Ch.14 : Description of the House in Pompei
Pompeian house was, from the outset, Latin house, later the Roman house as we do know the texts of the authors, the map of Rome under Septimius Severus, antique substructures often unintelligible before the discovery of Pompeii. We will see the house of Pompeii suffer as public monuments, Greek influence but without losing its original character of Latin house. Greek influence may enlarge, extend, rather, double, triple, even by larger apartments the old old house, but it will not enter, it will not attack its essential parts, which, under all the influences in all principalities, retain their original character.
The main part, the heart of the old Latin house is the Atrium; is the development of the embryonic party, its development that created the Roman house. In this unique piece is necessarily accomplished all acts of domestic life: there kept fire and water, v was cooking, they sacrificed there, the food was, we slept there, lived there during the hours left as free outdoor pursuits; the smoke of the domestic hearth fled, not without blackening the walls, through the open door or a hole in the middle of cleaning the roof.
Such was also the atrium;the first was a better atrium built hut. The home blackening its walls, it took its name: ater atrium, black and, through the centuries, this name has survived; . home still called the home hearth. The marital bed, the torus genialis, stood in a small recess, opposite the door; in another place, the home; a brighter spot, probably near the opening where, in the rays of light played the smoke rising, the table where we ate. Finally, with the progress of civilization and new needs it generates, Atrium develops, rayon, is surrounded by rooms. It is in this form that we appear to Pompeii the oldest houses.
Taking as type of Pompeian house, and also the Roman house, the house of Pansa, we will first study in this rich house, one of the richest of Pompeii, the first part, distinct and well separated from the others, the part corresponding to the oldest house, the one that shines around the atrium.
The entrance to the house was often preceded by a vestibule; the word comes from vestibulum stabulimi, stable, because, originally, before the house extended with the stable herd, the farmyard. This hallway, remembering the ancient times, was in Pompeii absent or embryonic. Here indeed, even in wealthy homes, or at home Holconius Pansa, or in the house called "the Faun" a long queue of customers did not have to wait, as in patrician residences of Rome, opening doors . The vestibule of the house of Pansa was hardly a walk outside the door. After having passed, we immediately crossed a threshold beautiful hard stone and was in the fauces, corridor further to the front door and leading to the atrium.
We have seen to surround the atrium of various parts: in front of the door, the tablinum or lounge, in place once occupied by the bed; dormitorium; right and left residential rooms cubiculum, dormitorium; as a result of these rooms, two open rooms, alae without properly determined job, called, according to their situation, ala dextera right wing or ala sinistrae, left wing. One of the two rooms to the right or left of tablinum, usually served as a dining room; often they ate in the tablinum or on the upper floor which, because of this ancient custom, the rooms have retained the general name of cenaculum, dining room. The two parts placed to the right and left of the fauces, used for domestic purposes or as shops were rented; il en était ainsi chez Pansa. it was so in Pansa. The kitchen and often the lararium with her, had emigrated in public rooms.
However, the atrium had kept many memories of its former state Universal room: the hole where once fled the smoke was still called the opening of compluvium where, gutters, rainwater falling in catchment, basin dug in the center of the atrium; elegant curbstone of a well. marbled or terracotta, recalled the old vessel which was kept water; on a marble table called cartibulum, Remember the old dining table, were exposed, as on dressers, beautiful bronze or silver tableware.
Such, in its essential parts, home of Pompeii to the oldest time in which it is possible for us to go back. And it is noteworthy that all parts have Latin names, because it has not received the refinements of Greece: vestibulum, fauces, atrium, cubiculum, dormitorium. ala, tablìnum, cartibuluin. ala, tqblìnum, cartibuluin. Despite the changes introduced, the atrium is still at that time the center of the house; where, surrounded by her maids busy and the work of her sex, the woman is standing, all without ensuring that nothing can, unwittingly, into the house or out. A small garden, often adorned with a few columns, lay behind the tablinum.
However, under Greek influence, increasing the well-being and luxury and also the largest family, child marriages, are too narrow ancient remains and we must prepare to migrate out of the atrium. Is surrounded by a colonnade the center of the expanded garden, adorned with a beautiful pool and it takes centrai the Greek name of the peristyle; the corridor leading to it is called andron; around the peristyle build rooms, which, little by little, serving pieces, become the home of the family. Dining rooms and lounges, the place of the house where only penetrate the intimate. We see on the plane of the house of Pansa, in the peristyle, we have kept right a large room, dining room for many meals, called oecus, and two smaller rooms with a corridor leading to a door on the street called posticum
In one room lay the skeletons of several women dressed in their jewelry. The rest of that side of the peristyle B, against the house and turned into independent apartment had its entrance on the street but in most homes, both sides of the peristyle were trimmed rooms. Basically. next to a smaller room, a large room occupies relative to the peristyle. a situation similar to that of tablinum the bottom of the atrium; was called exedra; it was a meeting place.
. If in the first part of the house, properly part Latin, the names of the various parts are Latin, in this second part. andron,peristylium, oecus, exedra. added under Greek influence, the names are Greek: a triclinium and also the name of both a triple bed table, and, by extension, the dining room arranged to receive the bed.
To the left of the exedra, in the house of Pansa, a corridor leading to a portico supported by eleven columns, occupying the full width of the house and large garden are followed. In this garden, at the time of the excavations, still was found in the ashes and lapilli in the field has in flowerbeds; tank, pipes there distributing water for irrigation.
At the end of the peristyle, left, is the entrance of the kitchen with a stove on which one could heat four vessels at a time; above can still be seen painted on the wall, the images of the Lares and Penates. From the kitchen, a door led to the latrine by a vestibule which also opened a small stable with its trough, probably for a donkey, because the narrow passage leading to it would have been impractical for a horse. This is not, as is supposed, by the atrium and the peristyle that the donkey entered the house and came out, but by a large room that had a large door on the street. It also rarely went out, probably being used at the mill or culture of the garden.
Such, in the heyday of art, yaws a rich house of Pompeii, a Roman house too. Pansa's house is at the center of an island (VI, 6), that is to say, a field whose four sides are bordered by streets. It is probable that originally, with its garden, it occupied the whole island. Later, the land becoming scarce and expensive, and therefore, the price of high rents, were built apartment houses along the street, reserving for the garden area behind the house. Thus, each side of the door of the house of Pansa, we see shops. One however communicates with the atrium by a Chamber; is that in this shop, the owner should exercise, by one of his slaves, a trade; that is, by freeing one of his slaves, he has granted it a local and a base of goods, remaining himself interested in this case because of his advances. It is also possible that, apart from the rare circumstances where the front door was opened, the shop and the room that follows, have served together Shop, entered the house, the shopkeeper being at the same time concierge.
A bakery occupies the left corner of the house. The shops, where no doubt they sold bread, had their shops back and communicated with the great hall where the mills were located, boilers, trouble and oven. The back room was used as a store. Encor, boutiques shops with their background, and a staircase leading to the upper floor or pergula remains the shopkeeper and his family. In these stores have been found colors. At the other corner of the front, parts were to be used in industry; a room containing a well and a large oven; a staircase in a room, went up to the pergula. Apartments for rent completely independent of the house, were also present here.
Thus were diminished rich houses at that time or, because of the densest population and the price of land, the owner wanted to pull the insula that he had the best of it entirely. Perhaps to establish settlers Sylla, shops were built around the islands completely occupied by a rich house and a large garden. In the same house we gave a general classification of all parts without assigning a specific allocation. A more detailed research, explain the richest part of the house.