B1 Intermediate US 6633 Folder Collection
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Prof: Last time we talked about a number of
monuments that were connected to one another geographically and
also chronologically, and were also made out of the
same material: concrete faced with opus
I remind you of three of those today: of the Sanctuary of
Jupiter Anxur at Terracina; of the Sanctuary of Hercules
Victor at Tivoli, in the center;
and then on the right the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia
at Palestrina.
We're going to do something entirely different today.
We're going to look at a single city,
one city, in all its aspects: its public and private
architecture, its civic, commercial,
and religious buildings.
We can't do this sort of thing very often,
because too few Roman cities are either well preserved enough
or well-excavated enough to allow such an overview.
But this is no ordinary city.
This is a very special city.
The city we will be concentrating on today is
Pompeii was located in an area of Italy called Campania.
It was located near Naples; it was located near the
Mediterranean Sea.
It was a small resort town in the late first century B.C.
and into the first century A.D.
And you can see it on this map here, and it's right here.
You can see that this area of Campania is obviously south of
It is along, again, the Mediterranean Sea.
And you can see Pompeii here also,
with its sister city of Herculaneum,
and some of the other well-known cities from this
area: Boscoreale, Oplontis, for example,
and Naples itself, ancient Neapolis.
You can see this cluster of these cities that make up
This was an area--the town itself again was a small resort
It was a town that obviously had its own population of people
who made their money largely from commerce,
because they were located so close to the sea.
But it was also a spot that was highly favored by the glitterati
of Rome, who used to come down to this
area of Rome, not only to go to Pompeii
itself, but to establish villas, to build villas in the vicinity
of Pompeii.
And we have imperial villas at places like Oplontis and at a
place called Boscotrecase that is located here as well,
and along what is now the Amalfi Coast and on the island
of Capri.
So this was a town again that was noticed and was visited,
even by the most elite in the city of Rome,
in the capital city of Rome itself.
But what's very important for us, from the outset,
is to recognize that although Pompeii,
as we know it today, was essentially a Roman city,
it had a history that was much longer than that,
that went back much further than that.
And I'd like to go over some of the major highlights of the
history of Pompeii, because they will situate us
and will help us to understand the city's architecture.
The history of Pompeii, as I noted, is much longer than
the history of Roman Pompeii.
It goes back as far as Rome itself.
It goes back to the eighth century B.C.--the same Iron Age
period--when Romulus was founding the city of Rome.
Pompeii goes back that far as well.
It was first overseen by an Italic tribe called the Oscans,
but the Oscans were soon taken over by an even more powerful
tribe called the Samnites.
And the Samnites are in fact extremely important for the city
of Pompeii and for the architecture that we'll review
The Samnite period in Pompeii lasted from the fourth through
the third and even into the second centuries B.C.,
up to 80 B.C., because it was in 89 that
Pompeii fell to Rome.
We've talked about Rome colonizing this particular part
of Italy -- not only the area right around
it, but the area south of it -- and
Pompeii fell to Rome in an important military campaign in
89 B.C.
And in 80 B.C.
Sulla made Pompeii a Roman colony.
What happened thereafter was the Samnites,
who had built homes for themselves and public buildings
that we'll study here, the Samnites were essentially
thrown out of their homes.
Their property was confiscated, and that property was given
instead to the Roman veterans.
We've talked about the fact that that was the way the Romans
They paid back their veterans for loyal service by giving them
land, and they usually gave them land of those that they had
So that happens here as well; Samnite property confiscated,
and the Roman veterans settle in their homes and begin to redo
them, settle into using their public
buildings but begin to remake them in the Roman image.
The next century and a half saw the construction of Pompeii's
most famous buildings, but we should not forget,
and we'll concentrate in part on that today,
that some of these buildings had their genesis under the
During this period there was a very high civilization in
There was trade with Greek cities and especially with the
Greek city of Neapolis, Neapolis being the ancient name
for Naples.
The next very important year in the history of Pompeii was the
year A.D.
62, when the city was literally-- the city of Pompeii
was literally shaken to its foundations by a very
significant earthquake-- a very significant earthquake
And to give you some sense of that earthquake,
I show you a frieze that encircles a shrine that was
located in the house, or that was commissioned for
the house, as decoration and as a place to
place the household gods that the owner and his family
The shrine had a frieze around it.
The man himself, by the way, was named Lucius
Caecilius Iucundus.
And we're very lucky--you don't have to remember his name,
but Lucius Caecilius Iucundus--and Iucundus,
fortunately we have a portrait preserved of Iucundus.
So we can get a good sense of what he looked like,
literally warts and all, because you can see that he had
a huge wart on the lower left side of his face.
And he was willing to have himself memorialized,
and here we are sitting and looking at him today in this
classroom in New Haven, as he was really was,
with this large wart on the lower left side of his face.
But a wonderful portrait of Iucundus,
the owner of this particular house,
who was obviously so struck, and probably so effected in his
own life by the earthquake, that he decided to have a
relief commissioned that would depict the event of 62 A.D.
And you see exactly -- you see what is happening here.
You can see, in fact, the great Temple of
Jupiter, the Capitolium of Pompeii, which we'll talk about
today, literally collapsing.
And you can see that in front of that temple were two tall
bases with equestrian statues honoring important people of the
Those look also like they are shaking in their boots,
so to speak, and about to fall over.
If you look down here, you see the city wall.
And note, your ashlar masonry, your opus quadratum,
and the use of headers and stretchers in this wall,
the wall of the city of Pompeii.
But you can see the gate is not doing too well;
it also seems to be tottering and about to fall down.
So this is a graphic depiction of what happened then,
and you can--it gives you some sense of the significance of
this for the people of Pompeii.
Now at the end of this, like in so many natural
disasters--obviously these people loved living where they
did; it's a beautiful part of the
world-- and they essentially stood up
and dusted themselves off and began to remake their city,
to restore their city to what it was.
And we have, from this point on,
from 62 on, almost immediately seventeen
years of frenzied building activity in which the Pompeians
tried to bring their city back from the dead,
so to speak, to bring it back to what it had
once been.
But you know the punch line here, you know the end of the
You know that all of this work, all of this seventeen years of
hard work was all for naught, because on that fateful day of
August 24^(th) in 79 A.D.
the long dormant volcano of Vesuvius--
which you see looming up behind the Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii
today-- the long dormant volcano of
Vesuvius erupted, covering the city of Pompeii
and all of its sister cities in a mass,
or in a blanket of ash and lava.
Covering it forever?
Well not quite forever; almost forever.
Because as you also know, the city was rediscovered in
the eighteenth century, and when it was rediscovered
what happened there first was a period of treasure hunting.
Well-to-do individuals, primarily from Europe,
made a beeline for Pompeii, once it was rediscovered,
and began to build their own personal collections of art from
what lay around.
They took jewelry; they took metal items,
precious metal items.
They even did the unspeakable by cutting portrait paintings
and other paintings out of the walls and taking them back to
decorate their own palaces and villas in other parts of the
That went on for a while, but fortunately not too long.
The archaeologists gained the upper hand and we begin to see
not long after that a period of scientific excavation.
And I show you two images here, which show that scientific
excavation, which show some of the houses of Pompeii being
revealed by archaeologists.
And, of course, it was all--the good work that
they have done, and work continues apace at
Pompeii excavations still go on in parts of the city,
that have allowed most of the city,
as far as we can tell, to be revealed to us today.
Now this tragedy that befell Pompeii, in August of 79,
was indeed a tragedy for them, for the people who lived there
It was also a tragedy for the reigning emperor,
a man by the name of Titus, T-i-t-u-s, who's honored in the
famous Arch of Titus in Rome.
We'll talk about him and his architecture in Rome later in
the semester.
But it was a disaster for him, and he had to contend with a
plague and a fire in Rome also at the same time.
It was very difficult for him, and poor man,
even though he was quite young, died of natural causes after
only three years in office.
And I think it was in part this catastrophe that had happened,
in the Bay of Naples area, that led in part to his--
the stress of it led in part to his demise.
So this was a great tragedy for him, a great tragedy for the
people of Pompeii, a great tragedy for Rome.
But it was a stroke of good luck for archaeologists,
and in a sense for us as well, because of course what happened
to Pompeii is something very different than what happened to
What happened to Pompeii is that it was--its life was
snuffed out all at once, it came to an end all at once.
Compare this to Rome, which has been inhabited over
In Rome buildings have been redone, rethought,
remade over time.
That never happened in Pompeii because Pompeii again died
essentially in August of 79, and everything that was there
was preserved, just as it was,
and that's how it was discovered when it was excavated
in the mid-eighteenth century, as it had been -- exactly how
it had been, on that day in August in 79.
This is extremely important.
It's one of our only really fixed chronological dates,
and it provides us with an incredible laboratory of
Because, again, everything--nothing is changed
from the time that it was left there, except for what the
treasure hunters removed.
But for the most part nothing has changed, and we can study it
as it was.
The other thing that you must remember from the outset,
that although what was revealed by excavators in the eighteenth
century, nineteenth century and beyond
even today, was not just the--it was the
Pompeii of August 79.
But the buildings that stood there were not just the
buildings that had been renovated between the earthquake
of 62 and the eruption of Vesuvius of 79,
but some of the very earliest buildings,
including the Samnite structures, still stood.
And so when we look back we will be able to trace,
in a sense, the city of Pompeii and its architecture,
from the time of the Samnites up until the time of the emperor
I want to begin with a plan of the city of Pompeii,
and you see it here.
And the plan that I show you is a plan of the city as it was in
We see all of the buildings at that juncture.
We see that the shape of the city is essentially an irregular
rectangle, and we also can see very well
that the city is surrounded by a wall,
a protective wall, as were--so it was walled like
all the other cities that we've talked about thus far this term.
You can see some of the major buildings very clearly:
the amphitheater that we'll talk about today,
the theater and the music hall over here.
You can see the streets of the city,
the cardo or north-south street,
and the decumanus, or east-west street of the
city, as well as the fairly regular
blocks where the houses and the shops were located.
What is important to note, however, is that the Samnite
city was obviously much smaller than the city of 79.
And to recapture a sense of the Samnite city,
we have to look at the bottom left side of this plan,
where we see the original Samnite city,
which seems to have been roughly a fairly regular square.
And in that Samnite city, the Romans--
and they followed Roman surveying methodology here--
they looked to what was exactly the center of the city and they
placed the cardo, the north-south street,
and the decumanus, the east-west street,
at that exact mid-point of the city.
And then they located, as they liked to do,
the forum of the city, the great meeting and
marketplace, right at the intersection of
the cardo and of the decumanus.
And that is exactly where we see the forum that was begun in
the Samnite period, right at the intersection of
those two original streets.
Then over time, obviously, as they expanded the
city, the cardo grew and the decumanus grew.
And it didn't end up exactly at the center of the larger city,
but it was at the center of the original city.
Let's begin, in fact, with the Forum,
because the Forum was begun itself during the time of the
You'll see from your Monument List that I've given you a date
of the second half of the second century B.C.
for the Forum at Pompeii, and again that indicates to us,
because of the chronology of the city,
of the history of the city, that it was begun in Samnite
You see here on the screen an excellent plan of the Forum,
as it was and as it grew over time, as buildings were added
over time.
This plan is from one of your textbooks, from Ward-Perkins,
and I think it deserves careful study.
Let's describe it together today.
We see that the central part of the Forum,
which was again essentially the main meeting and marketplace of
the forum, is a very elongated rectangle,
with a temple, a Capitolium,
a Temple to Jupiter, located on one of the short
And you should be immediately--your mind's eye
should go immediately to the sanctuary designs that we saw
last time.
Think, for example, of the Sanctuary of Hercules
Victor at Tivoli, where we saw that the temple
was pushed up against one of the back walls--
in that case the long wall--and dominated the space in front of
We see the same kind of scheme here,
where we see this rectangular space with the temple pushed
up-- in this case on one of the
short walls-- pushed up against the back wall
and then dominating the space in front of it.
The Forum itself is surrounded by columns, a colonnade,
as you can see here, and it is open to the sky,
open to the sky.
Then deployed around it all the other important buildings that
needed to be in a forum: the curia or Senate
House, over here; the basilica or law court over
here; another temple,
in this case the Temple of Apollo;
and then a series of buildings that were added later,
on the right side.
A wonderful building of a woman, that we're not going to
be talking about this semester, called Eumachia--and it gives
you some sense that women could wield power.
It wasn't easy.
They couldn't vote and they couldn't hold public office,
but they could sometimes wield power,
and this particular woman did, in Pompeii --
a very large building that was for her and for her trade guild.
A lararium or a place, a shrine;
a market or macellum up there.
Some of these added later.
But the ones that are particularly critical to our
understanding of the Samnite city are the Capitolium and the
Basilica, which both date to the second
century B.C.
Here's a view of--oh I'm sorry, I did want to say something
about the Google Earth image on the left.
This is a Google Earth image, which I tried to take in such a
way that one can see it, almost exactly the same vantage
point as the plan.
And you can see everything here that I've already pointed out:
the open rectangular space, the colonnade,
the temple pushed up against the back wall --
the Temple of Jupiter, the Basilica over here,
the Temple of Apollo, Eumachia's building here,
the Senate House over here, and so on.
And this again underscores the value of Google Earth,
as one can look down on these buildings and compare what one
sees to the master plan.
This is a view of the colonnade.
It's a two-story colonnade at the Forum of Pompeii,
and you can see the same thing that we saw happening in the
Theater of Marcellus in Rome, that the columns that they have
used -- they have looked at the Greek
orders, the Doric, Ionic,
and Corinthian -- and they have selected here to use the Doric
for the first story and the Ionic for the second story.
This colonnade does not date to the Samnite period.
We believe that it was put up later,
but it's made out of white limestone,
and it probably again does belong to a renovation of the
Forum of a somewhat later date.
Look also near the columns and you will see a series of bases:
a large base over here, a smaller base over here.
You see a lot of these still in the Forum today.
And what these bases were for, of course,
were to support statues, statues, and then there
would've been inscription on the base identifying who that was.
Sometimes they were statues of the reigning dynast in Rome--
in the age of Augustus, it might be Augustus,
or his wife Livia--but they also honored the most important
people of the city of Pompeii: magistrates,
great benefactors.
Eumachia we know had a portrait inside her own building honoring
her, standing next to the empress Livia.
So that's--you have to imagine that while the Forum is quite
empty today, that in antiquity there would
have been all of these bases with equestrian statues and
full-length statues, vying with one another for
attention -- the individuals honored there
sort of jostling with one another to underscore their
fame, at least within their own city.
This is a view of the Temple of Jupiter, or the Capitolium,
in the Forum of Pompeii; an extremely important
building, and one that you can see from the Monument List,
also what began to be put up quite early, in 150 B.C.
But its triple cella, honoring the Capitoline Triad,
Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, was, it won't surprise you to
hear, put up only after the Romans
made Pompeii a colony, and that happened in 80 B.C.
So you'll see that I've given you a date of 150 for the
temple, but 80 B.C.
for the renovation of the cella to incorporate these three
spaces for statues of the Capitoline Triad.
Let's look at the plan first.
You see it down here at the bottom --
you see it down here at the bottom,
and you can see that the plan of the temple corresponds to
plans that we've seen for other temples that we've studied thus
far this term-- the Temple of Portunus,
for example-- where we see this combination
of an Etruscan plan and a Greek elevation.
You can see here the façade emphasis;
single staircase; deep porch;
freestanding columns in that porch;
the flat back wall as was characteristic of Etruscan
temple design; the plain side walls over here.
We can see all of that in this plan.
And we also know that the building was made out of stone,
tufa, in this case tufa, not from Rome but tufa from
this part of Italy, from the Campanian region.
Tufa there for both the columns and also the capital.
So a stone building.
So this same combination of Etruscan plan and Greek
elevation that we saw in Rome.
This view of the temple also shows you that it had a tall
podium, as was characteristic of these other early temples.
Here you can see the remains of the stone columns and of the
building itself.
It's not as well preserved as we wish it were,
but enough is there to give us a very good sense of what the
Capitolium looked like in ancient Roman times.
I mentioned that the other early structure added to the
forum complex was the Basilica of Pompeii, and I'd like to turn
to that now.
The Basilica of Pompeii dates to around 120 B.C.
You see its plan here again, in the bottom left,
and you'll remember it splayed off from the Forum to the left
bottom side, as you face the Temple of
You can see that the plan of the Basilica is very interesting
because it actually is quite similar to the plan of the Forum
It is a rectangular space, not as large and not as
elongated, but nonetheless a rectangular space.
Its entranceway is over here, from the Forum.
You can see that there are columns inside,
a colonnade, just as we saw in the Forum
And the building is organized, as is the Forum itself,
axially, so that there is a focus: something at the end that
serves as the focus, and then the axiality comes
from that.
We see the focus over here at the end.
It's not another temple; it is a tribunal,
a tribunal on which the judge would sit to try the law cases
that came here.
The main difference between the Basilica and the Forum itself is
that the Basilica was roofed in antiquity.
The roof is no longer there, as you saw in the Google Earth
view, but it was roofed in antiquity, whereas again the
Forum was open to the sky.
The view that you see of the Basilica as it looks today is
also very illuminating.
We are looking toward the tribunal.
You can see the tribunal is actually extremely well
We get a very good sense of what it looked like in
It itself has a tall podium.
We can imagine the magistrate holding court up here,
on the top of that tall podium, between the Corinthian columns,
in this case.
We're not absolutely sure, but we believe the second
story, which has smaller columns--they
diminish in size on the second story--
also were Corinthian columns, because you can see at least
one of them.
One of them is restored, at the top right,
but that one is a Corinthian capital.
So we believe Corinthian order on the lower story,
Corinthian order on the second story as well,
beginning to show this Roman penchant for the Corinthian
order, which we've already discussed.
And you can also see here some of the lower parts of the
columns that would have been encircling the center of the
structure and dividing the central space from two aisles,
one on either side.
It looks like they're made out of brick, but they're actually
made out of a tile that looks like brick;
brick wasn't being used quite this early but a tile resembling
brick was used in Pompeii, and we can see that served as
the core of the columns.
They would've been stuccoed over though and looked more like
white marble, indicating to us again this
desire of the Romans to make things look at least--
or the Samnites at this point and ultimately the Romans when
they renovated this structure-- to make it look as Greek as
Student: Why are the columns chopped up?
Prof: Why are the columns chopped up?
You mean almost all in the same place?
These things were often pieced, and so sometimes that can
And it's actually one of the--you raise a very
interesting issue, because one of the things that
archaeologists are beginning to speculate,
only recently about--and you see this in some of the most
recent literature-- is here we say,
and I said it today, that this city was preserved
exactly as it was in 79.
And yet when you look at what it looks like,
it's actually in a pretty ruinous state.
So that could mean two things.
One, that they didn't make all that much progress in that
seventeen years, that they worked very hard but
that the damage had been so significant that they were not
able to bring these things back as much as they had hoped to.
But it also may be just the destruction.
While the ash and lava covered the city and protected it,
it obviously wrought some damage as well,
so that some of these things obviously came down and over
time the material got washed away or taken away or whatever.
But it is curious that they sort of broke in exactly the
same place, but it's because of the
construction technique and the way in which they were pieced
Student: They would've been >.
Prof: Yes exactly.
Let me show you another view of the right-side wall of the
You see these columns here, again, very regular.
There's a young woman standing right here;
so that gives you a sense of scale.
She's about only up to this point of the column.
So you can see how large in scale these were in ancient
Roman times.
But if you look at the two that are closest to the tribunal,
you will see that they have Ionic capitals.
So that gives us enough to go on, to speculate that the first
story of columns--and there were two stories on the walls,
two stories of columns.
The lower ones were Ionic--and you can see that they are
attached or engaged into the walls;
those were Ionic.
And then we believe that there was a second story that--
we know there was a second story, but that the second story
of columns would have been Corinthian capitals,
up there.
This is a restored view of what the Basilica would have looked
like in 120, after it was built; 120 B.C., after it was built.
And you can see here the tribunal;
we're looking toward the tribunal.
It's two storied, Corinthian order on both
stories, tall podium.
We see here in black the columns of the central space
that divide the center from the two side aisles.
And here you can see very well the way in which they created
two stories; a bottom story and an upper
You could walk on that upper story, and using the Ionic
capitals in the first story, and smaller Corinthian columns
in the second story.
And it's important for me to note, in terms of the
development, the later development of
basilican architecture, that this basilica in Pompeii,
of this early date, did not have what's called a
clerestory -- c-l-e-r-e s-t-o-r-y,
a clerestory.
What is a clerestory?
A clerestory is a series of windows, open to the outside,
that allow views out and light in.
This building does not have a clerestory.
So it probably, in its heyday,
in the Samnite period, was probably on the dark side.
But we will see that clerestory, the clerestory,
is incorporated into later Roman basilican architecture.
One of the greatest buildings, without any question,
at Pompeii, and one that everyone flocks to see--
and if you have never been to Pompeii,
let me just note that it is a little bit further out than some
of the other structures, but it is a to-not-be-missed
And, in fact, I know at least one of you has
already spoken to me about an upcoming trip to Rome and
Pompeii, and consequently I just say
that you absolutely need-- you can spend days at
Pompeii--but you must have a full day,
a full day, for Pompeii.
Because in order to get to the--not just to see the Forum
and what's in the center and a few of the houses;
it doesn't take that long, it's a nice walk,
it's not a huge distance.
But people forget to do it, because it's on the outskirts.
But you really must get--the two endpoints are the
Amphitheater and the Villa of the Mysteries,
both of them absolutely incredible to see and too often
missed by tourists, but two of the greatest sites
at the city of Pompeii.
This is the Amphitheater as it looks today from the air.
The Amphitheater is one of several buildings that were
begun immediately upon the Romans making Pompeii a Roman
colony in 80 B.C.
You can only imagine those veterans,
those army veterans of war, who had just been settled in
their new homes, clamoring from day one for the
Amphitheater, a place where they could go for
gladiatorial and animal combat.
This is what they wanted to see, and consequently no local
magistrate or emperor worth their salt would allow the city
to continue without-- there was no emperor in 80
B.C.--but would allow the city to go on without an
So that was one of the first orders of business.
This Amphitheater at Pompeii, which dates we believe to 80 to
70 B.C., is one--is an incredibly
important building for the history of Roman architecture,
because it is our first preserved stone amphitheater,
and all the amphitheaters that come later,
including the great Colosseum in Rome,
are based on buildings like this one.
This was a great experiment in amphitheater design,
already in 80 to 70 B.C.
How did they go about building this amphitheater?
What they seem to have done is to excavate the central area,
the earth of the central area, to create a space for the oval
arena, which you see here.
And I've put the terms on the Monument List for you:
the arena, which you see here.
So they've excavated that central space,
placed the arena there.
Then they have piled up earth.
It's essentially an earthen bowl, is what they've created
here, an earthen bowl,
with the excavated space for the arena,
and then piled up the earth on the outside to support the
seats, to support the seats,
to serve as a support for the seats.
There was no natural hill here, so they had to do this on their
So they build up the earth, they place the seats--
they line that earthen bowl with seats,
stone seats--and they create the cavea of the
amphitheater, because we use the same term
for the seats of an amphitheater as for the seats of a theater.
The cavea, or c-a-v-e-a,
the cavea, or the seats of the
And you can also see here indicated the wedge-shaped
sections of the seats.
Just as in the theater, they are called the same thing,
the cuneus, c-u-n-e-u-s,
or in the plural cunei, c-u-n-e-i.
So these wedge-shaped individual sections,
a cuneus--all of them together,
cunei--the cunei or wedge-shaped sections of the
seats apparent here.
The exits and entrances--and there are a couple of major ones
on either side--those have a colorful and unforgettable name.
I guarantee you, you will remember this name for
the rest of your lives.
Those exits and entrances are called vomitoria,
which means they literally spit forth spectators;
vomitoria, these entrances and exits to
the amphitheater.
Let me also note that the outer ring--
and the outer ring is extremely important because it buttresses
the earthen bowl-- that outer ring is made of
concrete, concrete that we'll see is
faced with opus incertum work.
And the entire structure is encircled by an annular vault --
one of these ring vaults that encircles the entire structure,
that is made out of concrete.
So another early example of the masterful use of concrete faced
with opus incertum work, in this case in the
Amphitheater in Pompeii.
I show you a Google Earth image of this, which gives you a very
good sense of the oval shape of the original structure.
I think it's important to compare the exterior of the
Amphitheater of Pompeii, which is extremely well
preserved, as you can see here, with the experiment at the much
earlier Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Palestrina,
where we also saw this use of concrete faced with opus
incertum work.
If we look at the façade of th e Amphitheater at Pompeii,
we'll see first of all how exceedingly well preserved it
We also see this unique staircase here,
with stairs--and I'll show you a side view in a moment where
you can see those stairs-- stairs leading up,
on both sides, to the apex.
And then a series of arches, in diminishing size,
larger in the center and diminishing in size as they go
down the ramp, to correspond to the shape of
the ramp, and then additional arcades
over here.
These are what are called blind arcades, because you'll see that
they have a wall in the back.
You can't walk in these arcades and get into the Amphitheater.
There are only two barrel-vaulted corridors--
and you saw them in the general view--
one on either long side of the oval,
that you can actually walk in and out of the Amphitheater from
But you can go up the staircase and enter the Amphitheater as
well from the cavea; go up to the top and then just
go at the upper most part of the steps and walk down to your
seats that way.
So the blind arcades we can see here.
We can see that once again, just as we saw in some of the
other buildings we looked at last time,
the way in which they've used opus incertum for most of
the wall, the facing for the concrete for
most of the wall, but they have used stone--both
blocks of stone and these voussoir blocks,
wedge-shaped blocks--to articulate the arcades,
to make them more prominent, and also to give the building
additional stability.
What's interesting here, and one of the reasons I also
bring back the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia,
is the fact that the Romans again are giving you some
options in terms of how you get into this building.
You can get in through the barrel-vaulted corridors,
or you can climb up this distinctive staircase.
And, by the way, we have no other--this truly is
a unique staircase--we have no other one like it in the history
of Roman architecture.
So you have those options.
But again, they are still pre-determining the way in which
you go.
They give you a few options, but within that scheme it is
clearly a pre-determined path, up the staircase over here,
and then through only those two barrel-vaulted corridors.
And we talked about that at the Fortuna Primigenia Sanctuary --
up the ramps and then up the staircase in the center --
a very similar way of thinking about getting people from one
place to another, in an orderly way.
The staircase is so distinctive that--and here I show you a side
view of it, where you can actually see the steps leading
And if you go visit there, you should try both options;
go down the corridor, but also it's a lot of fun to
go up the steps and into the cavea.
But it's so distinctive, and never to be repeated,
that when we look--there's a painting that survives from a
Pompeian house.
We'll look at it in more detail later in the semester,
but I wanted to just show it to you now,
because it is so apparent that it is a representation of the
Amphitheater at Pompeii, which is not surprising,
since this is a house in Pompeii.
But you see that distinctive staircase here,
with the steps, the way in which you can enter
into the cavea.
You get a sense of the cavea and the kind of
goings on that happened in this Pompeii Amphitheater.
But you can also see--this is a very important detail that is,
and this is the only place where we actually have a
representation of it-- you can see that at the upper
most part of the cavea, there is an awning,
called a velarium-- and I've put that word on the
Monument List for you-- an awning that was supported by
poles, that were located on brackets
at the uppermost part of the amphitheater.
And that awning, the purpose of that awning--
the Pompeiians seemed to have a thing for protecting,
the Romans in general, for protecting people in
inclement weather.
So they put these awnings up; when it rained they put these
awnings up to protect those who were there to see a gladiatorial
combat, to protect them from that rain.
One last view of the Amphitheater of Pompeii.
We are looking at its bowl-shaped arena,
as you can see here, and the seats that do survive,
to get a sense of the interior.
Here you can see very well the two-barrel vaulted entrances and
exits, one on either side,
and that's the only way-- again those blind arcades,
you can't get in that way, and you can see that very well
Those are the only entrance or exits into the theater,
besides the staircase.
And in the introductory lecture I made the point,
and I'll just bring it back home again,
that the Yale Bowl here in New Haven is based on the
Amphitheater in Pompeii, there's no question about that.
In fact, if one goes back in the literature on the Bowl,
and its original construction, it is even mentioned in
original articles that the architects were looking back--
and I'm not making this up--the architects were actually looking
back at the Pompeii Amphitheater as a model.
And you can see the relationship.
When you look at the Bowl from the air, you can see it's kind
of a bowl shape, almost exactly like the shape
of the Pompeii Amphitheater.
This aerial view, by the way, was taken at the
time of the hundredth game between Yale and Harvard,
and you can see the stands were packed.
The major difference between these two amphitheaters is the
fact that the one in Pompeii was made to hold 20,000 people.
The one in Yale can hold up to as many as 78,000 people.
So we have a larger amphitheater,
so to speak, here than they did,
and do, in the city of Pompeii.
I want to move from the Amphitheater to the other great
entertainment district of Pompeii,
and that was the Theater and the Music Hall,
the Theater and the Music Hall.
And I want to show those to you fairly quickly.
We see them here in plan, the Theater in red and the
Music Hall here in a kind of, I don't know,
As you can see, it dates to 80 to 70 B.C.
-- so another example of a building that was added when the
Romans gained ascendance of this part of the world.
And a couple of terms again.
We can see, if we look at the Theater, we can see the fact
that the Theater is semi-circular in shape,
or the cavea is semi-circular in shape.
We can see the wedge-shaped cunei up there.
We can also see that the orchestra is semi-circular in
shape, not round, and that there's a
scena, s-c-e-n-a, or a scaenae
frons, as I called it last time,
a stage building at the front.
There is also a space over here, which we call the
porticus--and again I put that on the Monument List for
you--the porticus.
What was the porticus?
The porticus was an open rectangular space with covered
colonnades on either side.
The purpose of the porticus was to have a
place where people could go during intermission to stretch
their legs, during the intermission of the
comedy or tragedy that they were there to see.
And there were little shops along the way,
little spaces along the way.
Some of them served as shops for playbills and other
souvenirs from the evening's experience,
but also that served as spaces where props and scenery and
costumes and all sorts of things that were needed in the
theatrical performances could be kept.
So that's the porticus.
Then over here we see the Music Hall.
It's a smaller version of the Theater,
but it's designed in exactly the same way,
with a semi-circular orchestra, the semi-circular cavea,
the division into cunei, as you can see here,
a small and much less elaborate scena in the front.
The major difference between the two--
and we see this not just in Pompeii but throughout Roman
architecture-- is not just the scale,
that the theater's always much bigger than the music hall,
but that the theater was open to the sky,
and the music hall had a roof and that roof.
The reason for the roof in the smaller music hall,
and the reason for the smaller size,
was to make the acoustics as good as they could possibly be,
and that was easier to do in a roofed building and in a
building of smaller scale.
A Google Earth view of the Theater and Music Hall,
as they look today--and you can see they're quite well
preserved; you can see the exact shapes
that you looked at in plan over there.
Here's our porticus, for example.
You can get a sense of how pleasant that might be able to
be during intermission time.
What this view also gives you a sense of, however,
is the way in which these two buildings are embedded in the
rest of the city; they do make up an
entertainment district, but at the same time they are
very close to the city streets that have along them houses and
shops and so on and so forth.
So very closely embedded into the life,
into the commercial life and the residential life,
of the city, even though this was intended
again as a great entertainment area for those who lived there.
And I made this point before, but I'll make it quickly again,
that while Roman theaters, like the Theater at Pompeii,
are based on Greek prototypes, there are some differences.
The two theaters--this is the Greek Theater at Epidaurus in
the mid-fourth century B.C.
They both have the stone seats; they both have--which is called
the cavea--they both have these wedge-shaped sections of
seats; they both have a stage
building, although the Greek one is much simpler.
But the major differences between the two is that the
Greek theater has a circular orchestra,
whereas the Roman theater has a--and this is the Theater of
Pompeii-- has a semicircular orchestra.
And the other major difference, the most significant one,
is the Greeks built their theaters on hillsides,
as you can see at Epidaurus.
The Romans built their theaters--and this is the case
in Pompeii-- on a hill made out of concrete.
I want to turn to an extremely important building,
and one that I am going to come back to on a number of occasions
during this semester.
So put an asterisk next to this one as a particularly important
building and one that it's almost certain I'll find some
way of incorporating into the first midterm,
because I think it's so significant,
and it will turn up again and again and again in the course of
the term, especially when we talk about
later bath architecture.
It is the Stabian Baths of Pompeii.
It dates to the second half of the second century B.C.,
and it was remodeled in the first half of the first century
The Stabian Baths are one of several bath buildings at
I mentioned in the introductory lecture that these houses in
Pompeii did not have running water and so access to bathing
and to water for daily use was obviously critical,
and the baths served that purpose, the place where one
could go and bathe.
But they were also--they also became great social centers,
great places where you really wanted to go and hang out with
your friends, while you were sitting in the
And so they take on a very--they are a very important
piece of life in cities like Pompeii.
The Stabian Baths, as their date indicates,
are very early.
They're begun already under the Samnites, and they have some
extremely interesting features.
And once again I'm going to have to go over some of the bath
You can see here that if you walk along the street,
you just see a series of cubicles, which served as shops,
so fairly unprepossessing.
But there is an entranceway through those shops into a very
large open space, surrounded by columns on three
sides, that is called the
palaestra of the baths.
The palaestra was the exercise courts,
where you jogged and ran around and so on,
and after you exerted yourself and got all sweaty,
you could jump into the pool, that was located over here.
This was not a place to do laps, it was pretty much a
soaking pool or a pool where you could cool off.
But the technical term for that is either a piscina,
which is what's on the Monument List for you,
or a natatio, n-a-t-a-t-i-o,
a little pool where you could splash yourself after exerting
yourself by exercising in the palaestra.
The bath block itself, the bathing rooms themselves,
are located on the other side of the plan,
on the right side, as you see it here,
the northern side actually, of the plan.
And we see two sets of spaces: this set of four down here,
this one, this one, this one and this one;
and then a set of a comparable number of rooms up there.
These early Roman baths, there was a separation between
the men's section of the baths and the women's section of the
And I'm sorry, ladies, but we'll have to
accept the fact that at least in ancient Pompeii the women's
section was quite nondescript.
It was much smaller than the men's--
at least they had one, thank goodness--
but it was smaller than the men's, and the rooms had no
architectural distinction whatsoever.
All of the designer's effort went into creating a wonderful
set of rooms for the men.
We see the men's rooms again over here, these four,
and the women's at the top.
Consequently the only ones that have any merit architecturally,
in my showing you today, are the ones for the men's
baths, down here.
The four rooms, the four key rooms to both the
men's and women's sections, were the
apodyterium--and again these words are on the Monument
List for you-- the apodyterium,
which was the dressing room.
It's a fairly--again, it's large, but a fairly
nondescript, rectangular room here.
You can see it right down here.
And the way it was designed was that you went in,
and there were no lockers, no private lockers,
but there were benches where you could,
when you got undressed, you could just take your
clothes and put them in a little pile on that bench.
You had to just take on faith that no one was going to steal
any of your belongings, and if you were very
well-to-do, some of the very well-to-do Romans,
men and women, brought slaves with them,
their slave, their private slave,
to watch their stuff while they were in the sauna with their
From the apodyterium you go into the so-called
tepidarium of the baths, also usually a plain
rectangular room, even in the men's section,
which served as the warm room, where you started to warm
yourself up.
You went from the tepidarium into the
caldarium of the bath, which was the hot room,
where you really-- it was the sauna essentially of
the bath.
And consequently there was a basin over here with cold water,
so if you got too hot, you could go and splash
yourself with that cold water.
So apodyterium, tepidarium,
By then you're really heated up and you can make your way back
into this room over here, which is called the
frigidarium, or the cold room.
The frigidarium was the place that you could really cool
And I think you can see by looking at these,
the two most important rooms architecturally--
you can see this even in plan--are the caldarium,
which has an apse or curved element at the end,
and this room in particular, the frigidarium,
because it is a round structure with radiating alcoves--
and we're going to see that it's domed.
This is a particularly--again star,
star, star, star -- one of the most important rooms that I've
shown you, probably the most important
room I've shown you thus far this semester,
in that it is going to have a very long future
What you see here basically ends up as the Pantheon,
some day: this round space, round structure,
with radiating alcoves and, as we'll see,
a dome, and not only a dome, but a hole in the ceiling,
an oculus, that allows light into the
How were these baths heated, how were the hot rooms heated?
Through a system called a hypocaust;
again I've put the word on the Monument List for you,
a hypocaust, h-y-p-o-c-a-u-s-t.
What was a hypocaust system?
A hypocaust system was a system by which they put
terracotta tubes in the floor and behind the walls.
They blew hot air into those, and they also raised up the
pavement of the floor, on a series of stacked
tiles--and you can see that extremely well;
here's a very well-preserved hypocaust from the
Stabian Baths-- placed these tiles on stacks,
stacks of tiles, leaving space in between them,
and put braziers between those, metal braziers,
metal bowls, that held hot coals and so on.
And from those hot coals--they obviously had slaves who had to
keep those coals hot-- but coals that were placed in
these pans, that helped also to heat the
pavement that was located above.
This very important room, the frigidarium of the
Stabian Baths, you see it here as it looks
today: a small, round space.
It would have had a pool in the center,
a round pool, radiating alcoves,
a dome, a dome that is open to the sky,
with an oculus that allows light into it.
You can see the remains of paint, stucco and then paint,
blue and red, paint, probably some kind of
marine scene included here.
But this, I can't underscore enough the importance of this
particular room and the future that this design has for Roman
I'd like to show you another bath at Pompeii,
the so-called Forum Baths.
The Forum Baths are interesting because they're later.
They date to, as you can see from your
Monument List, to 80 B.C.
So this is what the Romans did when they came in and took over
Pompeii and were making it into one of those mini-Romes,
those cities in the model of Rome.
And you can see it's very, very similar to what was going
on in the Stabian Baths, in the earlier Samnite baths,
with the same palaestra; we see a palaestra up at
2; the exercise court.
We don't seem to have a natatio in this
particular plan.
We see the men's section over here, at 3,4,
5 and 6, and the women's section over here,
7,8, 9,10.
Again, the women's section off to the side, of no architectural
distinction whatsoever.
The men's over here, and you could enter the men's
either through the palaestra or from an
opening over here at 1.
We see the same set of rooms that we saw at the Stabian
We see the apodyterium or undressing and dressing room
over here at 3.
The tepidarium at 5, the caldarium at 6,
and the caldarium at 6 is of the same shape as the
caldarium in the Stabian Baths,
a rectangular room with an apse at the end and a basin for cold
water splashes.
And then you go back again to the frigidarium,
and you can see the frigidarium in the baths,
Forum Baths at Pompeii -- the same shape as that in the
Stabian Baths at Pompeii, a small round room with
radiating alcoves.
I can show you views both of the tepidarium of the
Forum Baths, extremely well preserved, as you can see here.
You can also see they've used a great barrel vault for this
It isn't as large as it looks here, but it's a sizable room.
And this is a very good place to show you by the way,
to give you a sense of how these things were decorated,
how so many rooms -- Roman buildings today,
are stripped of their original decoration.
But that decoration was often quite beautiful and
ostentatious, and we can see here,
we can get here a sense of that.
You can see the wall has been stuccoed over,
and then also in stucco these great flowering acanthus plants
and creatures flying above -- animals, human feature,
gods and goddesses flying above.
They used paint as well, red and blue and white and
other colors, to accentuate the design.
This gives you some sense of the flavor of these.
And then this wonderful detail below of these Atlas figures who
are shown holding up the vault of this particular room.
It gives you some sense of why Romans flocked to these places
-- not only because it was the
only place they could bathe themselves,
but also because it was just a wonderful space to be in and to
enjoy again the company of friends.
This is a view of what room, in the Forum Baths?
Student: The caldarium.
Prof: The caldarium--
excellent--the caldarium over here,
with its rectangular shape and then its apse and its basin for
cold water splashes.
And then look at the ceiling, how wonderful.
In that apse you see a semi-dome, a round hole or an
oculus in that semi-dome, to allow light into it.
So here we see them exploring oculi in semi-domes,
as well as in domes.
And then the square and rectangular spaces:
holes in the ceiling, openings in the ceiling that
have been placed there also to allow light into the system so
that you could use the room, but also to create the kind of
wonderful light effects that it does,
when you have rays of sunshine coming in on you while you are
in your sauna.
This is a couple of views of the frigidarium of the
Forum Baths.
You can see a dome up above, the oculus in that dome.
You can see some of the stucco decorations still preserved.
You can see the alcoves here, the radiating alcoves,
and some of the stuccoed decoration here:
sea creatures against a red background.
And this is a restored view of what the frigidarium
would have looked like, with the pool in the center;
a nice place to relax.
The radiating apses over here, and then the dome with the
oculus and with the light streaming in.
Again, I can't underscore enough the importance of both of
these frigidaria for the future of Roman architecture.
The other importance of the Forum Baths is the Forum Baths
is today where you can eat, and if you're there for the
full day, as I recommend you be,
you're going to want to eat at some point,
and there is a cafeteria, which doesn't look like much
but actually the food is not bad.
The Italians have a very hard time making bad pasta.
So you can always get some good pasta at the snack bar and you
will want to make your way-- there's a few views of it--make
your way to the Forum Baths, if you're there for any length
of time.
Very quickly I just want to remind you--
we talked about this in the introductory lecture--
that one of the main reasons that Pompeii is so interesting
to us today is because it tells us so much about the daily life,
not only of the Pompeians, but of the Romans in general,
because we have all these wonderful shops still preserved
at Pompeii.
This was a bakery.
We see the millstones that were actually used for the grinding
of the grain still preserved.
We see the oven over here, looking wonderfully like a
modern pizza oven, as you can see.
And we also, believe it or not,
have from Pompeii a petrified bread--it's preserved--that
gives you a sense of what Pompeian bread looked like.
And it looks strikingly like our pizzas, with the segments of
the bread.
So if you want to have a sense of where pizza came from--I told
you the Romans, again there's nothing the
Romans didn't invent; bread, pizza, whatever.
But you see that petrified bread, giving you a very good
sense of what was produced in this particular bakery.
I also mentioned in the introductory lecture the
fast-food stands of Pompeii; the thermopolium in the
singular, or the thermopolia in the
plural, these fast-food stands where you could get a bite real
The way they were designed was to have a great counter in them,
with recesses.
Fresh hot and cold food was put out obviously every day,
and if you were hungry you just went up to the counter,
you took a peek at what was there, you pointed out what you
wanted, and you could eat on the run.
The Romans were never to have their state religion and their
family religion far from them, and you can also see a nod to
the gods over here.
There's a shrine with some of the representations of the
household gods, even in this fast-food
We have wine shops from Pompeii as well.
I show you actually a scene of one of the storage rooms at
Pompeii that you can see actually as you walk along--
it's a wonderful ruffling, turning to the next page--
these wine, these amphoras, these great clay amphoras that
held wine.
They're located in one of these storage areas that one can see
as one walks along the Forum, on the left side,
in Pompeii today.
But you can imagine these on shelves in a wine shop of
ancient Pompeii, offering wines gathered from
all over the world, for discerning oenophiles--is
that the word?-- oenophiles.
Connecting all of these shops to one another were of course
the streets of the city.
The streets of the city are extremely well preserved.
I show you here a couple of views of the crossing of the
cardo and the decumanus in Pompeii,
and you can see exactly what the streets looked like.
You can see the multi-sided paving stones of the streets.
You can see the sidewalks looking uncannily modern.
You can see--you can't see exactly here -- but there are
drains along the way, to allow rain water to filter
off the streets.
And all of this again an extremely modern look.
And the streets of Pompeii give us the best sense,
of any streets of any preserved ancient city,
of what the streets looked like in any given Roman town.
These streets had along them--again because of needs for
water--had along them fountains.
Here's a very modest fountain where we see a representation of
the goddess Ceres, c-e-r-e-s, Ceres,
with her cornucopia and the fountain spout coming out of her
And you can see this is the sort of thing,
when the Romans just needed a little bit of water for
household use, they would go out to the local
So as you walk along the streets of Pompeii,
you see a lot of these small fountains.
You also see graffiti; what would a city be without
some graffiti on its buildings?
Any of you who've been in Rome recently know there is too much
There's like a graffiti craze.
The Romans have always had a lot of graffiti,
but it's gotten so bad; it's almost unimaginable now.
But the graffiti tradition was alive and well in Pompeii,
and you see it here, covered with glass.
But you see it here.
You see it here and there in the city as you wander by,
and it gives you a sense that people did write right on their
buildings, these--what they wrote on these
buildings tended to be political,
for the most part.
And you'd see graffiti that would say things like "Vote
for Barbatus, the bearded one;
he'll be the best guy for the office, and he's pretty handsome
That's the kind of graffiti that you'll see as you walk
along--if your Latin is good--that you'll see as you
walk along the streets of Pompeii.
You'll also see these big blocks of stone.
And there are people who look at these and they think,
"Oh how interesting, that's debris from
It's not debris from Vesuvius, clearly.
These are there deliberately.
These are stepping stones.
The Romans were so ingenious, and so again concerned about
how to protect people in inclement weather,
that they created, they put these stepping stones
all around the city, usually at the cross-sections
of two streets.
So if there was torrential rain, and if the water had piled
up and if the drains couldn't quite handle it,
you could get across the street without stepping in the water.
And would that we had this, in the slushiness that was New
Haven, in the last week.
I can't tell you how many times I think, "Why doesn't Yale
have stepping stones?
We really could use them."
But here they are, and you see very clearly the
ruts that come from the carts that were made between the
stepping stones, by those carts constantly
riding through them.
And it shows you that they had to orchestrate the wheels of the
carts in such a way that they would span the stepping stones.
But it's a very ingenious thing.
They're fun to look at, fun to walk on,
really fun to take pictures of.
I have tons of them.
I didn't--I decided not to bring a personal picture this
time of me or anyone else in my family on stepping stones,
or other Yalies, I've got lots of those too.
I didn't bring those today, but I did bring something I'm
really proud of, because in all the years I've
taught this city, I've always wanted to actually
show what it looked like when it had rained.
And since I've been to Pompeii so, so many times over the
years, but it doesn't tend to rain when I go there;
June, July, August, it just doesn't rain.
So I've never been able to do that.
I was there this past June and lo and behold--I was very upset
because who wants to wander around the city of Pompeii in
the rain?
But I had one day to go there and I was there and I said,
"Wow, it's raining, here's my chance."
So I finally was able to get some views of what happens--
and this was right--we had a torrential rain for about a half
an hour, and then the sun came out.
And this is what you see as you wander the streets.
You see that the water has accumulated,
but again, lo and behold, you can easily make your way
across that street, across those stepping stones
Just a very few words on what happens to the streets of the
city of Pompeii, or any Roman city for that
matter, when you leave the gates and you go out on the intercity
Many of those intercity roads become cemeteries.
The Romans used these roads as their cemeteries.
The Romans had a religious belief that there was a
separation between the city of the living and the city of the
So all of the tombs are outside the walls of the city.
So you see at Pompeii two extremely well-preserved tomb
streets, the Street of the Tombs and the
Via Nucera-- which is the one you see here,
n-u-c-e-r-a-- with tombs of all sorts of
shapes and sizes.
I'm not going to go into these in any detail in this course.
There is a paper topic for any of you who get interested in
tomb architecture on the tombs of Pompeii.
We will look at some tombs in Rome, in great detail,
but I'm just going to give you a glimpse of them here.
They come in all sizes and shapes.
They're very, very interesting.
They honor the people who are buried there,
including--there's a bench tomb, for example,
where you can sit and think on the life and times of the
individual who was buried there.
So an absolutely fascinating, fascinating street,
with a lot of different tomb types that show the variety of
tomb architecture under the Romans.
I'd like to end today by making at least a passing reference to
a matter which is of huge concern to archaeologists,
and huge concern to all of us, as human beings,
and that is what happened to the people of Pompeii,
in those very last moments of life?
And archaeologists have been able to reconstruct exactly what
happened to-- or not exactly,
but as close as possible in the time from which Pompeii was
excavated to now -- to reconstruct again what
happened to these human beings at the time of the eruption of
They've been able to again to reconstruct a very moving
picture of their last moments of life.
What we know is that the ash and lava from Vesuvius--
and you see a restored view here of what that would've
looked like, and you can see Vesuvius and
you can see the Forum over here, with the Temple of Jupiter and
the Temple of Apollo, and the throngs of people
inside the Forum, at this particular juncture,
as they look up and see what is happening.
And on the right-hand side--this is actually a view of
Mount St.
Helens, which as you know erupted in 1980,
and the eruptions not so different, as you gaze upon them
and look at them, in comparison today.
But we know that the eruption of Vesuvius did not happen all
at once; it didn't just happen and cover
the city.
It was gradual.
There was actually quite a bit of time.
There was time to escape.
The Pompeians saw what was happening, and those who were
smart did escape.
But like any other natural disaster,
there were, of course, a group of hardy souls,
or perhaps we would call them foolhardy souls,
who thought that they could ride it out.
And they thought they could ride it out by hiding in their
own houses or by-- some of the smarter ones of the
foolhardy type decided that they could ride it out in some of the
very strong walled buildings, public buildings of the city,
for example, the bath buildings,
the Stabian Baths or the Forum Baths,
that we looked at today.
They were gravely mistaken, gravely mistaken.
We don't know how many stayed.
We think it was actually a fairly small number;
some have said about a thousand.
We don't know.
But whatever, those who did stay made a grave
error, because they were not actually
killed by the ash and lava, the molten ash and lava,
despite the fact that it was extremely hot.
But what killed them were the noxious gasses that came into
the city after the eruption, that followed that ash and
They were asphyxiated by those gasses.
After they had died, but before their bodies
decomposed, the ash and lava formed a protective shell around
their bodies, protecting them.
And what the archaeologists were clever enough to do is --
when the modern archaeologists, when they're working with their
pick axes, and when that pick axe hit a
hollow in the ash and lava, they poured plaster into that
Sometimes that produced nothing, but sometimes it
produced bodies, the actual shape of the bodies
of those whose bodies had decomposed there.
And we can look at those bodies still today.
And I show you a scene of a number of the victims of Pompeii
huddled together for mutual and indeed ultimately futile
I can show you the body of an individual who is lying on the
ground, his face and his hands trying
to protect himself obviously from those noxious gases that
have come into the city.
I can show you the body, the plaster cast obviously,
of the body of another Pompeian who was sitting with his knees
up and his hands in front of his face,
trying to protect himself once again from those fumes that are
about to overtake him any second;
the body of an individual who's essentially given up at this
He is expired.
He's lying on his back.
There's no hope any longer for him, a poor fellow who died on
that day.
And then this fellow, this heroic fellow,
who is lifting himself, in his last moment of life,
lifting himself, either to gasp a last breath,
or perhaps to whisper something to a dear family member who is
by his side.
And we even have the body of a dog.
This story is particularly sad because this dog,
this plaster cast of this dog, was found with a chain around
his neck.
So probably what happened here is the owner of this particular
dog had the dog chained up, didn't have time either to take
the dog or to release the dog from his chain so that he could
try himself to escape, and that poor dog perished on
that day and we have the plaster cast of his body still today.
All of these bodies can still be seen on the site of Pompeii
and make a visit there all the more poignant.
I know of no more moving human document from the ancient world
than these bodies of these Pompeians,
kept in perpetuity and for us to commiserate with and to
understand even today.
Thank you.
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4. Civic Life Interrupted: Nightmare and Destiny on August 24, A.D. 79

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Sofi published on December 24, 2014
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