Ch.19 : Street Sights
Pompeii was, for its time, a large provincial town, with its life and activities.
The streets of Pompeii were offering in the popular neighborhoods, the street Stabiae for example, an animated show: all large shops open their exhibition goods, many thermopolium the densely populated and used to living outside, filling the city noise and shouting. All along the street open to cars like the street Stabiae and Rue de Nola, holes, crossing right through the corner of the curb, took the place of rings to tie animals. There are none in the street of Abundance, both ends of which are not accessible to cars or in the streets blocked by terminals planted in the middle of the roadway or by a mobile unit. The facades of the houses were decorated with paintings of a sometimes shady arbor including four square brick or some stones protected the foot. A small stone planted against the wall made him immune to shocks.
Here and there some shelter under a portico columns a the sidewalk, for example, in the Forum streets of Nola to Navy Street. Benches in front of houses with long conversations inviting summer evenings with neighbors. If a wall angle was advanced, a commander bench allowed the sidewalk to see it from afar passersby.
Election posters covered the walls of their large red letters. It also showed rental opinion: "For rent in Arriana island, dating from the first juliust, shops with rooms above", "rent the property of Julia Felix shops with rooms above the baths of Venus, a first floor "; lost or stolen objects with promise of reward: "A copper pot has disappeared from the shop, one who will bring fifteen sesterces; one that will know the thief also receive".
Walkers were reading on albums, (posters ..) communications, reviews, game announcements, shows. For retailers represented geometric designs boutiques, craft instruments, talking image: men carrying an amphora for wine merchant goat to a dairy, small frames containing rosettes, checkered various stones, reported perhaps mosaic manufacturers, inlay; an inn was taught as an elephant.
Around the fountains household crowding. A high water placed in the mountain, serving more associated cities, brought in Pompeii. by one of its arms, the water, thanks to the pressure rising in distance away from tanks placed on columns and from there was distributed in surrounding neighborhoods. Two wide grooves in these columns housed the riser and the downcomer. . Smaller pipes embranchaient on larger through small square boxes, such as lead pipes. In front of the back door of the house Vettii, we see in the sidewalk purposely left open at the foot of a column, the junction of many pipes. Everywhere in Pompeii, lead pipes are exposed They run parallel on both sidewalks or side by side on the same, emerging from underground at the curb, the climb, run along the walls of houses, passing under or passing through or simply enter the house by the fauces.
Smaller pipes stand to win peristyles or other parts of the house, feed the fountains and small statues and basins impluviums enter even in the columns of the peristyle atrium or to come out of water jets. Deliver key or close the passage of water, often hidden under the cartibulum. The pipes flow into the tanks, swimming pools, public fountains. These fountains are close columns; their model is not uniform but whose basin is semi-circular: they consist of a square basin that dominates a cippus decorated with various topics through which water escaped Minerva heads of Medusa, Mercury, d Apollo, the goddess Salus, lion, tiger, bull, fox; tragic mask, Silenus and also cock placed on the ballot box, removing a hare eagle, gourd with his belt, three concentric circles. The oldest fountains are tuff, the large number of limestone from the Roman period, two marble. Before the temple of Jupiter Milichios and Rue de Nola, two fountains without basin, are protected by a game stone.
The arcs of triumph of Tiberius Forum and Mercury Street were used as climbing column for water. At the foot of the arc of the street of Mercury, remain the remains of two marble fountains.
At the top of the city, at the door of Vesuvius, it was discovered in 1902 a castle of water fed by an aqueduct. It has not yet followed the pipeline. Vitruvius, in his treaties, said building at the entrance to the aqueduct in the city, near the city walls, a water tower with three emissaries of each of which share a pipe, the overflow of the two emissaries aside must flow into the middle intended for wash-houses and fountains;one of the two bathrooms will be reserved for the third individuals. The Castle of the door of Vesuvius was not to provide a large amount of water; However, it is fully compliant to the precept of Vitruvius.
In the interior, over the aqueduct inlet mouth, a painting represents the genius of water and, with him, three nymphs; probably the nymphs of the sources that fed. Before winning outfalls, water went over two small walls that held sands and heavy impurities. This castle probably served the slums near the door Stabiae.
Near the Forum, a tank was ready, in case of accident or major repair to "aqued cs", providing its reserve.
Permanent altars, dedicated to publici Lares or protective deities, stood in the streets. . One of them bears the name of the goddess Salus. Another is formed of an inverted millstone. Above the altars were paintings of deities. Sometimes these paintings took the place of altar: such, at the corner of Abundance, the images of the twelve great gods, a bust of Minerva, and a niche between the two snakes, a painted altar painted Jupiter bottom of a niche. Near the altar, a bench inviting passersby to rest. These public lararia also took the form of a small chapel.
The abundance of the street was connected to the Forum: rich people living there; luxurious shops should be especially on the south side. Forbidden to cars, she, like the street of Mercury, an aristocratic aspect, livelier though: see the street of Mercury, and higher. The more it advances towards the west, over the streets of Nola becomes aristocratic.
The ugly area of Pompei, poorly attended, suspicious houses, is close to the beautiful street of Abundance and especially the fourth region occupies the islands. The lower part of the street Stabiae represents the poor and popular district, especially in the first region.
The sidewalks were very high in Pompeii because of inadequate sewage, heavy rains and storms invaded the roadway. Flat stones, at intervals, linked the sidewalks, helpful even by dry weather because the street so we could cross without descend and ascend the high border; sometimes a step cut into the edge allowed to ride more easily where the flat stones were missing; between these stones, once the ruts that the wheels of the chariots who dug and thus, how the traffic was between the stones. The paving of the streets is made of large blocks of polished lava.
Two snakes on the walls equivalent to the well known opinion: Defence to file ... Rue du Brothel, the two snakes are accompanied by an inscription: "// is no place here for the idle; pass, you who would like to stop you. " Elsewhere, a man in front of two snakes posture "Cacator, fears retribution" next to it stands Nearly two snakes reads: "Good health, cacator, provided you overtake this place." On a wall in the street of the house of silver Noces a painted inscription in metric part, the menace of a penalty stercorarius would be surprised. In the corner of a wall hidden by a masonry block, painted reminds Minerva without doubt-compliance with the walls.
The graffites traced inscriptions at the forefront on the walls, are the attractions of Pompeii It surprises ideas, thoughts of the crowd in their flavor, on historical events contexts, elections, loyalty to the emperors, the highest monuments, religious feelings, actors, gladiators, thermopolium, inns, trades, whenever the occasion arose.
Often poets wrote verses in fashion: Virgil especially Lucretius, Propertius, Catullus. We meet the first words of the Aeneid and the nature of things of Lucretia.
Graffites also familiar, many are related to love: first the principle: "No one is good if he has loved." Then a nice compliment to Venus: "To me all the love, I want to break Venus and the coast, to caning, break the back of the goddess"; "she was able to break my tender heart, why do pourrais- not I, with my staff, breaking his head "; these worms are certainly a rejected lover; perhaps one that pushed Serena "Serena has Isidore assej", or Tertius of her friend who received this compliment: "That you're ugly!" All, however, were not so unhappy, that among others who wrote: "Good health to loving; perish that does not love; perish twice defends anyone to love!" And to these delicate: "Today the anger is still recent, beware of appearing"; "Believe me, if she cried love will return." And these: "I write, it is love that tells me and Cupid that guides me; if I die ah, without you, I would be a god!" A nice compliment "? You do not see Venus avé Watched my girlfriend, she is like."
We read of this kind of greeting: "Hi Victoria, may you, or you're sneezing fortunately!" We see that the habit of greeting those who sneeze is older than the Middle Ages; and the New Year wishes: "Blessed January 1 to all of us for years!" Some report their move to a location. : "Such a stopped here," or meeting "Here Romula and Staphylus met"; Staphylus but was fickle as we read elsewhere: "Here Staphylus met Quieta". Sometimes it's a simple hello engraved near the door, a business card: "Aemilius his brother Fortunatus hello" or "hi Cresces to Cissonius". Here is a gracious compliment: "Cestilia, Queen of Pompeii, very gentle soul, hello!" and least friendly greeting: "Samius Cornelius: Fuck you hang or: falls ill"
Follows a curse against an innkeeper: "May you be victim of your fraud innkeeper. You sell us water, and it is you who drink thy wine!" It also states patriotic cheers: "Long live Augustus live the two Fabius Romulus is in heaven!"; a woman's head with the word Romae. The thought that follows is a parasite, "He whom I did not dine is my barbaric"; "Good health to anyone who invites me to dinner." There are those who write their expense: "oil, i pound, 4 aces; straw as 5, 16 as hay; salary of a day, 5 as; sound, as 6; garland, 3 aces; oil, 6 aces. "; others what is due them: "4 ides of February: Here is a detail backyard: "The day before the Calends of May I put the eggs under the hen." The following is a true story: "September 27 a woman Pouzzole birth to three son and two daughters." In Pompeii, as elsewhere, there were pranks; their graffites we will not reproduce prove it. And encor, these two lines several times written on the walls of Pompeii, "O walls, I'm surprised you're not you even collapsed under the weight of so many insanities which cover you!"
The graffites prove that it should not, because of his paintings, his art and environmental influences, watching Pompeii, the Roman era, as a city of Greek spirit. Pompey employed painters who traditionally had, as before, rarely renewed their models; they bought the artworks offered to them; but their thoughts, their readings, their ideas were all Roman. In these inscriptions written spontaneously on the walls, it is the Latin writers, especially poets, whose verses keep coming back; emperors, members of the imperial family are more than once acclaimed it. Pompeii was good, in the year 79 AD, a Roman town completely.