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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Ancient City of Pompeii

House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto
House of Marcus Lucretius
ouse of Trebius Valens
House of Loreius Tibertinus
And the Villa of the Mysteries


Marcus Lucretius Fronto was a member of one of the most important families to settle in Pompeii during the Augustan age. This house was modest in size but shows refined decoration in the Third Style, 35-45 A.D. The House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto contains frescoes representing Narcissus at the Fountain, the Toilet of Venus, and Theseus and Ariadne. A raised garden with typical African landscape is at the back of the house.

Narcissus at Fountain
Fresco of Narcissus at the Fountain at the House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto

The House of Marcus Lucretius contains a fresco of the Wedding of Mars and Venus. A room to the left of the garden contains a painting that shows a writing-case and a letter addressed to Marcus Lucretius, priest of Mars and decurion of the city. Toward the rear of the garden, water from a mosaic fountain came out of a marble statue of Silenus.

Wedding of Mars and Venus
Fresco Depicting the Wedding of Mars and Venus

The exterior of the House of Trebius Valens attracts attention because it seems to have been used for public notices such as advertisements for public spectacles in the amphitheatre. The interior of the house has an unusual checkered design on the back wall of the peristyle. The house also has a triclinium (dining room) under an arbor with twelve water spouts, and a small private bathroom behind the kitchen.

House of Trebius Valens
House of Trebius Valens

The House of Loreius Tibertinus is the house of the priest of Isis. During the sacred holidays, the overflowing of the Nile was reproduced here. The arched loggia, raised above the level of the garden, had a canal running through it. The dining room has scenes form the Iliad, Latin inscriptions, and fragments of an episode of the myth of Hercules.

House of Loreius Tibertinus
House of Loreius Tibertinus

Villa of the Mysteries is a typical example of a luxurious suburban house containing a farm annex. The house is built on a steep slope facing the sea. An artificial embankment under the home contains the "cryptoporticus," used as a cellar.

Villa of the Mysteries
Villa of the Mysteries

The main rooms consist of an atrium, "oeci" (type of dining room), house facilities around a peristyle including a tetrastyle atrium with a bathroom, a tablinum and an exedra with semi-circular windows. There is also a courtyard with kitchens, oven and servants' quarters, and a farm area for a farm manager and equipment.

Villa of the Mysteries - Courtyard
Villa of the Mysteries - Internal Courtyard

The villa is richly decorated with frescoes known as "trompe l'oeil" in the Second Style. In the room of the Large Painting a cycle of frescoes was dedicated to the Dionysiac ceremonies.

Dionysiac PhallusSilenus offers drink
Left: The Uncovering of the Dionysiac Phallus
Right: Silenus Offers a Drink to a Small Satyr

Other paintings depict a group of women assisting in a sacrificial ceremony, an old Silenus sings and plays while a young woman offers her breast to a fawn, and Silenus offers a young Satyr to drink.

Historical Background of Pompeii - I

Background of Pompeii - II

Entrance to the Ruins and Roads of Pompeii - III

The Forum and Basilica - IV

Temples of Apollo, Isis, and Jupiter - V

Water Supply and the Baths of Pompeii - VI

Pompeii's Mills, Bakery, Laundry, and Brothel - VII

House of the Faun, House of the Vettii,
House of the Large Fountain, and
The House of the Silver Wedding - VIII

House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto,
House of Trebius Valens, House of Loreius Tibertinus,
And the Villa of the Mysteries - IX

Court of the Gladiators, Amphitheatre, and
The Necropolis of Porta Nocera - X

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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

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