thomas Fröhlich, Casa della fontana piccola (VI.8.23); Wolfgang Ehrhardt, Casa di Paquius Proculus (I.7.1–20); Margareta Staub Gierow, Casa della parete nera (VII 4,58–60) and Casa delle forme di creta (VII 4,61–63); Penelope M. Allison and Frank B. Sear, Casa della caccia antica (VII.4.48); Wolfgang Ehrhardt, Casa delle nozze d’argento (V.2.1).

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  • Laidlaw, Ann, and Marco S. Stella. The House of Sallust in Pompeii (VI 2, 4). Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 98. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2014.

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    This volume presents the full publication of the House of Sallust (VI.2.4) in Pompeii, which is known for its early First Style painting. It details the first recovery of the house in 1789 and the modern excavations of the first decade of the 2000s.

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  • Ling, Roger, Lesley Ling, Paul Arthur, Penelope M. Allison, and Kenneth Painter. The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997–2006.

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    This series of four volumes is an all-round approach to publishing a Pompeian mansion. Published from 1997 to 2006, the volumes examine the insula associated with the House of the Menander (I.10.4) at Pompeii: Volume 1, The Structures; Volume 2, The Decorations; Volume 3, The Finds; Volume 4, The Silver Treasure.

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  • Raoul-Rochette, Désiré, Jules Bouchet, and Casimir Leconte. Pompéï: Choix d’édifices inédits. Paris: Chez les auteurs, 1828.

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    In 1824 excavators recovered the House of the Tragic Poet (VI.8.3–5). This volume is one of the first monographs dedicated to a single house. It details the state of the house before its restoration with eighty-six color plates displaying its wall paintings.

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Villas

Many sumptuous villas dedicated to luxury living and agricultural production dotted the Pompeian landscape. Some have received extensive scholarly attention and others languish. D’Arms 1970 offers an overview of the structures recovered in the Bay of Naples. Maiuri 1967 and Gazda 2000 treat the Villa of the Mysteries, which remains one of the most recognized buildings of Pompeii. Clarke and Muntasser 2014 collects a series of papers on the Villa at Oplontis in Torre Annunziata. De Caro 1994 offers an overview of the Villa Regina, which stands out as a classic example of an agricultural villa. Anderson 1987–1988 discusses the frescoes from the Imperial Villa at Boscoreale and the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor preserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The two exhibition catalogues listed here give a sense of the lifestyle with Gazda and Clarke 2016 looking at both types of villa, whereas Mattusch 2009 focuses on the lifestyle of the elite. Zarmakoupi 2014 examines the social factors that influenced villa design.

  • Anderson, Maxwell L. Pompeian Frescoes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 45. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1987–1988.

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    The frescoes preserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are among the most recognized surviving from the Pompeian region. The author discusses their original context and provides a comprehensive bibliography.

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  • Clarke, John R., and Nayla K. Muntasser, eds. Oplontis: Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 2014.

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    The imperial Villa A at Oplontis allegedly belonged to the Empress Poppaea and her consort the Emperor Nero. This open access volume is a collection of papers detailing the setting, excavation history, and garden archaeology. Volume 2 of the series, titled Oplontis: Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy; The Decorations: Painting, Stucco, Pavements, Sculptures appeared in 2019. It details the ornamental elements, including full catalogues of wall painting, mosaic floors, sculptures, and stucco from the villa as well as from excavations conducted by the Oplontis Project. The link to Volume 2 online.

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  • D’Arms, John H. Romans on the Bay of Naples: A Social and Cultural Study of the Villas and Their Owners from 150 B.C. to A.D. 400. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970.

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    The book covers most villa structures recovered in the Bay of Naples area. Although it spans a time period that goes well beyond the destruction of Pompeii, it is still a seminal work on the topic of villas. An appendix provides a list of owners.

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  • De Caro, Stefano. La villa rustica in località Villa Regina a Boscoreale. Pubblicazioni scientifiche del Centro di Studi della Magna Grecia dell’Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II 1. Rome: G. Bretschneider, 1994.

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    The volume provides an overview of the Villa Regina located in the ancient countryside of Pompeii. The structure is a prime example of an agricultural villa dedicated to farming and wine production.

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  • Gazda, Elaine K., ed. The Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii: Ancient Ritual, Modern Muse. Ann Arbor, MI: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 2000.

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    Catalogue of an exhibit dedicated to the frescoes at the Villa of the Mysteries of Pompeii. The volume also looks at the modern history of the building since its recovery.

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  • Gazda, Elaine K., and John R. Clarke, eds. Leisure & Luxury in the Age of Nero: The Villas of Oplontis near Pompeii. Kelsey Museum Publication 14. Ann Arbor, MI: Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 2016.

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    Catalogue of a traveling exhibit in the United States that visited the University of Michigan, the University of Montana, and Smith College. The exhibition detailed the history and lifestyle at Oplontis, a luxury villa attributed to the Empress Poppaea and a wine distribution center located about two miles from Pompeii.

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  • Maiuri, Amedeo. La villa dei misteri. Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1967.

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    The Villa of the Mysteries has generated a substantial bibliography of its own. This publication is a fundamental starting point for any study of the structure. The volume first appeared in 1931 with colored plates. A revised edition appeared in 1967.

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  • Mattusch, Carol C., ed. Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples. London: Thames & Hudson, 2009.

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    Exhibition catalogue on the life and luxury of the high end of society in the villas and houses of Pompeii and the ancient Bay of Naples. Contributors discuss the latest developments on the villas discovered in the Bay of Naples, external influences on Roman artistic taste, gardens, and the luxury enjoyed by the Roman elite.

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  • Zarmakoupi, Mantha. Designing for Luxury on the Bay of Naples: Villas and Landscapes, c. 100 BCE–79 CE. Oxford Studies in Ancient Culture and Representation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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    Although this study does not engage with the villas found in the excavations of Pompeii, it does look at those villas destroyed in the same eruption in nearby Oplontis, Herculaneum, and Stabia. It stresses the environmental and cultural factors that influenced villa design.

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Religious Architecture and Religion

Religious architecture is a fundamental aspect to city life in both public and private contexts. However, religious cults and their practices in Pompeii are only recently coming into view; Cassetta, et al. 2007 and D’Alessio 2009 provide essential overviews of public cults. Van Andringa 2009 provides an overview of the intersection among religion, its architecture, and daily life. Osanna 2016 looks at the pre-Roman Samnite cults and the development of sacred space in Pompeii. Lippolis and Osanna 2017 gathers a series of papers detailing the development of religion and the major cults in Pompeii. Van der Graaff and Ellis 2017 focuses on the prophylactic cults protecting the city at its gates. Swetnam-Burland 2015 assesses the significance of the cult of the Egyptian goddess Isis in Pompeii.

  • Cassetta, Roberto, Marie-Odile Laforge, Charles LaForge, and Lorenzo Barnabei, eds. Contributi di archeologia vesuviana, 3. I culti di Pompei. Raccolta critica della documentazione. La norme à Pompéi, Ier siècle avant - Ier siècle après J.C. Colloque Université Lyon 2, le 17 novembre 2004. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 21. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2007.

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    A comprehensive overview of the principal cults worshipped in the city. The volume is divided into two parts. Part 1 is a catalogue of the principal cults and their sanctuaries in Pompeii. Part 2 is a collection of papers held at a conference titled La norme à Pompéi.

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  • D’Alessio, Maria T. I culti a Pompei: divinità, luoghi e frequentatori (VI Sec. a. C. - 79 d. C.). Archeologia del Territorio. Rome: Ist. Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 2009.

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    This volume treats the cults at Pompeii together in an effort to understand their relative importance and development in the city. It defines the places of worship and the cults, and provides descriptions of the worshipers.

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  • Lippolis, Enzo, and Massimo Osanna, eds. I pompeiani e i loro dei: culti, rituali e funzioni sociali a Pompei; atti della giornata di studi, Sapienza Università di Roma, odeion del Museo dell’Arte Classica, 15 febbraio 2016. Scienze dell’antichità 22. 3. Rome: Edizioni Quasar, 2017.

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    This volume contains a collection of conference papers dedicated to the development of the major cults at Pompeii. A particular focus falls on pre-Roman Pompeii and some of the new excavations taking place at the temples of Venus, Jupiter, and Apollo.

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  • Osanna, Massimo. “Gesto rituale e spazio sacro nella Pompei di età sannitica.” In Sacrum facere: III seminario di archaeologia del sacro; lo spazio del sacro; ambiente e gesti de rito, Trieste, 3–4 ottobre 2014. Edited by Federica Fontana and Emanuela Murgia, 179–201. Trieste, Italy: Editrice Università di Trieste, 2016.

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    Although many cults in the city were present for most of its history, much of the work on their development has focused on the Roman period. This chapter brings together new evidence for the changes in cult practices and the long-term development of sacred spaces during the Samnite period of Pompeii.

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  • Swetnam-Burland, Molly. Egypt in Italy: Visions of Egypt in Roman Imperial Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139629034Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although this book has a much broader scope than Pompeii, chapter 3, “The Sanctuary of Isis in Pompeii: Dedication and Devotion, Myth and Ritual” (pp. 105–141), deals specifically with the introduction of the cult of Isis in the city and its associated rituals.

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  • van Andringa, William. Quotidien des dieux et des hommes: la vie religieuse dans les cités du Vésuve à l’époque romaine. Bibliotheque des Écoles Françaises d’Athènes et de Rome, fasc. 337. Rome: École Française de Rome, 2009.

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    Using epigraphical and archeological evidence, the author sketches a picture of daily religious life and its spaces in the ancient cities on the Bay of Naples. The volume focuses heavily on Pompeii with somewhat lesser attention on Herculaneum.

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  • van der Graaff, Ivo, and Steven J. R. Ellis. “Minerva, Urban Defenses, and the Continuity of Cult at Pompeii.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 30 (2017): 283–300.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1047759400074122Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Fortifications formed an essential boundary protecting the community. They often fell under divine protection of the gods protecting the well-being of a city. In this brief article, the authors examine the evidence at the city gates for the role of the goddess Minerva and her function as protectress of Pompeii.

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Sanctuaries and Temples

Excavators encountered many temples early on in the effort to uncover the city. These edifices have since suffered from exposure to the natural environment, making their ruins difficult to read. Only a few have received dedicated monographs that study their architectural layout. De Waele, et al. 2001 offers the most extensive publication on the remains of Temple of Athena/Minerva in the Triangular Forum, on which Carafa 2011 expands with a history of the sanctuary. Russo 1991 presents the Temple of Jupiter Melichios. De Caro and Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli 1992 is an in-depth study of the Temple of Isis connected to an exhibit at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli to which Moormann 2007 acts as a follow up. Other publications focus on specific aspects of the structures. De Caro 1986 details the results of new excavations at the Temple of Apollo. Carroll 2010 is an important study on the grove of the Temple of Venus for which Jacobelli and Pensabene 1995 describes the ornamental program. Wolf 2009 presents an architectural study of the Temple of Venus and compares it with other temple architecture in Pompeii.

  • Carafa, Paolo. “Minervae et Marti et Herculi Aedes Doricae Fient (Vitr. 1.2.5.): The Monumental History of the Sanctuary in Pompeii’s so-Called Triangular Forum.” In The Making of Pompeii. Edited by Steven J. R. Ellis, 89–111. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 85. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2011.

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    The Triangular Forum in Pompeii is one of the oldest sanctuaries in the city and along with the Temple of Minerva holds numerous shrines. The author traces their chronological development.

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  • Carroll, Maureen. “Exploring the Sanctuary of Venus and Its Sacred Grove: Politics, Cult and Identity in Roman Pompeii.” Papers of the British School at Rome 78 (2010): 63–106.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0068246200000817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Carroll conducted excavations of the grove associated with the temple complex. The author provides a wider interpretation of the temple and its development in this article, suggesting that it had only one phase before the refurbishment carried out in the Augustan period.

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  • De Caro, Stefano. Saggi nell’area del Tempio di Apollo a Pompei: scavi stratigrafici di A. Maiuri nel 1931–32 e 1942–43. Annali. Quaderno/Istituto Universitario Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi del Mondo Classico e del Mediterraneo Antico, Sezione di Archeologia e Storia Antica, n. 3. Naples, Italy: Istituto Universitario Orientale, 1986.

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    New excavations work to supplement those of Amedeo Maiuri to assess the chronology and development of the Temple of Apollo at Pompeii. The article includes plans of the building and drawings of foundation techniques.

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  • De Caro, Stefano and Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, eds. Alla ricerca di Iside: analisi, studi e restauri dell’Iseo pompeiano nel Museo di Napoli. Rome: Arti, 1992.

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    Excavators removed many frescoes from the Temple of Isis after its excavation in 1764 and eventually brought them to the archaeological museum in Naples. This volume details their restoration, exhibit at the museum, and original place on the temple.

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  • Jacobelli, Luciana, and Patrizio Pensabene. “La decorazione architettonica del Tempio di Venere a Pompei: contributo allo studio e alla ricostruzione del santuario.” Rivista di studi pompeiani 7 (1995): 45–76.

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    The authors deliver a catalogue of the surviving architectural ornaments in the area of the Temple of Venus. They propose that a significant expansion of the sanctuary occurred in the Augustan period.

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  • Moormann, Eric M. “The Temple of Isis at Pompeii.” In Nile into Tiber: Egypt in the Roman World; Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference of Isis Studies, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, May 11–14 2005. Edited by Laurent Bricault, M. Versluys, and P. G. P. Meyboom, 137–154. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2007.

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    Moorman offers an assessment of the painting programme for the Temple of Isis at Pompeii. He identifies a difference in artistic execution between the frescoes in the courtyard, as opposed to those inside the sanctuary.

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  • Russo, Domenico. Il Tempio di Giove Meilichio a Pompei. Monumenti 8. Naples, Italy: Arte Tipografica, 1991.

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    For a long time scholars considered this temple, one of the smallest in Pompeii, to be dedicated to Jupiter Meilichios. Most now consider it dedicated to Asclepius. This volume offers a comprehensive overview of the building.

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  • de Waele, Jos A. K. E., Bruno D’Agostino, Patricia S. Lulof, and Lucia A. Scatozza Höricht. Il Tempio Dorico del Foro Triangolare di Pompei. Edited by Jos A. K. E. De Waele. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 2. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2001.

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    The volume is the full publication of the Doric Temple (of Athena/Minerva) at Pompeii, offering a timeline for the development of the building and its architectural layout. It includes the notebooks of previous excavations as well as an overview of the various theories regarding the development and makeup of the temple.

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  • Wolf, Markus. “Forschungen zur Tempelarchitektur Pompejis. Der Venus-Tempel im rahmen des pompejanischen Tempelbaus.” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung 115 (2009): 221–355.

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    The author conducts an architectural study of the Temple of Venus and proposes reconstructions for its various phases. He then continues to compare its architectural layout to the other principal cult buildings in the city.

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Domestic Religion

Domestic cults were an integral part of Roman religion with shrines dedicated to the Lares and the Penates in every home. Boyce 1937 is an invaluable catalogue of domestic shrines recently updated in Giacobello 2008. Fröhlich 1991 examines the religious paintings recovered on private shrines and the building facades of Pompeii. Other rituals associated with weddings, coming of age, and death occurred within domestic spaces. Foss 1997 examines the daily rituals associated with household cults. Laforge 2009 reviews private religious practices.

  • Boyce, George K. Corpus of the Lararia of Pompeii. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 14. Rome: American Academy in Rome, 1937.

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    Catalogue of the private domestic shrines dedicated to the household gods recovered at Pompeii. A foundational study with descriptions and photographs detailing the ornamentation of shrines that have since faded.

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  • Foss, Pedar. W. “Watchful Lares: Roman Household Organization and the Rituals of Cooking and Eating.” In Domestic Space in the Roman World: Pompeii and Beyond. Edited by Ray Laurence and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, 196–218. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1997.

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    Foss offers a comprehensive overview of the cult of the Lares in the domestic spaces of Pompeii. The author examines daily rituals and the placement of private shrines in the household.

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  • Fröhlich, Thomas. Lararien- und Fassadenbilder in den Vesuvstädten: Untersuchungen zur “volkstümlichen” pompejanischen Malerei. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung. Ergänzungsheft 32. Mainz, Germany: P. von Zabern, 1991.

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    Catalogue of the religious images on lararia (household shrines) and building facades recovered at Pompeii. It supplies a picture of religion in the domestic and urban landscape. The author then argues for the value of these images within the broader spectrum of Roman art.

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  • Giacobello, Federica. Larari pompeiani: iconografia e culto dei lari in ambito domestico. Filarete 251. Milan: LED, 2008.

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    The volume presents a comprehensive study of the cult of the lares at Pompeii in the domestic sphere. The author extends the study to the iconography and decoration of the shrines.

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  • Laforge, Marie-Odile. La religion privée à Pompéi. Naples, Italy: Centre Jean Bérard, 2009.

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    Study of domestic cults and religious rites and ceremonies connected to death and the ancestors in Pompeii. The volume details how these rituals worked in domestic spaces and the placement of shrines and religious effigies inside Roman houses.

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Urban Development and Public Buildings

Studies on urban development and public buildings are the topic of several monographs and articles. Scholars have used such approaches to piece together the history of Pompeii. Perhaps the earliest methodological approach in architectural studies is in Noack and Lehmann-Hartleben 1936, which examines the so-called Hanghäuser, or hanging houses, on the southern and western sides of the city. The overview in Eschebach 1970 is a starting point for studies on urban development. The Forum area receives treatment in Wallat 1997, discussing the public buildings on the eastern side. Ball and Dobbins 2017 and Ball and Dobbins 2013 examine the chronology of the Forum area, and Grimaldi 2015 details its excavation history. The adjacent Basilica has a dedicated monograph in Ohr and Rasch 1991. Schoonhoven 2006 is a metrological study of region VI. Poehler 2017 examines roads and traffic patterns in the city. Maiuri 1939 is an extensive excavation report for the Palestra.

  • Ball, Larry F., and John J. Dobbins. “Pompeii Forum Project: Current Thinking on the Pompeii Forum.” American Journal of Archaeology 117.3 (2013): 461–492.

    DOI: 10.3764/aja.117.3.0461Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article discusses new discoveries in the Forum of Pompeii and challenges some of the assumptions established in Mau 1902 (cited under Early Topographical Accounts), Maiuri 1973 (cited under Pre-Roman Pompeii), and Maiuri 1942 (cited under Destruction and Rediscovery). See also for further bibliography.

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  • Ball, Larry F., and John J. Dobbins. “Pompeii Forum Project: Excavation and Urbanistic Reappraisals of the Sanctuary of Apollo, Basilica, and Via Della Fortuna Neighborhood.” American Journal of Archaeology 121.3 (2017): 467–503.

    DOI: 10.3764/aja.121.3.0467Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors have worked on the area of the Forum since the early 1990s. This article highlights some of their latest conclusions on the western and northern sides of the Forum area.

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  • Eschebach, Hans. Die städtebauliche Entwicklung des antiken Pompeji mit einem Plan 1: 1000 und einem Exkurs; Die Baugeschichte der Stabianer Thermen. Römische Mitteilungen Suppl. 17. Heidelberg, Germany: Kerle, 1970.

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    Account of the urban development of Pompeii by historical periods. It includes one of the most detailed plans of the city still used today as well as a description of the Stabian baths.

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  • Grimaldi, Mario. Pompei: il foro civile nella pompeianorum antiquitatum historia di G. Fiorelli. Collana Pompei 3. Naples, Italy: Valtrend, 2015.

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    Using the excavation notebooks published by Giuseppe Fiorelli, the author reconstructs the story of the excavation of the Pompeian Forum. The book includes a catalogue of the buildings surrounding the Forum with descriptions of what they contained at the time of excavation.

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  • Maiuri, Amedeo. “Pompei: scavo della grande palestra nel quartiere dell’anfiteatro.” Notizie degli scavi di antichità a.1935–39 (1939): 165–238.

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    Excavation report on the work conducted by Maiuri on the large Palestra (entertainment and exercise yard) on the southeastern side of the city. So far the only extensive study of this structure.

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  • Noack, Ferdinand, and Karl Lehmann-Hartleben. Baugeschichtliche Untersuchungen am Stadtrand von Pompeji. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1936.

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    Architectural survey of the so-called Hanghäuser, or hanging houses, built above the cliff face on the southwestern side of the city between the Temple of Venus and the Doric Temple (of Athena/Minerva). The authors pioneered the use of architecture and building history as a technique to study Pompeian monuments.

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  • Ohr, Karlfriedrich, and Jürgen J. Rasch. Die Basilika in Pompeji. Denkmäler Antiker Architektur, Bd. 17. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1991.

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    A dedicated monograph discussing the development of the Basilica building in Pompeii. Ohr first began the study as a dissertation that Rasch revised and published. Features accurate drawings but adopts somewhat outdated scholarship on basilicas.

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  • Poehler, Eric. The Traffic Systems of Pompeii. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

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    Spatial analysis of the known street network of Pompeii, tracing changing ancient traffic patterns and accessibility to the city. The study also identifies the different types of paving as well as the architectural additions to streets.

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  • Schoonhoven, Astrid V. Metrology and Meaning in Pompeii: The Urban Arrangement of Regio VI. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 20. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2006.

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    By means of careful architectural measurement analysis, this study traces the urban development and design behind the layout of the properties and houses of region VI. Chapters 1 and 2 are broad overviews of city planning in antiquity and at Pompeii.

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  • Wallat, Kurt. Die Ostseite des Forums von Pompeji: Baugeschichtliche Untersuchungen an den kaiserzeitlichen Gebäuden. Frankfurt: Lang, 1997.

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    The string of public buildings on the eastern side of the Forum include the Eumachia Building, the Macellum, the Sanctuary of the City Lares, and the Temple of Vespasian, which are discussed in this architectural study. The book is helpful in understanding the construction sequence of these buildings and the theories of their attribution, which have been controversial.

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Research on City Blocks

Many excavation projects and research teams have gained an understanding of the development of Pompeii by looking at individual houses and city blocks. Pesando, et al. 2001–2010 is a large-scale effort that looks at the development of northern Pompeii. Bonghi Jovino 1984, Gallo 2001, Aoyagi and Pappalardo 2006, Amoroso 2007, Grimaldi 2015, and, most recently, Coralini and Santoro 2007 assess individual housing blocks and their development in the city.

  • Amoroso, Angelo. L’insula VII, 10 di Pompei: analisi stratigrafica e proposte di ricostruzione. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 22. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2007.

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    In-depth study and publication of the houses and structures of insula 10 in region VII. The insula is at the heart of the old city and this volume details its development through architectural and archaeological study.

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  • Aoyagi, Masanori, and Umberto Pappalardo. Pompei (regiones VIVII): insula occidentalis. Collana Pompei 1. Naples, Italy: Valtrend Ed., 2006.

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    This volume details the decorative apparatus of the eight houses that are part of the so-called Insula Occidentalis (VII.17). This large city block spans the old city walls on the western side of Pompeii where the elite sought to exploit the views of the landscape in luxury homes.

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  • Bonghi Jovino, Maria. Ricerche a Pompei: l’insula 5 della Regio VI dalle origini al 79 d.C. Campagne di scavo, 19761979. Bibliotheca archaeologica 5. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1984.

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    Publication of the excavations and archival material related to the development of insula 5 in region VI. The study details work on the House of the Flowers/Boar (VI.5.9) and the House of the Etruscan Column (VI.5.18), where a walled-in column suggests the presence of a much older Etruscan shrine dating to the early city.

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  • Coralini, Antonella, and Sara Santoro, eds. Pompei: insula del centenario (IX, 8). Studi e scavi. Nuova serie 40. Bologna, Italy: Ante Quem, 2007.

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    A collection of contributions presents the research conducted in insula 8 of region IX by the University of Bologna. The insula preserves the remains of the House of the Centenary (IX.8.3–6) a luxury dwelling with examples of Third and Fourth style painting, private baths, and a two-story peristyle. A second volume, Pompei, Insula IX 8: Vecchi e nuovi scavi (1879–) by Antonella Coralini in 2017. The volume looks at the architectural development of the city block though modern excavations and traces previous studies conducted in the area.

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  • Gallo, Alessandro. Pompei: l’insula 1 della regione IX, settore occidentale. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 1. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2001.

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    This volume presents the research into insula 1 of region IX, publishing its furnishings and known paintings. The study limits itself to the properties on the western side of the block (IX.1.1–19) up to the House of Epidius Rufus (IX.1.20), which runs the length of the insula to demarcate the area examined.

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  • Grimaldi, Mario. Pompei: la Casa di Marco Fabio Rufo. Collana Pompei 2. Naples, Italy: Valtrend, 2015.

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    The House of Marcus Fabius Rufus (VII.16,17–22) is part of the Insula Occidentalis, the large city block that defines the western side of Pompeii. Grimaldi publishes the results of the excavations that took place in its garden on the exterior of the city walls in the years 2004–2013. The volume includes discussions on the history and development of the site from early Pompeii to its destruction. It also reports on the discovery of an early postern in the fortified circuit that aligns with the via delle Terme/via di Nola.

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  • Pesando Fabrizio, Filippo Coarelli, Monika Verzár-Bass, et al., eds. Rileggere Pompeii. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2001–2010.

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    During the years 2001–2010, the universities of Perugia, Venezia, Siena, Trieste, and Orientale di Napoli studied various insulae (city blocks) of regions VI and IX. The publications include new excavations as well as archival research and architectural studies of the buildings. So far five volumes related to this project have appeared led by Fabrizio Pesando. The volumes treat Samnite Pompeii; region VI insula 7; region VI insula 10; region VI insula 13; region IX, insula 7.

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Pre-Roman Pompeii

Research on pre-Roman Pompeii and its architectural development is mostly in the form of excavations and reports. Amedeo Maiuri began extensive excavation campaigns with regular field reports later collected posthumously in Maiuri 1973. Haverfield 1913 is the fundamental text that proposes the theory of an early nucleus, or old city, that later grew into the Pompeian plateau. Von Gerkan 1940 develops this theory further into defining the so-called Altstadt and Neustadt. Carafa 1997 examines the Triangular Forum and its evidence for the first settlement of Pompeii. Nappo 1997 and Geertman 2007 trace the development of Pompeii through further spatial and architectural analyses. Ellis 2011 is a fundamental collection of papers that discusses the history and development of the early city. Avagliano 2018 is the most recent comprehensive analysis for the city during the Archaic period.

  • Avagliano, Alessandra. Le origini di Pompei: la città tra il VI e il V secolo a.C. Babesch. Supplement 33. Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2018.

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    The book examines the urban and religious development of Pompeii in the Archaic period (6th–5th centuries BCE) before Samnite tribes from the interior would take over. It provides useful overviews of the various theories on the urban development of the city.

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  • Carafa, Paolo. “What Was Pompeii before 200 B.C.? Excavations in the House of Joseph II, in the Triangular Forum and in the House of the Wedding of Hercules.” In Sequence and Space in Pompeii. Edited by Sara E. Bon and Rick Jones, 13–31. Oxford: Oxbow, 1997.

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    This article highlights the arrangement of earliest Pompeii using excavation results from the Triangular Forum area and region II. The author identifies several phases with some of the earliest evidence of settlement on the site.

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  • Ellis, Steven J. R., ed. The Making of Pompeii: Studies in the History and Urban Development of an Ancient Town. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 85. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2011.

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    Edited volume with a collection of papers addressing the development of early Pompeii. The contributions include discussions on topography, pre- and proto-historic archaeology, and urban expansion as well as architectural and economic development.

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  • Geertman, Herman. “The Urban Development of the Pre-Roman City.” In The World of Pompeii. Edited by John J. Dobbins and Pedar W. Foss, 82–97. New York: Routledge, 2007.

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    This seminal contribution argues for a gradual development of the housing blocks of Pompeii once the city started expanding out from its old core, also known as the Altstadt. The chapter presents a useful overview of the theories related to the expansion of the Neustadt (new city) developed by various authors.

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  • Haverfield, Francis. Ancient Town-Planning Oxford: Clarendon, 1913.

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    The book offers a broader study of town planning in ancient Italy. However, Haverfield pioneers the idea, later expanded in von Gerkan 1940, of an old nucleus to the city and its later expansion that has since been part of every discussion on the development of Pompeii.

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  • Maiuri, Amedeo. Alla ricerca di Pompei preromana. Naples, Italy: Società Editrice Napoletana, 1973.

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    Amedeo Maiuri conducted a number of excavations in which he sought to understand the development of early Pompeii. The Associazione Amici di Pompeii gathered the scattered excavation reports of these endeavors from the Notizie degli Scavi di Antichita’ and published them posthumously in this volume. They include excavations in the House of the Surgeon (VI.1.10); House of Triptolemus (VII.7.5), House of the Large Fountain (VI.8.22); a well near Porta Vesuvio; the Stabian Baths, the Forum and adjacent buildings, the Temple of Apollo, and the Basilica.

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  • Nappo, Salvatore. C. “Urban Transformation at Pompeii in the Late 3rd and Early 2nd c. B.C.” In Domestic Space in the Roman World?: Pompeii and Beyond. Edited by Ray Laurence and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, 91–120. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 22. Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1997.

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    Assessment of the urban development of Pompeii at the time when the city rapidly expanded into its current layout. The author focuses on the houses in regions I and II, where many dwellings were associated with agricultural production. He outlines a series of types and row houses belonging to the poorer classes.

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  • von Gerkan, Armin. Der Stadtplan von Pompeji. Berlin: Berger, 1940.

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    A key work analyzing the layout of Pompeii. It proposes the existence of an Altstadt (old city) preserved in the irregular street orientation present on the southwestern side of the city, building on ideas proposed by Francis Haverfield.

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Tombs

Monumental tombs appear at Pompeii with the arrival of Roman colonists as conspicuous monuments of self-aggrandizement. Almost every gate had a series laid out in front of it as one approached the city. Each individual gate, with the exception of the Sarno gate, which remains unpublished, and the Marina gate, which lacked tombs, has a dedicated catalogue: D’Ambrosio and De Caro 1983 for the Nocera gate; Kockel 1983 for the Herculaneum gate, De Caro 1979 for the Nola gate, and Emmerson 2010 for the Stabia gate. Campbell 2015 offers a comprehensive social overview of tombs. Osanna 2018 interprets an important funerary inscription discovered at the Stabia gate necropolis.

  • Campbell, Virginia L. The Tombs of Pompeii: Organization, Space, and Society. Routledge Studies in Ancient History 7. New York: Routledge, 2015.

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    The book offers a comprehensive investigation into the social role of the funerary monuments at Pompeii, bringing together the tombs uncovered in front of five gates into a single volume. The chapters delineate the development of the necropoleis and further discussion focuses on discerning social and religious trends in the burial areas. Three appendixes (graves, tombs, and inscriptions) offer a catalogue of the known structures.

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  • D’Ambrosio, Antonio, and Stefano De Caro. Un impegno per Pompei: fotopiano e documentazione della necropoli di Porta Nocera. Milan: Touring Club Italiano, 1983.

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    Photographic catalogue of the funerary structures located outside of the Nocera gate. The catalogue includes drawings and plans of the individual structures lining one of the main roads out of the city.

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  • De Caro, Stefano. “Scavi nell’area fuori Porta Nola a Pompei.” Cronache pompeiane 5 (1979): 61–101.

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    Description of the tombs recovered outside of the Nola gate during the investigations of 1979. The recovered burials include elaborate structures, but also simple graves, including a group belonging to the Praetorian Guard.

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  • Emmerson, Allison L. C. “Reconstructing the Funerary Landscape at Pompeii’s Porta Stabia.” Rivista di studi pompeiani 21 (2010): 77–86.

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    Reconstruction and analysis of the tombs recovered outside of the Stabia gate. Emmerson provides a comprehensive study of the structures and the development of the necropolis with plans and drawings of reliefs. Although recovered in the early 1900s these structures lacked a publication.

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  • Kockel, Valentin. Die Grabbauten vor dem Herkulaner Tor in Pompeji. Mainz, Germany: Philipp von Zabern, 1983.

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    Catalogue and description of the tombs located outside of the Porta Ercolano, which were some of the first structures exposed in the excavation of the city. Kockel organizes his catalogue into two sections dividing the entries between the tombs recovered on the south side of the via dei Sepolcri and those on the north side. The author provides plans, drawings, descriptions, and excavation history.

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  • Osanna, Massimo. “Games, Banquets, Handouts, and the Population of Pompeii as Deduced from a New Tomb Inscription.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 31 (2018): 311–322.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1047759418001460Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A long inscription has emerged on a tomb during recent excavations at the Porta Stabia necropolis. The text allows for new insights into the population and size of the public events held in the last years of the city.

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Water and Its Supply

Pompeians relied on wells and cisterns for their water supply before and after construction of the Serino Aqueduct that would bring fresh running water to the city in the Augustan period. Many of these cistern structures remain unpublished because of their inaccessibility underground, but Sear 2004 provides a few examples. The date for the construction of the aqueduct has come under scrutiny. Ohlig 2001 revises the date to the Sullan period, identifying an earlier phase in a detailed study that looks at the Castellum Divisorum (water distribution facility) where the aqueduct arrived in the city. Keenan-Jones 2015 contests this view in arguing for an Augustan construction event. The construction of the aqueduct required a network of water towers, reviewed in Heres 1992. The network allowed select residents to have flowing water in their homes. Jansen 1997 discusses public and private sanitation through the distribution of toilets, followed by Hobson, et al. 2009. Jansen 2001 provides a description of domestic water networks. Jones and Robinson 2005 examines the use of water as ostentatious display in an elite domestic setting. Poehler 2012 discusses urban drainage.

  • Heres, Thea L. “The Structures Related to the Water Supply of Pompeii: Building Materials and Chronology.” Mededelingen van het Nederlands Instituut te Rome 51 (1992): 42–61.

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    The Roman water system functioned by means of pressure created by gravity. Given the height difference between the arrival point of the aqueduct and the lower part of the city, engineers built a series of towers to relieve the water pressure on the system. This article is a brief catalogue of the fourteen surviving structures scattered in the city.

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  • Hobson, Barry, Kate Trusler, and Helen Molesworth. Pompeii, Latrines and Down Pipes: A General Discussion and Photographic Record of Toilet Facilities in Pompeii. London: J. and E. Hedges, 2009.

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    The authors examine the location of the known latrines in Pompeii in this photographic catalogue that includes the latrines found on the upper floors of buildings. The implication is that sanitation was far more widespread than previously assumed.

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  • Jansen, Gemma. “Private Toilets at Pompeii: Appearance and Operation.” In Sequence and Space in Pompeii. Edited by Sara E. Bon and Rick Jones, 121–134. Oxford: Oxbow, 1997.

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    The author studies the distribution of toilets in Pompeii and the importance of sanitation in the city. A surprisingly complex picture emerges with descriptions of facilities on ground and upper floors distributed through elite and modest houses.

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  • Jansen, Gemma C. M. “Water Pipe Systems in the Houses of Pompeii: Distribution and Use.” In Water Use and Hydraulics in the Roman City. Edited by Ann O. Koloski Ostrow, 27–40. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2001.

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    Despite the excellent preservation of Pompeii, the water network has remained somewhat of a neglected subject. In this chapter, Jansen reconstructs the mechanisms and networks of water pipes that supplied domestic spaces.

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  • Jones, Rick, and Damian Robinson. “Water, Wealth, and Social Status at Pompeii: The House of the Vestals in the First Century.” American Journal of Archaeology 109.4 (2005): 695–710.

    DOI: 10.3764/aja.109.4.695Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors use the House of the Vestals (VI.1.6–8, 24–26) as a case study to examine the use of water for ostentatious display. The article looks at the arrangement of the house and the structural changes that the owners carried out with arrival of pressurized water and the problems of water management after the earthquake of 62 CE.

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  • Keenan-Jones, Duncan. “Somma-Vesuvian Ground Movements and the Water Supply of Pompeii and the Bay of Naples.” American Journal of Archaeology 119.2 (2015): 191–215.

    DOI: 10.3764/aja.119.2.0191Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In this article the author looks at the effects of the earthquake of 62 CE on the city and its water supply. He also contests Ohlig 2001 for the presence of an early aqueduct that fed the city.

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  • Koloski-Ostrow, Ann O. “Water Use in Pompeii between the Earthquake and the Eruption.” In Cultural Responses to the Volcanic Landscape. Edited by Miriam S. Balmuth, David K. Chester, and Patricia A. Johnston, 269–276. Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2005.

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    The earthquake of 62 CE caused considerable damage to the water infrastructure supplying the city. This chapter provides an overview of the measures that the city took to maintain and rebuild the infrastructure in the period from the earthquake up to the eruption.

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  • Ohlig, Christoph P. J. De aquis Pompeiorum: das Castellum aquae in Pompeji; Herkunft, Zuleitung und Verteilung des Wassers. Circumvesuviana 4. Nijmegen, The Netherlands: C. Ohlig, 2001.

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    Architectural study of the water castellum (reservoir) and aqueduct that served Pompeii. The study is controversial because it identifies two phases of construction (Sullan and Augustan) that are otherwise contested; see the review in Keenan-Jones 2015.

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  • Poehler, Eric. “The Drainage System at Pompeii: Mechanisms, Operation and Design.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 25 (2012): 95–120.

    DOI: 10.1017/S104775940000115XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Drainage of full cisterns from houses and rainwater often occurred over the streets of Pompeii and followed the contours of the topography. Poehler delineates how engineers directed water flow over the streets and charts the large underground sewers of the city.

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  • Sear, Frank. “Cisterns, Drainage and Lavatories in Pompeian Houses, Casa del Granduca (VII.4.56).” Papers of the British School at Rome 72 (2004): 125–166.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0068246200002695Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cisterns were common features beneath Pompiean houses where they collected rainwater from the impluvium of the atria. Their inaccessibility deep beneath floors means that few investigations have reached cisterns and their mechanisms of operation. This article presents preliminary results of investigations into such a water system. Available online by registration or subscription. Further investigations are published in Frank Sear, “Cisterns, Drainage and Lavatories in Pompeian Houses, Casa dei Capitelli Colorati (VII.4.51), Casa della Caccia Antica (VII.4.48) and Casa dei Capitelli Figurati (VII.4.57).” Papers of the British School at Rome 74 (2006): 163–201.

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Baths and Bathing

Bathing was a daily ritual for many members of the Pompeian population. The surviving structures at Pompeii detail the development of these facilities from the mid-2nd century BCE up to the eruption. The public and private bathing establishments are treated in Eschebach 1979 for the Stabian Baths; Koloski Ostrow 1990 for the Sarno Baths; Eschebach 1991 for the Forum Baths; Jacobelli 1995 for the Suburban Baths; Pesando 2002 for the Republican Baths, and de Haan and Wallat 2008 for the Central Baths.

  • de Haan, Nathalie and Kurt Wallat. “Le terme centrali a Pompei: ricerche e scavi, 2003–2006.” In Nuove ricerche archeologiche nell’area vesuviana (scavi 2003–2006): atti del convegno internazionale, Roma, 1–3 febbraio 2007. Edited by Pietro G. Guzzo and Maria P. Guidobaldi, 15–24. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2008.

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    The Central Baths was a large-scale complex occupying an entire insula of the city. It was in construction at the time of the eruption and never completed. This chapter presents the preliminary results of excavation campaigns conducted with the aim to produce a comprehensive study of the building.

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  • Eschebach, Hans. Die Stabianer Thermen in Pompeji. Denkmäler Antiker Architektur, Bd. 13. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1979.

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    This monograph, written with the aid of Harald Mielsch, Mariette de Vos, and Arnold de Vos, traces the architectural development of the Stabian Baths. The ornamental layout receives less attention than the architectural remains.

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  • Eschebach, Liselotte. “Die Forumsthermen in Pompeji, Regio VII, Insula 5.” Antike Welt 22 (1991): 257–287.

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    Journal article detailing the recovery of the Forum Baths in Pompeii catering to a wide audience. The Forum baths lack a dedicated monograph and this contribution maps out the excavation history and architectural layout of the complex.

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  • Jacobelli, Luciana. Le pitture erotiche delle Terme Suburbane di Pompei. Monografie/Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 10. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1995.

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    Jacobelli excavated the suburban baths in the early 1990s. Although this volume focuses primarily on the erotic frescoes recovered in the complex, it also supplies detailed plans and a narrative of its architectural layout.

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  • Koloski Ostrow, Ann O. The Sarno Bath Complex. Monografie 4. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1990.

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    Dedicated monograph of a multistory bath complex in the city. The volume describes each of the five levels, including the surviving and lost decorations. The book argues for a sixth level that has now disappeared as well as four stages of development identified through architectural analysis.

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  • Pesando, Fabrizio. “Le ‘Terme Repubblicane’ di Pompei: cronologia e funzione.” In Annali di archeologia e storia antica 9–10 (2002): 221–243.

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    The baths date to the mid second century BCE and are among the oldest in the city. A comprehensive publication is still lacking, but Pesando provides an overview of some of the principal phases.

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Fortifications

The fortifications are one of the largest and oldest public monuments built in Pompeii. They include seven gates, one postern, and twelve towers. The presence of the walls helped to define Pompeii as a community and shape the urban layout. The construction of the walls occurred in three main circuits and subsequent upgrades each of which marked pivotal events in the development of the city. Their placement at the periphery of the city have made the fortifications the object of numerous excavation campaigns seeking answers to the long-term development of the city. Detailed reports and drawings of major excavation campaigns and architectural remains are in Maiuri 1929, Krischen 1941, De Caro 1985, Chiaramonte Treré 1986, Etani 2010, and Gasparini and Uroz Sáez 2012. An overview of the effect of the fortifications on the social and urban development is in van der Graaff 2019, which is the principal source for the fortifications.

  • Chiaramonte Treré, Christina. ed. Nuovi contributi sulle fortificazioni pompeiane. Quaderni di acme 6. Milan: Cisalpino-Goliardica, 1986.

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    The volume details the results of the excavation campaigns carried out in front of the Nola gate in the early 1980s. This large-scale campaign unearthed a considerable section of walls and the remains of Tower VIII.

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  • De Caro, Stefano. “Nuove indagini sulle fortificazioni di Pompei.” Annali di archeologia e storia antica: Istituto Universitario Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi del Mondo Classico e del Mediterraneo Antico 7 (1985): 75–114.

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    The investigation conducted by Maiuri in the 1920s raised a series of questions concerning the chronology of the circuits that defended the city. De Caro targeted a series of areas near the Nocera gate and between the Vesuvio and Ercolano gates with excavations for which he produced this report that revised some of Maiuri’s conclusions.

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  • Etani, Hiroshi. Pompeii: Report of the Excavation at Porta Capua, 1993–2005. Kyoto: Paleological Association of Japan, 2010.

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    Until the 1990s a lingering doubt remained concerning a structure that might have been a tower or a gate known as the Porta Capua, on the north side of the city. A series of excavation campaigns investigated the area and recovered a tower. This volume collects the annual excavation reports of these campaigns.

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  • Gasparini, Valentino, and José Uroz Sáez. “Las murallas de Pompeya: resultados del sondeo efectuado en Porta Nocera (2010) y su contextualizacion.” Vesuviana 4 (2012): 9–68.

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    This excavation report details the results of a series of campaigns carried out to understand the development of the fortifications on the southern side of the city. It features detailed drawings of the makeup of the defenses next to the Nocera gate.

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  • Krischen, Fritz. Die Stadtmauern von Pompeji und griechische Festungsbaukunst in Unteritalien und Sizilien. Die Hellenistische Kunst in Pompeij 7. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1941.

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    The volume serves as a German counterpart to Maiuri 1929 for the excavation campaigns on the city walls. It includes plans and reconstructions of the fortifications with an excursion to the city of Paestum, which serves as a comparison to the defenses of Pompeii.

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  • Maiuri, Amedeo. “Studi e ricerche sulle fortificazioni di Pompei.” Monumenti antichi dell’Accademia dei Lincei 33 (1929): 113–290.

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    Seminal study of the circuit defending Pompeii where Maiuri reports on the results of his excavation campaigns at the Ercolano, Vesuvio, Nola, and Stabia gates. Includes accurate plans of city gates, towers, and archaeological remains still relevant today.

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  • van der Graaff, Ivo. The Fortifications of Pompeii and Ancient Italy. London: Routledge, 2019.

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    An analysis of the development of the city walls, their design, and their role in the urban image and social history of Pompeii. This volume brings together previous excavation campaigns as well as evidence from the arts in a comprehensive overview of the fortifications that includes plans and drawings.

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The Decorations of the City

Pompeian art has drawn most scholarly attention since the uncovering of the city began. Wall painting and sculpture have featured at the forefront of the discussion as part of a fascination with ancient accounts of now lost works. Further study has shown how architecture and wall painting functioned together to define space and create opulent environments. Mosaics and pavements functioned in a similar fashion, but they have received much less attention because they display fewer images. Nevertheless, each of these media constitutes fundamental parts of the buildings throughout the city. Pugliese Carratelli and Baldassare 1990 (cited under Catalogue and Reference Works) gives extensive catalogues of the wall paintings and mosaics of the city, which are the starting place for any inquiry.

Painting

Wall painting is a fundamental ornamental element in Pompeian architecture that helps to define and tie in deliberate spatial and visual arrangements. Although it has attracted considerable scholarly attention, tracing the original context of wall paintings can be difficult and many have disappeared altogether. Ternite, et al. 1839, Zahn 1852, Helbig 1868, Sogliano 1879, Herrmann and Herbig 1904, and Schefold 1957 (all cited under Reference Works) are essential catalogue resources to find information on the location, reconstruction, and subjects of lost paintings, but they offer little in terms of the interpretation of style. Mau 1882 (cited under Overviews) is a seminal and founding study on the development of the four Pompeian painting styles to which follow Beyen 1960; Bastet, et al. 1979 (both cited under Overviews); Laidlaw 1985; and Heinrich 2002 (both cited under Reference Works). Richardson 2000 (cited under Overviews) attempts to identify single artists at work through the city. In a break from analytical studies of form and composition, Schefold 1952, Bergmann 1994, and Leach 2011 (all cited under Overviews) lay the groundwork for the social interpretation of wall painting. From these studies, Barbet 1985, Ling 1991, and Clarke 1991 (all cited under Overviews) are essential overviews of painting in Pompeii.

Reference Works

Many wall paintings and knowledge of their location have been lost to the elements. Ternite, et al. 1839; Barré, et al. 1861; Helbig 1868; Sogliano 1879; Herrmann and Herbig 1904; Schefold 1957; and Laidlaw 1985 are precious catalogue resources recording information on what are now often blank walls. Raoul-Rochette and Roux 1844 as well as Zahn 1852 and Heinrich 2002 are catalogues with selections of wall paintings. A few further resources are cited under Early Topographical Accounts.

Overviews

In addition to the catalogues, extensive works analyze and classify Pompeian painting styles. Mau 1882 is a seminal study upon which scholars still base a broad chronology for Roman painting. Beyen 1960 and Bastet, et al. 1979 each build on and refine Mau 1882. Barbet 1985, Ling 1991, and Clarke 1991 are comprehensive overviews on Roman painting that include long discussions on Pompeii. Schefold 1952 discusses the programmatic meaning of panels in painted spaces. Bergmann 1994 and Leach 2011 are seminal works on the social role of painting.

  • Barbet, Alix. La peinture murale romaine: les styles décoratifs pompéiens. Paris: Picard, 1985.

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    General overview of the four styles and their presence at Pompeii. User friendly to both the initiate and the expert.

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  • Bastet, Frédéric L., Mariette de Vos and Arnold de Vos. Proposta per una classificazione del terzo stile pompeiano. Archeologische studiën van het Nederlands Instituut te Rome 4. Rome: Nederlands Instituut te Rome, 1979.

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    This volume examines and proposes a classification for the development of the Third Style in Pompeian painting. The authors propose two main phases of development: the first divided into three subphases and the second into two. A separate chapter also examines pavements and mosaics.

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  • Bergmann, Bettina. “The Roman House as Memory Theater: The House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii.” The Art Bulletin 76.2 (1994): 225–256.

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    This seminal study looks at the House of the Tragic Poet (VI.8.3) as an example to highlight the dialogue among viewer, memory, paintings, and their subject matter in a house. The author associates the disposition of paintings with the ancient practice of creating a mental path of images to aid memory and rhetoric.

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  • Beyen, Hendrik G. Die pompejanische Wanddekoration vom Zweiten bis zum Vierten Stil. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 1960.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-3331-7Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A fundamental study of the Second Style that uses minute descriptions to build upon Mau 1882 and his more general classification. Beyen breaks down the Second Style further into two main phases each with three subdivisions. His death prevented further completion of his study.

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  • Clarke, John R. The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.–A.D. 250: Ritual, Space and Decoration. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

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    The book presents seventeen case studies of Roman houses where Clarke looks at the ornamental and social history of domestic spaces. Although the premise of the book is wider than the Bay of Naples, many of the case studies treat the villas and houses in Pompeii and the surrounding sites.

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  • Mau, August. Geschichte der decorativen Wandmalerei in Pompeji Berlin: G. Reimer, 1882.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783111447193Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    August Mau categorized the four Pompeian styles following the writings of the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. The volume is divided into four parts, each describing the principal examples of the styles found in Pompeii. The book is almost canonical and serves as a fundamental starting point to understanding wall painting.

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  • Leach, Eleanor W. Social Life of Painting in Ancient Rome and on the Bay of Naples. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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    The volume looks at the social role of painting and its messaging in Roman households. Although she touches the city of Rome, much of the primary evidence focuses on Pompeii. In chapters 2 through 4 Leach discusses the dominant imagery, and its interaction with viewers.

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  • Ling, Roger. Roman Painting. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

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    Comprehensive overview and textbook on the Roman painting styles with chapters dedicated to genres. Ling adopts a traditional view stemming from Mau in an attempt to produce an overview in English. The book is a good introduction to Roman painting that strays little from Mau’s approach.

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  • Richardson, Lawrence. A Catalog of Identifiable Figure Painters of Ancient Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

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    Richardson uses art historical methods developed by Giovanni Morelli to identify the hands (single artists) at work in Pompeii in the recurrence of details. The first chapters offer an overview on the scholarship of Roman wall painting. Most of the book is a catalogue of identified painters.

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  • Schefold, Karl. Pompejanische Malerei: Sinn und Ideengeschichte. Basel, Switzerland: Schwabe, 1952.

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    Schefold argues that the ornamental layout of Roman houses often followed preconceived ideals set out by the patrons. For instance, mythological panels set out in a particular space would interact to create specific meaning and serve as the object of discussion among the viewers. Schefold breaks with the notion that these were panels chosen merely for their beauty as imitations of Greek painting.

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Mosaics and Pavements

Architectural contexts fundamentally defined mosaics and pavements as well as wall paintings. Ornamentations on walls and floors often worked in tandem as functional dividers to guide viewers and delineate architectural space. However, mosaics have received less attention in research conducted on ornamental programmes in Pompeii. Blake 1930 and Pernice 1938 are seminal catalogues supplemented by Pugliese Carratelli and Baldassare 1990 (cited under Catalogue and Reference Works). De Vos 1979 is an overview of mosaic studies. The better-known mosaics such as the Alexander Mosaic from the House of the Faun (VI.12.2-7) feature in the dedicated monographs Andreae 1977 and Cohen 1997. Westgate 2000 considers the origins of mosaics in Pompeii.

  • Andreae, Bernard. Das Alexandermosaik aus Pompeji: mit einem Vorwort des Verlegers und einem Anhang: Goethes Interpretation des Alexandermosaiks. Recklinghausen, Germany: A. Bongers, 1977.

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    A volume dedicated to analysis of the Alexander Mosaic found in the House of the Faun (VI.12.2-7). The author examines the claim that the mosaic is a copy of a famous painting by Philoxenos of Alexandria.

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  • Blake, Marion E. “The Pavements of the Roman Buildings of the Republic and Early Empire.” Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 8 (1930): 7–159.

    DOI: 10.2307/4238548Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This pioneering study examined the known Roman pavements found in Italy up to 1930. The book features rich illustrations and examines Rome and Pompeii as well as a variety of pavement types, including mosaics, sectile, cement, and brick floors. Available online by registration or subscription.

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  • Cohen, Ada. The Alexander Mosaic: Stories of Victory and Defeat. Cambridge Studies in Classical Art and Iconography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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    Scholars often assume that the Alexander Mosaic in the House of the Faun is a copy of an earlier Greek Hellenistic painting by Philoxenos of Alexandria. Cohen provides an interpretation of the original painting and the later Pompeian version.

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  • de Vos, Mariette. “Pavimenti e mosaici.” In Pompei 79: raccolta di studi per il decimonono centenario dell’eruzione vesuviana. Edited by Fausto Zevi, 161–176. Naples, Italy: Macchiaroli, 1979.

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    Overview of the studies produced on mosaics in Pompeii. The contributors lament the state of the scholarship and proceed to provide a basic overview of the development of mosaics by periods (pre-Sullan; between Sulla and Augustus; Imperial) and sketch out their iconography and interaction with architecture.

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  • Pernice, Erich. Pavimente und figürliche Mosaiken. Berlin: W. De Gruyter, 1938.

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    Survey detailing the ornamental pavements found in Pompeii up to the early 1930s. The volume focuses primarily on decorated pavements and later mosaics. It omits the simpler beaten earth and cement floors of the city.

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  • Westgate, Ruth. “Pavimenta Atque Emblemata Vermiculata: Regional Styles in Hellenistic Mosaic and the First Mosaics at Pompeii.” American Journal of Archaeology 104.2 (2000): 255–275.

    DOI: 10.2307/507451Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Westgate tackles the issue of tracking down the origins of mosaic pavements in Pompeii. She traces an influence coming from western Greece, but identifies an early local taste for figural scenes as opposed to more common abstract patterns of the Hellenistic world.

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Sculpture

Although Pompeian sculpture is not as ubiquitous as painting throughout the city, it formed a critical part of the ornamentation and furniture arrangements of public, religious, and private spaces. Von Rohden 1880 and De Franciscis 1990 are fundamental catalogues for terracotta works with the former also examining roof ornaments. De Franciscis 1951, Elia 1975, Wohlmayr 1991 and Lahusen and Formigli 2008 treat large-scale stone sculpture. Dwyer 1982 and Tronchin 2011 reconstruct the context of sculptural programs in domestic spaces and recover some of their meaning. Wohlmayr 1991 takes a broad approach with sculptural programs in public and private settings, whereas Stefani 2006 focuses on the Imperial cult in the Macellum building. Carrella 2008 is a useful catalogue for furniture sculpture.

  • Carrella, Anna, ed. Marmora pompeiana nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli: gli arredi scultorei delle case pompeiane. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 26. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2008.

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    Catalogue of the sculpted marble furniture from Pompeii preserved at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli. It provides a window on luxury furnishings and their arrangement in the domestic spaces of Pompeii.

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  • De Franciscis, Alfonso. Il ritratto romano a Pompeii. Naples, Italy: Gaetano Macchiaroli, 1951.

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    Statues were ubiquitous in the domestic and public spaces of any Roman city. This volume is a catalogue, arranged chronologically, of the sculptured portraits recovered at Pompeii and their spatial distribution. Painted portraits are not included.

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  • De Franciscis, Alfonso. Le terrecotte figurate di Pompei. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1990.

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    Catalogue of terracotta statues and fragments decorated with figural designs recovered in Pompeii. It does not include architectural roof ornaments that so often decorated the compluvium and roofs of domestic spaces.

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  • Dwyer, Eugene J. Pompeian Domestic Sculpture: A Study of Five Pompeian Houses and Their Contents. Archaeologica 28. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1982.

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    Dwyer discusses the sculptural arrangement for five houses in Pompeii: the House of Marcus Lucretius (IX.3.5); House of Camillus (VII.12.23); House of the Citharist (I. 4. 5, 25); House of Fortuna (IX.7.20), and House VII.12.17. The volume also details their excavation history and ownership in antiquity.

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  • Elia, Olga. “La scultura pompeiana in tufo.” Cronache pompeiane 1 (1975): 118–143.

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    Brief catalogue, and by no means exhaustive, of Pompeian sculpture produced in tuff material, including architectural elements. Tuff was an ornamental construction material used to embellish house facades and carve pediments, column capitals, and cornices as well as life-sized statues of tomb owners.

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  • Lahusen, Götz, and Edilberto Formigli. Grossbronzen aus Herculaneum und Pompeji: Statuen und Büsten von Herrschern und Bürgern. Worms, Germany: Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2008.

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    Catalogue of the large bronze sculptures recovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. These include the full-scale bronze statues recovered at the Basilica of Herculaneum and the handful of bronze busts, such as the one depicting Lucius Caecilius Jucundus, from Pompeii.

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  • Stefani, Grete. “Le statue del Macellum di Pompei.” Ostraka 15 (2006): 195–230.

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    This article discusses the recovery and placement of a series of statues representing the Imperial family in a cult room built in the Macellum (meat market) of Pompeii. The statues belonged to an Augusteum (Imperial cult room) displaying members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, including Augustus, Livia, Drusus, Tiberius, and Germanicus.

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  • Tronchin, Francesca. “The Sculpture of the Casa di Octavius Quartio at Pompeii.” In Pompeii: Art, Industry and Infrastructure. Edited by Eric Poehler, Miko Flohr, and Kevin Cole, 33–49. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011.

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    The chapter discusses the recovery and arrangement of the twenty statuettes in the House of Octavius Quartio (II.2.2). The range of images indicate the priorities of the owner to decorate the house and garden with copies of popular originals and Egyptianizing works.

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  • von Rohden, Hermann. Die Terrakotten von Pompeji. Stuttgart: Spemann, 1880.

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    Catalogue of the terracotta ornaments recovered at Pompeii until 1880. Some of the artifacts discussed in this volume have since been lost and do not appear in De Franciscis 1990. It is the only volume with catalogue entries on architectural terracottas.

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  • Wohlmayr, Wolfgang. Studien zur Idealplastik der Vesuvstädte. Buchloe, Germany: Obermayer, 1991.

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    The author discusses a series of case studies of statue groupings recovered in various contexts in Pompeii and environs, including the House of the Vettii (VI.15.1), the House of M. Lucretius (IX.3.5), the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Isis, the villa of Oplontis, the villa of the Pisonii. In the second section, he provides a catalogue of 113 recovered sculptures arranged by theme.

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Natural History, Environment, and Gardens

The environment around ancient Pompeii lies beneath volcanic debris and modern buildings. Reconstructing the ancient landscape, its spatial organization, and the effect of the earlier topography on the urbanscape is an arduous task. Much of the scholarship focuses on gardens and evidence from within the excavated city. Patrons coordinated garden displays into controlled geometric arrangements and staged views designed to emphasize the ordering of nature and to delight the viewer. The author of Jashemski 1979 is a towering figure in Pompeian studies with her analysis of the gardens in the houses and villas of Pompeii. Jashemski and Meyer 2002 gives a comprehensive approach on the natural environment as an edited volume that looks at issues as diverse as eruption dynamics and bone studies. Borgongino 2006 is an invaluable resource on the surviving organic finds from Pompeii. Bergmann 2009 introduces the architecture of gardens and their importance in the domestic sphere. Bergmann 2019 highlights villa architecture and its relationship to paintings of gardens. Barrett 2019 reconstructs the presence of Egyptian painted landscapes in the gardens of Pompeii.

  • Barrett, Caitlín E. Domesticating Empire: Egyptian Landscapes in Pompeian Gardens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

    DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190641351.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Nioltic scenes and Aegyptica are popular themes in Pompeian ornamentation. The author traces their significance in the gardens of Pompeii in the House of the Ephebe (I.7.10–12), House of the Faun (VI.12.2-7), House of the Medic (VIII.5.24), and House of Acceptus and the Euhodia (VIII.5.39). The author also traces the water systems and the other ornamental elements in gardens. Appendixes list the known Egyptian ornamentations.

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  • Bergmann, Bettina. “Staging the Supernatural: Interior Gardens of Pompeian Houses.” In Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples. Edited by Carol C. Mattusch, 53–69. Washington: London: Thames and Hudson, 2009.

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    The author is an authority in Roman painting and garden layouts in Pompeii. This chapter is a useful starting point to look at Pompeian gardens, their layout, and their interaction with architecture and painting.

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  • Bergmann, Bettina. “Reading the Garden Paintings in Villa A at Oplontis.” In Oplontis: Villa A (“of Poppaea”) at Torre Annunziata, Italy. Vol. 2, The Decorations: Painting, Stucco, Pavements, Sculptures. Edited by John R. Clarke and Nayla K. Muntasser, 433–488. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 2019.

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    This chapter delineates the interaction between garden paintings and orchestrated views at the Villa of Oplontis. Bergmann demonstrates how architects deliberately juxtaposed views through the architecture to frame the garden paintings in the villa and the surrounding garden landscape.

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  • Borgongino, Michele. Archeobotanica: reperti vegetali da Pompei e dal territorio vesuviano. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 16. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2006.

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    Catalogue of the known organic finds from Pompeii and adjacent sites. The finds help to contextualize the plants grown in gardens and farms in and around the city.

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  • Jashemski, Wilhelmina. F. The Gardens of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Villas Destroyed by Vesuvius. New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas, 1979.

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    This volume presents twenty years of investigations on the composition and layout of the gardens (tombs, villas, houses, and wall paintings) in Pompeii and adjacent sites. They were controlled spaces where geometric ornamental patterns ordered nature into predetermined arrangements. An appendix appeared as a second volume in 1993.

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  • Jashemski, Wilhelmina F., Kathryn L. Gleason, Kim J. Hartswick, and Amina-Aïcha Malek, eds. Gardens of the Roman Empire. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

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    Although the volume has the much broader scope of covering the Roman Empire, the authors of the essays often return to the rich evidence that Pompeii provides in various references to the organized gardens scattered throughout the city.

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  • Jashemski, Wilhelmina F., and Frederick G. Meyer. The Natural History of Pompeii. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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    This volume is a collection of essays that discuss the natural history of Pompeii. Some of the contributions are scientific studies of the territory, wood, pollen, etc. and the dynamics of the eruption. Other studies focus on the flora and fauna found in the frescoes and mosaics of Pompeii.

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Inscriptions and Graffiti

This is perhaps the richest and best-documented corpus of evidence coming from Pompeii and environs. It supplies a window into patronage of monuments and tombs as well as the everyday use of public and private buildings. Mommsen 1883 (inscriptions) and Zangmeister and Schoene 1871 (graffiti and other written sources) are the origins of ongoing catalogues of writings that are illustrated in Varone 2012 and Varone and Stefani 2009 with archival photographs. Vetter 1953 treats Oscan inscriptions in the native Samnite language before the establishment of the colony with recent updates in Crawford, et al. 2011. Sabbatini Tumolesi 1980 provides a catalogue of the known announcements of gladiatorial contests in the city. Wallace 2005 introduces the types of inscriptions at Pompeii. Benefiel 2016 gives an overview of the social aspects of graffiti in Pompeii. Cooley and Cooley 2014 provides an overview of the most compelling graffiti and other sources.

  • Benefiel, Rebecca R. J. “The Culture of Writing Graffiti within Domestic Spaces at Pompeii.” In Inscriptions in the Private Sphere in the Greco-Roman World. Edited by Rebecca R. J. Benefiel and Peter Keegan, 80–110. Brill Studies in Greek and Roman Epigraphy 7. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2016.

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    Benefiel is a leading authority on the graffiti in Pompeii and also directs the Ancient Graffiti Project (cited under Digital Catalogues). Here the author gives an overview on the domestic context of graffiti in Pompeii, including their location, contents, and meaning in households.

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  • Cooley, Alison, and Melvin G. L. Cooley. Pompeii and Herculaneum: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 2014.

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    The volume is an anthology of the literary and epigraphic sources for Pompeii and Herculaneum by time period. It supplies a glimpse into who organized festivals, paid for construction projects, and sought public recognition.

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  • Crawford, Michael H., Gabriel Bodard, William M. Broadhead, and Errietta Bissa, eds. Imagines Italicae: A Corpus of Italic Inscriptions. 3 vols. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 110. London: Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2011.

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    The scope of this three-volume publication is much larger than Pompeii with about 1,000 catalogue entries of inscriptions and texts in Sabellic languages, including Oscan. The editors organize the volumes geographically and treat Pompeii. They sometimes revise conclusions found in Vetter 1953.

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  • Mommsen, Theodore, ed. Inscriptiones Bruttiorum, Lucaniae, Campaniae, Siciliae, Sardiniae Latinae. Corpus inscriptionum latinarum vol. X. Berolini, Italy: Reimerum, 1883.

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    The Corpus inscriptionum latinarum (CIL) series collects known Latin inscriptions into a catalogue. This volume includes those carved in stone from Pompeii. These can supply a window into patronage and funerary practices/tomb ownership in the city.

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  • Sabbatini Tumolesi, Patrizia. Gladiatorum paria: annunci di spettacoli gladiatorii a Pompei. Tituli 1. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1980.

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    This volume provides a catalogue of the known painted inscriptions announcing gladiatorial games. Part 1 lists and translates announcements following the names of the benefactors. Part 2 analyzes the structure and the organization of the games.

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  • Varone, Antonio, ed. Titulorum graphio exaratorum qui in C.I.L. Vol. IV. collecti sunt: imagines. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 31. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2012.

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    Collects the known archival images of graffiti recovered at Pompeii and recorded in the CIL IV volume. This information helps to assess the character of building exteriors their ornamentation, or lack thereof, at the time of the eruption.

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  • Varone, Antonio, and Grete Stefani, eds. Titulorum pictorum pompeianorum qui in C.I.L. Vol. IV collecti sunt: imagines. Studi della Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei 29. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 2009.

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    Collects the known archival images of the commercial inscriptions (tituli picti) recovered on the pottery discovered at Pompeii and recorded in the CIL IV volume. They supply a picture of ownership and the use of space in the city.

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  • Vetter, Emil. Handbuch der italischen Dialekte. Heidelberg, Germany: Carl Winter, 1953.

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    Collects the known inscriptions and graffiti written in the Oscan (Samnite) language. They supply a window into the use of space and patronage of public buildings as well as the social and economic organization of Samnite Pompeii.

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  • Wallace, Rex. An Introduction to Wall Inscriptions from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Mundelein, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 2005.

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    Introduction to the common abbreviations and messages conveyed by the graffiti and inscriptions at Pompeii. The book is divided into two sections: an introduction to inscriptions followed by twenty-four examples. It includes lists of common abbreviations used in the inscriptions.

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  • Zangmeister Karl, and Richard Schoene, eds. Inscriptiones parietariae Pompeianae Herculanenses Stabianae. Corpus inscriptionum latinarum vol. IV. Berolini, Italy: Reimerum, 1871.

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    First of a series of volumes recording the painted inscriptions, tituli picti, and graffiti recovered at Pompeii. They give a glimpse into trade, patronage, and the use of space in Pompeii.

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Society

The complexity of Pompeian society is slowly coming into view as studies continue to shed light on the social factors that shaped the city. Clarke 2003 and Hartnett 2017 look at daily life in the art and architecture of domestic spaces, commercial establishments, and the streets. Zanker 1998 offers a sociohistorical overview of the elite classes who financed the construction projects in Pompeii. Savunen 1997 assesses the place of women in Pompeian society and their role in the domestic sphere and as patrons of public buildings. Hackworth Petersen 2011 as well as Joshel and Hackworth Petersen 2014 examine the world of freedmen and slaves and their place in domestic spaces and the urban layout. Guzzo and Scarano Ussani 2000 as well as McGinn 2002 and Levin-Richardson 2019 examine the world of prostitution and the layout of brothels. Jacobelli 2003 gives an account of the lowest social class, namely gladiators, as well as an architectural and social overview of the amphitheater. Lazer 2009 takes a forensic approach, examining the victims of the eruption. Della Corte 1965 attempts to identify house owners based on electoral inscriptions.

  • Clarke, John R. Art in the Lives of Ordinary Romans: Visual Representation and Non-elite Viewers in Italy, 100 B.C. - A.D. 315. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

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    This book gives a much broader approach to Roman visual culture, emphasizing how the non-elite classes viewed and commissioned art in antiquity. Since Pompeii is such a rich source of information on the topic, many buildings and their paintings feature prominently throughout the volume.

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  • Della Corte, Matteo. Case ed abitanti di Pompei. Naples, Italy: Fausto Fiorentino, 1965.

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    A controversial, and so far the only, attempt at connecting individual houses and properties in Pompeii with their ancient owners. Della Corte bases many of his conclusions on the election notices recovered on the facades of houses, which he assumed reflected the identity of the owners.

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  • Guzzo, Pietro G., and Vincenzo Scarano Ussani. Veneris figurae: immagini di prostituzione e sfruttamento a Pompei. Naples, Italy: Electa Napoli, 2000.

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    This volume provides a comprehensive study of the erotic images recovered at Pompeii. It includes the images from brothels and baths as well as the location of those found in the various houses in the city.

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  • Hackworth Petersen, Lauren. The Freedman in Roman Art and Art History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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    This book examines the role of the freedmen, an important social class, in Roman art and architecture. Although banned from political office, freedmen could be appointed to the Augustales—a priesthood charged with the well-being of the imperial cult. From this post they could finance public buildings and entertainment. The volume has a broader scope, but the author uses the evidence from Pompeii with examples such as the Temple of Isis, House of Caecilius Jucundus (V.1.26), House of Octavius Quartio (II.2.2.), and various funerary structures.

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  • Hartnett, Jeremy. The Roman Street: Urban Life and Society in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

    DOI: 10.1017/9781316226438Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A study of the Roman street where social classes would mingle daily. The volume looks at issues of display and self-aggrandizement, including architecture and art, in Pompeii as well as in neighboring Herculaneum and in Rome.

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  • Jacobelli, Luciana. Gladiators at Pompeii. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.

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    This volume looks at gladiatorial games in the Roman world, with a special focus on the evidence from Pompeii, including the architectural design of the amphitheater and its daily use. Jacobelli describes the gladiators, organizers, venues, and events at Pompeii to provide a comprehensive overview of the sport and its facilities in the city.

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  • Joshel, Sandra R., and Lauren Hackworth Petersen. The Material Life of Roman Slaves. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

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    The premise of this volume is to give a broad analysis of the material life of slaves in the Roman world. The evidence taken into consideration comes from a variety of sources, including literature, architectural analysis identifying the spaces of slaves, and artifacts. The sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum both feature prominently.

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  • Lazer, Estelle. Resurrecting Pompeii. London: Routledge, 2009.

    DOI: 10.4324/9780203885161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Important study of the skeletal remains recovered at Pompeii. Lazer divides the book into two sections. Part 1 discusses the final days of Pompeii, with a focus on the fetishization of bodies, as well as assessments of population estimates and the effect of the disaster. Part 2 looks at the victims in an osteological study and its main conclusions.

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  • Levin-Richardson, Sarah. The Brothel of Pompeii: Sex, Class, and Gender at the Margins of Roman Society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

    DOI: 10.1017/9781108655040Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The brothel at Pompeii is arguably one of its most visited tourist attractions. This volume offers a comprehensive analysis of the principal brothel at Pompeii, including the finds, architecture, and graffiti as well as its social role.

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  • McGinn, Thomas A. “Pompeian Brothels and Social History,” in Pompeian Brothels, Pompeii’s Ancient History, Mirrors and Mysteries, Art and Nature at Oplontis, and the Herculaneum Basilica, by Thomas A. McGinn et al., 7–46. Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series 47. Providence, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2002.

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    An analysis of the social role of brothels in Pompeii and their distribution through the city. The author sets out a series of criteria to identify brothel locations. He then provides a map with their spatial distribution and a catalogue of the forty-one identified locations in an appendix.

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  • Savunen, Liisa. Women in the Urban Texture of Pompeii. Pukkila, Finland: Surniloffset, 1997.

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    Pompeii preserves evidence on the role of women in the city where they engaged in activities such as commissioning and financing buildings. This study is the first comprehensive approach on the place of women in Pompeii in public and private life.

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  • Zanker, Paul. Pompeii: Public and Private Life. Revealing Antiquity 11. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

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    Zanker looks at the historical and social development of Pompeii through the lens of its public and private buildings, focusing on their appearance and internal decor. The book is divided into three main parts: Townscape and Domestic Taste, Urban Space as a Reflection of Society, and the Domestic Arts in Pompeii. Translated from the original German.

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Commercial Spaces and Economy

Efforts to assess the Pompeian economy are relatively recent. In terms of architecture, these studies tell us about the distribution and character of commercial establishments, workshops, and the organization of the agricultural landscape (farms, villas, etc.) in and around the city. They also supply a glimpse into the design and layout of production facilities such as bakeries, pottery workshops, and fulleries. Jongman 1988 is a seminal work that, perhaps misguidedly, isolated Pompeian studies from broader discussions of the Roman economy because of the limited size of the city. However, Flohr and Wilson 2017 repositions Pompeii in broader discussions on the Roman economy and connects the urban layout with economic production. Ellis 2018 places Pompeii within a broader spectrum of Roman retail, trade, and the development of shops. Mayeske 1979 offers an overview of bakeries. Curtis 1979 and Étienne and Mayet 1998 supply an overview of the production of garum (fish sauce), a delicacy for which Pompeii was renowned. Peña and McCallum 2009 and McCallum 2011 discuss pottery manufacture. Flohr 2012 and Flohr 2013 discuss domestic workshops and textile production. Thomas 2015 provides a starting point for research into the wine trade and its facilities. De Simone 2017 provides an overview of agricultural production.

  • Curtis, Robert I. “The Garum Shop of Pompeii (I, 12, 8).” Cronache pompeiane 5 (1979): 5–23.

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    In antiquity, garum (fish sauce) was one of the premier products produced at Pompeii. The article describes the layout of a Garum shop uncovered in the 1960s. It indicates how the owner modified a previous domestic space into a commercial facility.

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  • De Simone, Girolamo F. “The Agricultural Economy of Pompeii: Surplus and Dependence.” In Economy of Pompeii. Edited by Miko Flohr and Andrew Wilson, 23–51. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

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    Most of the ancient countryside is out of reach buried beneath volcanic debris. The assessment of agricultural production remains a difficult task, but doing so provides an understanding of the interdependence between landscape use and urban development. The author provides an estimate.

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  • Ellis, Steven J. R. The Roman Retail Revolution: The Socio-economic World of the Taberna. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

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    Although the book has a much broader scope, Ellis bases a part of his analysis on the work he has conducted as director of the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia. The book highlights the development of shops and their effect on the commercial, urban, and social landscape of Pompeii.

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  • Étienne, Robert, and François Mayet. “Le garum à Pompéi: production et commerce.” Revue des études anciennes 100.1/2 (1998): 199–215.

    DOI: 10.3406/rea.1998.4726Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Pliny the Elder in his Natural History (HN 31. 94) describes Pompeii as being among the foremost producers of fish sauce (garum) in terms of its quality. In this article, the authors examine the known producers of garum at Pompeii and look at some of the known production facilities.

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  • Flohr, Miko. “Working and Living under One Roof: Workshops in Pompeian Atrium Houses.” In Privata Luxuria: Towards an Archaeology of Intimacy; Pompeii and beyond; International Workshop Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, 24–25 March 2011. Edited by Anna Anguissola, 51–72. Munich: Utz, 2012.

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    The author examines the evidence for the combination of workshops and domestic spaces in Pompeii. He singles out production and workshop facilities, such as bakeries, textile and dye workshops, and fullonicae (fulleries) often located adjacent to the entrances of atrium houses.

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  • Flohr, Miko. “The Textile Economy of Pompeii.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 26 (2013): 53–78.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1047759413000068Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Flohr discusses the evidence for textile production and washing at Pompeii, in the process giving the reader an overview of production facilities scattered in the city. The focus is on the last decades of Pompeii.

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  • Flohr, Miko, and Andrew Wilson. The Economy of Pompeii. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

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    The book contains fourteen conference articles that supply a picture of the interaction between economic factors and urban development. It divides into four main sections: City and Hinterland; Quality of Life; Economic Life and Its Contexts; Money and Trade. Chapters specific to architecture discuss the movement network; sewage; urban production economy; economy of painting; agricultural production; population; and consumption.

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  • Jongman, Willem. The Economy and Society of Pompeii. Amsterdam: Gieben, 1988.

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    Seminal book on the economy of ancient Pompeii. The book takes an empirical approach based on ideas developed by Moses Finley and his views of a primitive ancient economy. The book is divided into two parts: “Economy” (chapters 2–5), which also provides an overview of urban manufacturing facilities, and “Society” (chapters 6–8).

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  • Mayeske, Betty Jo. “Bakers, Bakeshops, and Bread: A Social and Economic Study.” In Pompeii and the Vesuvian Landscape: Papers of a Symposium Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Washington Society and the Smithsonian Institution. Edited by Archaeological Society of Washington and Smithsonian Institution, 39–51. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1979.

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    The author supplies an overview of the production mechanisms for bread at bakeries in Pompeii. The chapter features a catalogue of selected bakeries in the city with plans and descriptions of their layout.

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  • McCallum, Myles. “Pottery Production in Pompeii: An Overview.” In Pompeii: Art Industry and Infrastructure. Edited by Eric Poehler, Miko Flohr, and Kevin Cole, 103–114. Oxford: Oxbow, 2011.

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    The article offers a comprehensive and concise summary of the known pottery production economy at Pompeii. The overview also discusses the location of pottery workshops and their operation in the city.

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  • Peña, J. Theodore, and Myles McCallum. “The Production and Distribution of Pottery at Pompeii: A Review of the Evidence; Part 1, Production.” American Journal of Archaeology 113.1 (2009): 57–79.

    DOI: 10.3764/aja.113.1.57Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Comprehensive review of the evidence for pottery production at Pompeii and the distribution of workshops. A follow-up article, authored by Peña alone, appeared in the next fascicule of the same journal: “Part 2, The Material Basis for Production and Distribution” American Journal of Archaeology, 113, no.2: 165–201.

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  • Thomas, Michael L. “Oplontis B: A Center for the Distribution and Export of Vesuvian Wine.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 28 (2015): 403–411.

    DOI: 10.1017/S104775941500255XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    At the time of the eruption, the commercial emporium of Oplontis B functioned as a wine distribution center for the Pompeian countryside. The author provides an overview of the structure and its operation in the wine trade.

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Politics

The world of Pompeian politics was an affair of the elite classes who ran for office in regular elections. These elite classes were expected to give part of their wealth to society in a practice known as eurgetism, which would include financing the construction of public buildings. The practice sparked rivalry in the patronage of projects and ostentatious display in domestic and funerary structures. Election notices painted throughout the city provide evidence that has yielded three studies on Pompeian politics. Castrén 1975 looks at the families in Pompeii and their relationships, which can often trace back to the patronage of public buildings and tombs. Mouritsen 1988 and Franklin 2001 offer in-depth studies of the political history of the city.

  • Castrén, Paavo. Ordo Populusque Pompeianus: Polity and Society in Roman Pompeii. Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae 8. Rome: Bardi, 1975.

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    Fundamental index of the known families/clans (gentes) and their branches (gentilicia) who lived in Pompeii. Castrén provides discussions on the origins and arrival of the families in the city as well as a prosopographical study of individuals and the social layout of Pompeii. Some of the conclusions are now outdated, but this book remains an essential study to understand who’s who in Pompeii and, by extension, what they built.

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  • Franklin, James L., Jr. Pompeis Difficile Est: Studies in the Political Life of Imperial Pompeii. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.3998/mpub.23091Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Franklin uses the epigraphical evidence gathered from inscriptions, graffiti, and election notices to trace the political history of Pompeii from the time of Augustus to the eruption of Vesuvius. The chapters are divided into the main political periods of the early Empire and follow the activities of the most prominent Pompeian families.

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  • Mouritsen, Henrik. Elections, Magistrates, and Municipal Élite: Studies in Pompeian Epigraphy. Analecta Romana Instituti Danici 15. Rome: “L’Erma” di Bretschneider, 1988.

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    Mouritsen studies the political history of Pompeii by means of the programmata (election notices) that excavators and scholars have identified painted on Pompeian building facades. The book is divided into four parts: the history of the scholarship, the political institutions, a description of the recovered programmata, and a general discussion.

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