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IX.6.4 Pompeii. House of Pyramus. Rooms v to z, 1, 2 and a’ to e’.

Linked to IX.6.5, IX.6.6 and IX.6.7. Excavated 1878. Bombed in 1943.

 

IX.6.4-7 Pompeii plan.  Based on those in BdI and PPM. The differences are that BdI uses Greek letters for a to e in IX.6.4 and PPM uses a’ to e’ and adds 1, 2 and 3 for the fauces, atrium and peristyle. See BdI, September 1880, p.194. The house at IX.6.4 is linked to the peristyle of house IX.6.5 by a doorway in room ‘z’.

IX.6.4-7 Pompeii plan. Based on those in BdI and PPM.

The differences are that BdI uses Greek letters for a to e in IX.6.4 and PPM uses a’ to e’ and adds 1, 2 and 3 for the fauces, atrium and peristyle.

See BdI, September 1880, p.194.

The house at IX.6.4 is linked to the peristyle of house IX.6.5 by a doorway in room ‘z’.

Key:

 

1:  Vestibule and fauces

2:  Tuscanic atrium

v:  Room to left of entrance, decorated in fourth style

w:  Cubiculum with window

x:  Cubiculum with vaulted niche

y:  Room originally spacious, made smaller by dividing wall

z:  Apotheca leading to peristyle of IX.6.5

a’:  Kitchen with toilet and hearth, above which was a lararium painting

b’:  Uncovered courtyard with niche of the penates

c’:  Tablinum

d’:  Room with window onto courtyard b’

e’:  Room to the right of the entrance, followed by the stairs to the upper floor.

 

According to Sogliano, the doorway at number 4 was the entrance to a modest house, whose entrance fauces was preceded by a short vestibule “1”.

Nothing remained of the decoration of the entrance corridor other than a high zoccolo on a black background with large white veins.

The tuscanic atrium “2” was not yet entirely excavated in the middle (in 1879), and had undecorated walls, other than for the zoccolo which was similar to the entrance corridor.

To the left of the entrance into the atrium was a room “v”, which offered nothing important in its decoration.

To the right was a room e’ which was followed by the stairs to the upper floor.

Leaning on a pilaster between the room and the stairs was a low masonry podium that perhaps held the money chest.

The south side of the atrium was without rooms while on the north were two narrow cubicula “w” and “x”, one with a window and the other with a vaulted niche, in which on the 5th December 1878 the marble bust of a roman person was found.  This portrayed a man in his forties, with short hair (once painted, as it appears from light traces of colour); he had an aquiline nose, cheeks rather full, and a round chin. The left ear was damaged on the edge. The expression of his face was serene, but of mediocre execution.

Opposite the entrance corridor, was the tablinum c’, which was on the eastern side, that to the right had a room still buried d’, and to the left another “y”, originally fairly spacious, which then was made smaller by a dividing wall. The tablinum c’, by a doorway opening in the back wall, led into a locality b’ which was rather coarse and behind it and on the south wall was hollowed out the small niche of the Penates. 

From this room you enter left into an apotheca “z”, (small storeroom or cupboard) next to its entrance and encased in the wall was an armarium.

The apotheca was made from the alteration of the above mentioned larger room, and communicated with the peristyle of IX.6.5.

Finally there was the kitchen a’, with toilet and hearth, above which was a rough lararia painting representing the Genius sacrificing, the serpent and the Lari.

 

Found in the atrium 2 of this house, on the 16 January:

A terracotta bas-relief fragment, 0.13 high, showing a clothed woman lying on a bed,

A jug/pitcher with an epigraph written in black letters: LIQVAMEN OPTIMVM.

On a fragment of an amphora found at the same place, also in black letters, was the inscription:

  Q    CC    VINI

              B

Another amphora had a text that could not be written here, as a reproduction could not be made in facsimile.

See Sogliano, in Notizie degli Scavi, 1879, (p.19-20)

 

IX.6.4, on left, Pompeii. 1964. Looking south along Vicolo di Tesmo.  Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski.  
Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.
J64f1229

IX.6.4, on left, Pompeii. 1964. Looking south along Vicolo di Tesmo.  Photo by Stanley A. Jashemski. 

Source: The Wilhelmina and Stanley A. Jashemski archive in the University of Maryland Library, Special Collections (See collection page) and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial License v.4. See Licence and use details.

J64f1229

 

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005. Looking east across site. The eastern extent of the house can be seen across the centre of the photo, in the middle left. The pile of stones in the middle centre of the picture, against the north-east wall of the kitchen, would be the site of the hearth, with site of lararium painting above it.  The wall with a doorway in room “z”, leading to the peristyle of IX.6.5, can be seen in the wall on the left. According to Garcia y Garcia, during the night bombing of 16th September 1943, the prothyron, the atrium and four nearby rooms adjoining the south and south-west of this house, were hit by a bomb. Also the pavement and street outside were damaged. Another bomb destroyed a good part of the large room on the east of the house and the perimeter eastern wall of the room on the north-east.
See Garcia y Garcia, L., 2006. Danni di guerra a Pompei. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider. (p.153)

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005. Looking east across site.

The eastern extent of the house can be seen across the centre of the photo, in the middle left.

The pile of stones in the middle centre of the picture, against the north-east wall of the kitchen, would be the site of the hearth, with site of lararium painting above it.

The wall with a doorway in room “z”, leading to the peristyle of IX.6.5, can be seen in the wall on the left.

According to Garcia y Garcia, during the night bombing of 16th September 1943, the prothyron, the atrium and four nearby rooms adjoining the south and south-west of this house were hit by a bomb.

Also the pavement and street outside were damaged.

Another bomb destroyed a good part of the large room on the east of the house and the perimeter eastern wall of the room on the north-east.

See Garcia y Garcia, L., 2006. Danni di guerra a Pompei. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider. (p.153)

 

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005. 
Looking north-east across site of garden courtyard and kitchen area, from small room d of IX.6.3.   
The side and rear walls are missing between IX.6.3 and IX.6.4.
The lower left of the picture is the area of a small room d of IX.6.3.
Approximately behind this would have been the garden area of IX.6.4.
According to Boyce and Jashemski, there was an arched lararium niche in the south wall of the garden area.
Boyce said it was called la piccolo nicchia dei Penati, by Not. Scavi, 1879, 20.
See Boyce G. K., 1937. Corpus of the Lararia of Pompeii. Rome: MAAR 14. (p.86, no.429) 
See Jashemski, W. F., 1993. The Gardens of Pompeii, Volume II: Appendices. New York: Caratzas. (p.238)

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005.

Looking north-east across site of garden courtyard and kitchen area, from small room “d” of IX.6.3.   

The side and rear walls are missing between IX.6.3 and IX.6.4.

The lower left of the picture is the area of a small room d of IX.6.3.

Approximately behind this would have been the garden area of IX.6.4.

According to Boyce and Jashemski, there was an arched lararium niche in the south wall of the garden area.

Boyce said it was called la piccolo nicchia dei Penati” by Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità, 1879, 20.

See Boyce G. K., 1937. Corpus of the Lararia of Pompeii. Rome: MAAR 14. (p.86, no.429)

See Jashemski, W. F., 1993. The Gardens of Pompeii, Volume II: Appendices. New York: Caratzas. (p.238)

 

IX.6.4, IX.6.3 and IX.6.g Pompeii. May 2005. Looking west from IX.6.g.
South-east corner of kitchen area of IX.6.4, approximately where the figure is standing.

IX.6.4, IX.6.3 and IX.6.g Pompeii. May 2005. Looking west from IX.6.g.

South-east corner of kitchen area of IX.6.4, approximately where the figure is standing.

 

IX.6.4 and IX.6.g Pompeii. May 2005.  Looking north-west from approximate site of peristyle of IX.6.g, across site of kitchen, garden, and rooms to north of atrium of IX.6.4. On the right of the photo would have been north-west corner of peristyle of IX.6.g, and then the kitchen, and then rooms z and y.

IX.6.4 and IX.6.g Pompeii. May 2005.

Looking north-west from approximate site of peristyle of IX.6.g, across site of kitchen, garden, and rooms to north of atrium of IX.6.4.

On the right of the photo would have been north-west corner of peristyle of IX.6.g, and then the kitchen, and then rooms “z” and “y”.

 

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005. Wall with holes for joists of upper floor.

IX.6.4 Pompeii. May 2005. North wall with holes for joists to support upper floor.

 

According to Mau in BdI, this house, which was joined later to number IX.6.5, was originally an ancient house, however in the interior it seems that there was nothing ancient left other than the ancient pillars on the front part of the atrium, and these because of the well-preserved stucco, could not be exactly examined.

 

The size of the entrance corridor (1,57m wide, and 3,80m to the right, and 3,85m to the left) hint to all the other proportions of those which were found in the atrium (7,4m x 5,5m): it seemed probable that the latter formerly had a greater depth. The wall in front was covered with a rough plaster, the high entrance was 2,64m.  The door was 1,50m distant from the road, leaving next to it a small vestibule divided from the road by a high lava threshold/sill. The position of the door, other than of the threshold, was marked by two limestone pillars protruding a small way from the wall, and it was previously fitted with wooden shutters/folding doors.

 

Between the door and the atrium entrance was preserved on the right, a fragment of a floor in opus signinum, nicely ornamented with lines composed of black and white stones; on the left side it had been destroyed and replaced by a rough floor identical to that of the atrium of IX.6.5, described in BdI, 1880, page 225.

 

The impluvium, covered with stucco, had the usual drain onto the roadway, while from the back part there was a channel, whose origin could not be determined because the rear locations had not yet been cleared.  Behind the impluvium were two large masonry supports for a table.

On the front side of the atrium 2, to the right, leaning against the wall was a base (0.75 x 0.66, and 0.38, high). Notizie degli Scavi, 1879, p. 20 assumed that perhaps this would have supported the arca or money chest.  The walls of the entrance corridor and of the atrium had a high black zoccolo (plinth) with whitish streaks: above they were covered with rough plaster.

 

In the tablinum, a black zoccolo of the same height was divided into panels that had a swan, a griffin, or some other animal in the centre of each and divided by vertical garlands:  above it the rough stucco was divided by means of red rectangular strips.  The doors around the atrium are low (1,74m- 1,95m) and narrow (0.70m-0.82m those of the front side 0.96m all inc.).

 

The stairs in the south-west corner were behind the remains of a decoration in the First style (in e’).

 

All the doors (only those of e’ and "v" could not be verified) had wooden thresholds, and were without shutters, as the doorposts were all covered with plaster.

 

Immediately above the architrave (in “x”) was a vaulted niche (0,45m high, 0,42m wide); here was found, as reported in Notizie 1879, p.20, the marble bust of a roman person.

 

Found in the atrium on the 16th January, 1879 were some bronze and terracotta pots and other items with little interest, "a fragment of terracotta in low relief, 0.13m high, representing a clothed woman, lying on a bed"; 10 circular tesserae of bone (diam. 0.027) marked with the numbers I, II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIIII, X, XI, XII: an amphora, a neck of an amphora and a jug/pitcher with inscriptions.

 

The walls of room e’, after the construction of the stairs, were covered with rough plaster with a flesh-coloured zoccolo: later still of a simple decoration with white in the style of the last days of Pompeii, preserved only on the right wall. Two windows overlooked the roadway; one near the south-west corner narrowed towards the outside.

 

Room “v”: simply decorated in the last style (IV Style) on a white background, had a window 0.89 high, 0.62 wide.

 

Room “w”: with flesh-coloured plaster, it had a window above the entrance and in the wall at the rear the holes for the support of some shelves.

 

Room “x”: was painted simply on a white background in the last style: in the door-post the holes for the closure could be seen. Also preserved was the decoration of the upper rooms, made in Second style in imitation of an incrustation of coloured marble. 

 

Room “y”: was painted more simply also on a white background, before this decoration it communicated with the atrium of IX.6.5 by means of a door (or a window?) made with a vault under the stairs made here in the ala room “d” (of IX.6.5.)

 

Room d’, with window onto room b’ which was an uncovered courtyard, had white walls, divided into panels by black and red lines. The ceiling was at the height of 2.10m.

 

Rooms  a’, b’ and “z” were not yet cleared,

Room a’ was the kitchen with two windows onto the courtyard b’; one above the other, and with the remains of a roof, that was lowered towards the same part.  In the south-east corner was the hearth, (according to Boyce – the north-east corner) and above this was the lararium painting: on the east wall the two Lares in the usual attitude on both sides of an altar, on the north wall the family genius with a cornucopia in left hand, while pouring a libation with his right hand above an altar, around which was coiled the serpent, which with raised head approached to the sacrificant's hand. The latrine was in the south-west corner.

 

In the walls, you can see numerous holes for support beams, for rooms whose use I was not able to succeed in guessing, room b’ had in the south wall, near the south-west corner, a vaulted niche, 0.32m high and 0.27m wide, with a recess in the floor and a hole in the vault; it must be 2,10m all. inc, clear from the ground.

See Mau in BdI 1880, (p.231-4)

 

See also Marmora Pompeiana nel Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli: Studi della SAP, 26: (page 177) for description and photo of the portrait bust of roman male, found on 5/12/1878 in a vaulted niche in room x.

Now in Naples Archaeological Museum. Inventory number 111385.

 

See also La ceramica invetriata in area vesuviana, by Emanuela Di Gioia: Studi della SAP, 19, p. 33, for description and photo of a two-handled cup with horizontal handles, found in room x.

Now in Naples Archaeological Museum. Inventory number 113024.

Provenance Pompeii IX.6.4, third room to the left of atrium, found 24/10/1878.

 

According to Jashemski, the garden at the rear of the tablinum had a narrow roofed passageway on the north side of it.

There was an arched lararium niche on its south wall.

There was a gutter around the west, north and east edges of the garden.

See Jashemski, W. F., 1993. The Gardens of Pompeii, Volume II: Appendices. New York: Caratzas. (p.238)

.

According to Boyce, there were two areas of interest –

(a) In the small open courtyard (garden) behind the tablinum, in the south wall, was an arched niche (0.32 high, 0.27 wide, 0.25 deep and at a height of 2.10 above the floor level). 

In its floor was a depression and in the vault of the ceiling a hole; it was called “la piccolo nicchia dei Penati”, by Sogliano in Notizie degli Scavi, 1879, p.20.

 

(b) In the kitchen behind this courtyard, in the north-east corner, (according to Mau – the south-east corner) stood the hearth and on both the walls above it was the lararium painting (0.55 high).

On the north wall was the Genius with cornucopia and patera sacrificing at an altar by pouring a libation upon the altar furnished with offerings, around which a serpent was coiled.

On the east wall was a burning altar and on each side of it stood a Lar with rhyton and patera.

 

See Boyce G. K., 1937. Corpus of the Lararia of Pompeii. Rome: MAAR 14. (p.86, nos. 429 and 430)