Lecture 25

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Lecture 25: Mature 4th Style and The House of the Vettii, Pompeii


A. Location in Pompeii

   l.  Built ca. A.D. 63

   2. Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva

  1. Latter Augustalis

               b. Freedmen, possible wine merchants

                c. House designed for pretense, art display, intimate    

                  and multiple parties, sex      


B. Vestibulum with Priapus


C. Atrium of the Vettii

    l. Tuscan style

    2. Deep marble impluvium- no tablinum

    3. 2 strongboxes

    4. Tiny bedrooms flank entry

    5. Additional bedroom northeast of impluvium (k),   

        storeroom  to south (o)

    6. Winter Triclinium- e, southeast of atrium, fourth style


D. Service Quarters and Lararium of  the Vettii

     l. Naevius- Born 270 B.C. Imitated Greek dramas, comedies

         a. Punic War account

          b. Theodotum compellas qui aras compitalibus sedens  

              in cella circumtectus, tegetibus Lares ludentis peni  

             pinxit bubulo

         c. Lares compitales

     2. George K. Boyce- "Corpus of Lararia at Pompeii" MAAR  


     3. Good spirits of dead- forum sanctuary hastily rebuilt



   4. Lar Familiaris- tutelary genius

          a. Toga, acerra, cornucopia

          b. Morning prayer and offering at table

          c. Important for toga virilis, marriage, birth

          d. Offer garlands, cakes, honey, wine, incense, pigs

          e. Horace: Laribus tuum miscet numen= Augustus  

   5. Larvae- souls of dead without rest May 9,11 and 13

   6. Penates- brought by Aeneas to Lavinium and kept

                      with Palladion

   7. Snakes- altar must have egg or pine cone, genius

   8. E. Burch, "Die altromische Familie" Das Neue Bild der

       Antike 1942

   9. G. Nieblung- "Zum Kult des Genius und der Laren,"

       Forschungen und Fortschritte 1950


E. The Room of the Cupids and Psyches

   l. Dining or sitting room- grand banquet hall

   2. Floating figures on central panels

   3. Upper Zone- poets between Muses, Bacchantes, satyr      


   4.Entry- ithyphallic Hermaphrodite excites wonder of   


   5. Socle- priestesses, Amazons, Bacchant, Satyr

   6. Cupid Perfume Makers and Sellers

      a. Trapetum

      b. Psyche- yongers of 3 daughters carried off by Zephyrus

      c. Eros/Cupid- son of Venus and Mars, battle of sexes

   7. Cupid Goldsmiths- Head of Vulcan/Hephaistos   

   8. Circus Races, Vindemitores (wine makers)

   9. Maenad and archaizing Dionysiac herms

 10. Apollo and the Python- omphalos, bull for sacrifice

 11. Triumph of Dionysus

 12. Sacrifice of Agamemnon- hind of Artemis, Aulis,


F. Ixion Room

   l. Dionysus finds sleeping Ariadne

   2. Punishment of Ixion- Son of Ares or Phlegyas

        a. King of Lapiths, father of Perithous

        b. Withheld bridal gifts from father in law Deioneius who  

           takes his horses     

        c. Ixion throws Deioneius into fiery pit

        d. Purification by Zeus, visitor to Olympia

        e. Makes pass at Hera, really clouds of Zeus

        f. Father of Centaurs- boastful, punished, Hermes,Iris

   3. Daedalus and Icarus- Pasiphae and the Bull

   4. Theme Room?  Programmatic

       a. Over entry door- Pan disrobes at sight of


       b. Upper zone- Apollo,Fortuna, Bacchus, Nymphs, heroes

       c. Bad unions and good unions?

   5. Ancillary decoration-

       a. Sea horses and cows, vines, panthers, leopards

       b. Triremes in battle

       c. Monochrome busts of Minerva in calyx type   

       d. Mysticus vannus and masks- Dionysiac symbols

       e. Statues and acroteria- Pegasi and bigae

       f. Small Gigantomachiae


G. Pentheus Room

   l. Pinacoteca- Vitruvius, avoid harsh light VI. 4.2

   2. The Theban Stories

       a. The Punishment of Pentheus, King of Thebes

           l. Tries to stop Dionysus festival

           2. Ecstatic mother leads attack on him

       b. Hercules strangles the snakes

           l. Son of Alcmene of Thebes- Hera hates him

           2. Sends snakes to kill him, Amphictryon present?


         c. Punishment of Dirce- famous sculpture group

               l. Brought by Asinius Pollio from Rhodes 40 B.C.

               2. Farnese Bull- Baths of Caracalla

               3. Apollonius and Tauriscus of Tralles

               4. Wife of king Lycus of Thebes

               5. Mistreats Antiope who escapes to Cythera

                   and finds long lost sons Amphion and Zethus,

                   her  sons by Jupiter


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