Lecture 27

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Classics 456  Dr. Soren

Greek and Roman Painting and Mosaics


        Lecture 27: House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii


A. Pictures detached in Naples- east several blocks from Stabian Baths, 50-75 A.D. Mature 4th Style

   1. Fauces- Dioscuri and horses

   2. Tablinum- exploits of Achilles

   3. Peristyle Room- Medea

   4.  The Golden Fleece and the Argonauts-  Jason, Pelias, and


   5. Colchis

   6. Aeson, son Promachus and wife

   7. Witchcraft- goat cut up and restored, Pelias' daughters, +

      Acastus, son of Pelias .

 8.Jason and Medea to Creon of Corinth and Jason and the

Daughter of Creon

   9. Poison robe and diadem

  10. Mermerus and Pherus

  11. Timomachus of Byzantium

  12. Originals costly- Julius Caesar paid circa 40,000 dollars


B.The Witchcraft Scene from the House of the Dioscuri,


   l. Tablinum at top of the wall

   2. Tanagra

   3. Ludwig Curtius- Demeter? King? Allegory- poor


   4. Sorcery- Augustus tries to suppress it

      a. Horace- Epode 5: "Canidia brevibus implicata viperis

  crinis et incomptum caput, iubet sepulcris caprificos erutas, iubet cupressos funebris et uncta turpis ova ranae sanguine."

  1. Canidia- murders young boy, buries up to chin, dry liver out to use as love charm     

      c. Boy wore bulla versus fascinum

      d. Hoot-owl feathers, bones from jaws of hungry female

          dog, burn in witch fire

   5. Lead tablets

   6. The Number Three- Vergil Eclogue 8

      a. Alphesiboeus loves Daphnis- win her with magic

         l. 3 threads, 3 colors

         2. Lead image 3 times around altar

         3. Herbs and poisons from Black Sea

      b. "Ego vidi Moerim saepe fieri lupum his, saepe excire animas imis sepulcris atque

          traducere satas messes alio."         

      c. Witches- steal baby hearts and blood of virgins

For the PowerPoint of this lecture click here.