from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

Via dell'Abbondanza 3.JPG
View into a Pompeiian Street (2013)
National territory: ItalyItaly Italy
Type: Culture
Criteria : (iii), (iv), (v)
Surface: 98.05 ha
Reference No .: 829
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1997  (session 21)
Two inhabitants of Pompeii, Terentius Neo (formerly interpreted as Paquius Proculus) and his wife, on a fresco; 1st century, Naples Museum
The area of ​​the catastrophe, the intensity of the ash and slag falling in shades of gray

Pompeii ( Latin Pompeii , ancient Greek Πομπηΐα Pompēḯa , Italian Pompei ) was an ancient city ​​in Campania on the Gulf of Naples , which, like Herculaneum , Stabiae and Oplontis, was buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, but largely preserved under the volcanic ash stayed.

In its seven hundred year history, Pompeii was inhabited and shaped by the Oscars , Samnites , Greeks , Etruscans and Romans , but after the burial it was forgotten over time. With the rediscovery in the 18th century began the second history of the city, in the course of which Pompeii became a central object of archeology and the study of the ancient world. Pompeii is one of the best preserved ruined cities of antiquity. His fate is familiar to many because it is often received in art and literature .

Geographical location

Pompeii is located in the Italian region of Campania, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, north of the Sarno River, just before it flows into the Gulf of Naples . It is located in the municipality of the modern city of Pompei , the development of which is directly connected to the excavations.

Coordinates: 40 ° 45 ′ 2 "  N , 14 ° 29 ′ 23"  E

Map: Italy

The city was built on a lava plateau formed by earlier eruptions, which sloped steeply in the south and parts of the west, but sloped only slightly towards the north and east. Reconstructions have shown that in ancient times the city was much closer to the sea (currently 700 meters away) than it is today. The mouth of the navigable Sarno was apparently protected by lagoons and served Greek and Phoenician seafarers as a safe harbor and transshipment point for their goods from an early age . In addition, the soil in the surrounding area was very fertile, not least because of the earlier eruptions of Vesuvius.

Traffic development

The excavation site has two entrances (as of 2012):

  • The Porta Marina entrance on Piazza Esedra is a few meters from the Pompei Villa dei Misteri train station on the Napoli – Sorrento line of the Ferrovia Circumvesuviana .
  • The entrance in Piazza Anfiteatro is 600 meters from Pompei Santuario train station on the Napoli – Poggiomarino line on Ferrovia Circumvesuviana and 800 meters from Pompei train station on the Napoli – Salerno line.

The excavations can be reached from the Pompei Ovest exit of the A3 motorway .


Early city history

Settlement phases Pompeii's settlement core First expansion phase Second expansion phase Last expansion phase

Recent excavations have shown that near the present-day city of Nola there has been a site that has existed since the early 1st millennium BC. Existing settlement existed at the end of the 7th century BC. BC gave up to move them closer to the river mouth. According to mythological tradition, this new settlement - Pompeii - was founded by the demigod Heracles , in reality probably by the Oscars. The place name is to be combined with the Oscar word pompe "five". According to Strabo, the population of the city consisted of Oscans, Etruscans, Pelasgians and Samnites in historical times . Nothing is known about the history of the rapidly growing city during the time of the clashes between the Greeks and Etruscans in Campania. However, finds have shown that contacts were probably maintained on both sides, although the relationship with the Etruscans was apparently more important. However, it is likely that the Pompeians were initially under Greek influence, which explains their takeover of the Greek world of gods and a Doric temple. In the year 525 BC The Etruscans extended their sphere of influence to Pompeii. Among other things, they adopted the Apollo cult cultivated in Pompeii . After the Etruscans were defeated by the fleets of Cumae and Syracuse at the Battle of Cumae in 474 BC. The Greeks once again had dominion over Campania. Since the late 5th century BC In BC (between 425 BC and 420 BC) Pompeii was under Samnite rule. In 310 BC The city was able to fend off a raid by Roman naval soldiers who were supposed to take the neighboring city of Nuceria Alfaterna . 290 BC Like all other Samnite cities, Pompeii had to join the Roman alliance system. From the 2nd century BC Several Oscar inscriptions were found. After and especially during the 2nd century BC The Campanian city was doing very well economically. Many public projects such as market halls or temples could be realized. Some private buildings were also impressive.

Roman Pompeii

Depiction of the riots during the gladiator games between the Pompeians and Nucerians "battle strollers" on a Pompeian mural

Both during the Samnite Wars and during the Social War Pompeii stood on the side of the enemies of Rome. Sulla besieged the city in 89 BC. BC, traces of the artillery can still be seen today. Inscriptions in the Oscar language were also found on the walls of the houses, which were supposed to show the way for defenders who were unfamiliar with the area. Pompeii was eventually subject to the Romans and became 80 BC. Converted into a Roman colony by Sulla . The city was now called Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum. About 2,000 Roman veterans with their families were apparently resettled in a larger closed area in the southwest of the city. In current research, however, it is controversial whether parts of the city or individual houses were expropriated. It can be assumed that many of the settlers were assigned land outside the city and therefore did not live in the city. Latin inscriptions that indicate a "self-romance" date from this period . It is certain that there were initially conflicts between the newly settled Romans and the long-established upper class that dragged on for decades. By the Augustan period, the old families seem to have regained their influence. Based on the Roman imperial family, Augustus' intended successor in his office, his nephew Marcellus , was chosen to be the patron saint of the city and, like Augustus, was worshiped in the city. Also in Augustan times, the sophisticated small town seems to have developed into a meeting place for the Roman upper class.

In 59 AD, according to a report by the historian Tacitus , bloody riots broke out with visitors from the neighboring town of Nuceria during a gladiatorial match in the amphitheater, which can hold up to 20,000 spectators . Emperor Nero then banned all games in Pompeii for ten years. The causes of these disputes can possibly be found in political problems that extend beyond Pompeii and Nuceria.

A major earthquake, from which Pompeii had not yet fully recovered at the time of its fall, shook the region around Vesuvius on February 5, 62 and caused great damage in Pompeii. For a long time it was believed in research that this earthquake led to an impoverishment and proletarianization of the city, but recent research believes this is unlikely.

The population of Pompeii, which was inconsistently referred to in ancient sources as urbs , oppidum or municipium and whose citizens belonged to the tribus Menenia , is estimated at 8,000 to 10,000 inhabitants at the time of the fall.


Scheme of a Plinian eruption .
1: ash cloud
2: chimney
3: ash fall
4: ash and lava layers
5: rock layer
6: magma chamber

The earthquake of 62, possibly caused by the sagging of a clod in the hearth roof or the opening of a crack in the underground, loosened the volcano's chimney. Its resistance was reduced more and more in the following years by the enclosed rising gases and by the steady increase in the vapor pressure in the magma chamber . In late summer or autumn of 79 the internal pressure overcame the resistance of the plug, which was suddenly shattered and ejected. Immediately afterwards, huge amounts of pumice stone and ash were thrown out in a short time . The Triassic dolomites that were also ejected from the hearth roof are evidence that the chimney was emptied deep down. A jet of gas then blew crushed material from the chimney walls.

Several days earlier there had been signs of the eruption of Vesuvius, which is why some of the residents had already left the city. The eruption threw vast amounts of ash, lava and gases into the atmosphere. This cloud was carried by the wind across the country towards Pompeii. Shortly after the eruption began, it started raining pumice stone. Under the pumice dust were larger pieces that hit the earth at high speed. This pumice stone brought down countless roofs, blocked doors and trapped residents of the city.

During a short break the chimney collapsed. The next eruption cleared it, and the eruption rapidly increased in violence. The chimney collapsed again and was cleared again. The gas-rich magma of the deep rose up in the chimney, was atomized by violent explosions and, in increasing succession, promoted by strong ash eruptions. The peak of the eruption thus reached was probably accompanied by violent volcanic quakes. At the same time, a torrential eruption rain on the western slope of the volcano turned large quantities of ash into streams of mud.

The chimney and the upper part of the magma chamber had been emptied by the ejection of enormous masses of pyroclastic material, so that the roof of the magma chamber sagged along the fault lines. Magma penetrated from one of these fault lines to the surface and poured over the swamp area at the northern foot of Monte Somma . The collapse of the summit region created a caldera six kilometers in diameter, in which the cone of today's Vesuvius was formed in the period that followed.

By the time Vesuvius had calmed down after its eighteen-hour eruption, most of the people in Pompeii had already been suffocated or killed by falling rocks. Still, some had survived the disaster by then. The few who were still alive fell victim to glowing avalanches only a short time later . The most famous victim was the Roman writer Pliny the Elder , who, driven by scientific interest and the desire to help, drove with his fleet (he was the prefect of the Roman fleet in Misenum ) to the site of the disaster. Before Stabiae he perished in the sulfur fumes. Witness to the catastrophe was his nephew Pliny the Younger , who described the process in two received letters to the historian Tacitus , who had asked him for source material. The specific course of the volcanic eruption is therefore also known as the Plinian eruption .

According to the oldest copy of the letter that Pliny the Younger had sent to Tacitus, the date of the fall was August 24th. Most of the scientific accounts followed this up to the excavation finds in October 2018. However, the different copies of the letter show very different dates up to November 24th. As early as 1797, Carlo Maria Rosini combined from the different dates, from a statement by Cassius Dio at Xiphilinos , according to which the outbreak occurred in autumn ( phthinoporon ) and the food residues found - including chestnuts, pomegranates, olives and peach kernels that only ripened in autumn - that the outbreak occurred on November 23rd. He was followed by Michele Ruggiero in 1879 , while others preferred October 24th. Inscriptions have been known for a long time, for example on olives pickled on October 16, for which, however, the year of their writing cannot be proven. In October 2018, graffiti written in charcoal was found. It names October 17th as the date and, due to the transience of the writing material, probably dates from the year of the eruption. If so, the outbreak itself is likely to be October 24th or later.

For 1500 years Pompeii was buried under a layer of volcanic ash and pumice stone up to 25 meters thick. In addition to Pompeii, the cities of Herculaneum , Stabiae and Oplontis were completely buried.

Rediscovery and modern exploration

Early excavations

Shortly after the fall of the city, valuables were recovered from various buildings. For example, several marble statues could be lifted. In the almost 17 centuries that followed, the area of ​​the former city was only sporadically inhabited. Over the centuries, however, grave robbers had searched for valuable pieces in the easily accessible ruins and plundered them.

Chronology of the excavations in Pompeii

In 1592 Domenico Fontana discovered several inscriptions, marble tablets, coins and the like while building a canal, but nobody was interested in them. The site was called La Civita - the city - by the locals . The beginning of the scientific excavations, which is officially dated to April 6, 1748 is related to the off 1709 by Emmanuel Maurice de Lorraine, Duke of Elbeuf , began excavations at Herculaneum together, officially from 1738 by the Neapolitan royal family commissioned and the Spanish engineer officer Colonel Rocque Joaquín de Alcubierre had been handed over. The spectacular finds of numerous statues and artifacts also aroused interest for further research in the previously little interesting area of ​​Pompeii and Stabiae. For this reason, the excavations that the Neapolitan royal family entrusted to Alcubierre in the area of ​​Pompeii in 1748 were primarily aimed at finding special showpieces and valuables. Alcubierre had little success with his excavations and turned back to Herculaneum in 1750. However, he realized that he must have discovered a larger settlement. Since he thought she was Stabiae, he named the discovered theater Teatro Stabina. Excavations resumed four years later, now under the supervision of the Academy of Herculaneum. The objects that were looked for were primarily statues, jewelery and precious metals as well as especially wall paintings that were removed and brought to a specially built museum in Portici .

Excavations at the Temple of Isis

On August 20, 1763, a sign was found with the inscription "[...] Rei Rublicae Pompeianorum [...]" . The city was thus identified as Pompeii without a doubt. The excavation area could also be visited from 1763. The theater, the Temple of Isis, the Herculan Gate and the Diomedes villa in front of the city were among the first exhibits. The Neapolitan kings Charles VII and Ferdinand IV claimed the exclusive privilege to the treasures found. Visitors were forbidden to draw the ruins. Even worse for later research was that both ordered the destruction of murals just so that no one could get hold of them. Only the public protest of Johann Joachim Winckelmann forced the royal family to refrain from this practice. It could not be prevented that selected pieces were given away to other European royal families. A series of splendid volumes containing the engravings Antichità di Ercolano circulated among the European elite . Thanks to these books, we know today which art treasures were lost at that time.

Due to the influence of Winckelmann's works and the resulting change in consciousness in bourgeois society, the confrontation with the legacies of the Romans was now a confrontation with one's own European culture. This change began after 1760. From then on, antiquity was elevated to a kind of ideal. The ancient world was imagined as the only collection of magnificent buildings. Since the findings of Pompeii mostly did not do justice to this idea and the needs of the royal museum were covered, interest in further excavations in Pompeii fell asleep for the time being, the excavations proceeded only slowly. After Alcubierre's death in 1780, Francesco La Vega became the new excavation manager. Prominent visitors to Pompeii in this early period of the excavations were, among others, Johann Wolfgang Goethe ("Much misery has happened in the world, but little that would have given posterity so much joy") and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .

A great advance in exploration was made when the French occupied Naples in 1799 and ruled Italy from 1806 to 1815 . The management of the excavations was now in French hands and proceeded according to plan. First, the land on which Pompeii lies was expropriated. At times during this time up to 700 workers were employed in the excavations. Parts of the forum were excavated, as well as the main street Via Mercurio coming from the north and the subsequent Via del Foro leading to the forum . Thus, the already excavated areas in the north and south were connected. Parts of the Via dell'Abbondanza were also exposed in the west-east direction . The planned complete excavation of the city ​​wall , which should enable a walk through the city, could not be carried out until the French withdrew in 1815. Nevertheless, for the first time an impression of the size and appearance of the ancient small town could be gained. In the years that followed, the excavators had to constantly struggle with a lack of money. The excavations proceeded slowly again, nevertheless significant finds could be recorded. This is how the houses of the Faun , Meleager , the tragic poet and the Dioscuri were found .

Giuseppe Fiorelli and the beginning of scientific research

Excavation of a house towards the end of the 19th century
Victims of the volcanic eruption (casts of the cavities in the cooled rock)
Human plaster cast of the cavity in the solidified rock, found on February 5, 1863, photographed by Giorgio Sommer

With the appointment of Giuseppe Fiorelli as soprintendente in 1863, a new era began in the exploration of the city. The following twelve years under his leadership were to be formative. Excavation techniques made great strides in the second half of the 19th century. The work became more and more scientific and steadily improved. For example, plaster casts of the dead were made. When the excavators discovered cavities that the corpses had left in the hardened rock, they were carefully filled with plaster of paris. After solidifying, the dead could be seen as plaster models. Their expression ranges from the obvious agony to a peaceful impression of falling asleep. In the course of time, these methods were refined, so that smaller cavities that had been left behind by previously organic material were also poured out. That could be former wooden furniture or roots. Attention was also paid to the upper floors of the buildings, the upper floors were also partially reconstructed. Houses were now dug from above and not from the side. This led to unambiguous scientific findings, also about the roof structure, and prevented the walls from collapsing, which until then had often happened because of the weight of the soil inside the houses. The securing and preservation of the already excavated parts of the city, which so far had mostly only been poorly or not at all reconstructed and had once again been left to decay, was now looked after.

The restoration became an important part of the work , especially under Fiorelli's successor Michele Ruggiero . Fiorelli also introduced methods of scientific documentation. He divided the city into the nine areas (regiones) and blocks of houses (insulae), which are still valid today, and numbered the entrances to the individual houses (domus) so that each is recorded by these three numbers, in addition to what was usually intended for the house by the excavators Names; z. B. VI 15.1 (so-called Casa dei Vettii ). With the Giornale degli Scavi , Fiorelli also published the first periodical with current excavation reports. Under Fiorelli's successors, the last remains of the previously unexcavated areas west of the Via Stabiana were exposed. The entire west of the city was archaeologically examined.

In 1889 the archaeologist Friedrich von Duhn and the architect Louis Jacobi investigated deeper layers of the city and came across a Doric temple from the 6th century BC. Between 1907 and 1911 two necropolises from the Samnite period (5th century BC) were found in front of the city walls . Between 1911 and 1924, Vittorio Spinazzola led the exploration of the entire Via dell'Abbondanza (also known as the bazaar street ) up to the Sarno gate. However, Spinazzola's reconstructions of the facades of the buildings on this street are extremely controversial in science. In order to protect the masonry, frescoes , mosaics , inscriptions, etc., small sloping tiled roofs were built on the walls since the end of the 19th century. In doing so, however, no attention was paid to the original room heights or even to the upper floors. Water and power lines were also laid, in part to create effects for visitors using fountains or light. The planting of laurel trees and palm trees in the courtyards of the houses at that time did more harm than good and still poses problems for archaeologists today. Even with the walls it is hardly possible to distinguish between original parts and new parts. But the biggest problem is the dilapidation of the reconstructions from this time.

Modern Archeology: From the 1920s to Today

Finds and pouring from the cavity of a victim in the hardened rock

In the 1920s, under Amedeo Maiuri , who was excavation director in Pompeii for almost 40 years, excavations were carried out for the first time in layers older than that of AD 79 in order to gain knowledge about the history of the settlement. The Second World War brought further devastation, as Allied planes bombed in September 1943 Pompeii. The areas that were newly excavated at the time were particularly affected. The last large-scale excavations took place under Maiuri in the 1950s, but these were not adequately documented scientifically. After Maiuri's excavations, the area south of Via dell'Abbondanza and the course of the city wall were almost completely exposed. However, conservation has been criminally neglected and presents today's archaeologists with great difficulties. This area, of all places, which, thanks to its dense development with workshops, hostels and pubs, could paint an exact picture of life in the city, has an impact today - not least after a questionable reconstruction in the 1980s and 1990s after the severe earthquake of 23. November 1980, which wreaked havoc in Pompeii - lifeless and sterile. The excavation of the burial ground in front of the Noceraner Tor also took place at this time. Since then, apart from smaller explorations or targeted probes and excavations, the area has already been excavated. Around two thirds of the city has now been exposed. Further large-scale excavations are currently not foreseeable. Today archaeologists are trying to reconstruct, document and, above all, stop the ever faster decay. Pompeii is also increasingly becoming an international research project. For example, the German Archaeological Institute has been active in Pompeii for a long time. Particularly noteworthy is the research project Houses in Pompeii led by Volker Michael Strocka or the research of the Casa dei Postumii (1997 to 2002) by Jens-Arne Dickmann and Felix Pirson .

The finds from Pompeii have been in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples since 1787 , and more recent finds can also be seen on site in the Antiquarium .

Excavation directors, directors and superintendent of the Pompeii historic site

Indented the directors in charge of Pompeii. At times more than one person was responsible for the archaeological site of Pompeii or the incumbents took turns as excavation directors and museum directors in Naples. The superintendents of Naples and Caserta have been responsible for Pompeii since 1961, and there are always local directors for Pompeii as well as for Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabiae and Boscoreale.

Urban development and infrastructure

Streets, traffic routing, city gates and city walls

Main streets in Pompeii: 1. Via Marina (yellow); 2. Via dell'Abbondanza (green); 3. Via di Porta Nocera (light pink); 4. Via di Nola (dark blue); 5. Via di Stabia (red); 6. Via di Mercurio (light blue); 7. Via del Foro (pink)

The urban development of Pompeii has not been adequately researched to this day, as the excavations were mostly limited to the horizon of the time of the sinking in AD 79. So far, deeper explorations have only been carried out in a few places and in selected projects and objects. Thus, one can only make partial statements about the development of the city so far. In the more recent exploration of the city, however, the exploration of deeper layers is also in the foreground.

Even today one can see the nucleus ( settlement nucleus ) of the city on the map of Pompeii , which was erected in an exposed position on a lava plateau. The outline of this original settlement in the southwest of the city can be recognized by the street layout, which, unlike the rest of the city, was not laid out in a straight line and in the form of a grid . Later large streets, especially Via dell'Abbondanza, were continued into the old town area , but even with this work, the axes could not be extended in a straight line.

The systematic layout of the streets outside of the old town suggests a planned development of the new settlement area. In research it is controversial when this plant was made. Recent studies indicate that this must have happened quite early and that the city gates and the city ​​wall were also planned in the course of the construction of the road system .

View of the Noceraner Tor

On closer inspection it is noticeable that the city of Pompeii was criss-crossed by five major streets. In a west-east direction ( called decumanus ) in the north was a street called Via della Fortuna in the western part and Via di Nola in the eastern part , which opened into the Nolaner Tor in the east and a smaller street in the west that ran just before the city wall. The rather short Via Marina runs parallel to this street in the south , coming from the port gate. Behind the forum it runs through almost the whole city as Via dell'Abbondanza and leaves the city through the Sarno gate . In north-south direction, Via del Foro runs in the western part of the city , which is called Via di Mercurio after it has crossed Via della Fortuna . After it has passed the forum, it is moved slightly to the west as Strada delle Scuole and, after a short walk, flows into a smaller street that runs parallel to the wall just before the city wall. The middle north-south street is Via Stabiana . It is the only street that runs absolutely straight through the entire city from one gate to the other. In the north it ends at the Vesuvius Gate , in the south at the Stabian Gate . The third and most easterly of the three streets is Via di Porta Nocera coming from the Noceraner Tor . The southern part in particular has been excavated from it to Via dell'Abbondanza . However, it is certain that it will not meet any city gate in the north. The only city gate that was not on one of the major streets was the Herculaner Tor, which was in the northwest corner.

Despite the planned layout of most of the city, large parts of the streets - especially in the north-west and south-east - deviate from the orientation of the north-south axis of the city (Via Stabiana) . In the northwest, the street layout is based on Via di Mercurio , in the southeast on the Noceraner Tor . There are also deviations from the main axis oriented towards the old town in the parts of the city directly adjacent to the old town.

The street layout suggests that areas north of the old town were already in the 6th century BC. Were created and partially built on. The expansion of the urban area beyond the Via Stabiana to the east probably did not take place before the end of the 4th century. There are also two different street layouts here. Thus, one can also assume that the settlement to the east took place in two steps. The second in particular suggests that a large number of people were settled here at the same time. It is assumed that these were earlier inhabitants of the Hannibal family in 215 BC. The city of Nuceria Alfaterna was destroyed in the 4th century BC .

The rapid growth of the city as early as the 6th century BC BC during the first three generations of settlers also explains the decision to build a first, still relatively low defensive wall. This building from the middle of the 6th century BC BC was however already at the beginning of the 5th century BC. Torn down again and replaced by a massive building made up of two curtains with a filled space in between. It is unclear whether the construction of the wall was due to a real threat from neighboring settlements or from tribes settling in the hinterland. The latest finds on the edge of the old town indicate that there may have been a wall around the old town during an early settlement phase. That would also explain why the Via dell'Abbondanza on the edge of the old town makes a slight bend to the north - here we can assume a former city gate through which the street was originally once led. However, the finds suggest that the old town wall was only built in the 5th century BC. This would make it younger than the first wall ring. Therefore, one can assume that the old town was an additionally fortified place of protection and retreat.

Pompeiian Street in the evening

Although there are only a few findings on pre-Roman settlement, it can already be said that during the time when the Samnites ruled the city (5th / 4th century BC), there was almost no urban development. When the Romans expanded their influence to Campania and tried to plunder in Pompeii, it was decided to build a third city wall in the city. This was built from limestone blocks, which were reinforced in particularly endangered areas such as on the north side of the city by a heaped earth wall. The construction of the Sarno Gate and the Noceraner Gate also fell during this period . So this area seems to have been integrated into the city only at this time. Pompeii was now finally in the shape it would hold until its fall. The city walls were reinforced twice, first during the threat from Hannibal and a second time during the clashes with Rome in the war of allies . The last change to the wall was the erection of twelve towers in the southeast, east and north. The towers were built at the end of the road so that the defenders could get to them as quickly as possible.

It is noticeable that originally there were no dead ends in the city. A few previous thoroughfares only turned into dead ends after renovations during the imperial era. This meant that smaller side streets were also through streets and it can be assumed that some of these were heavily frequented. So you could get to the city wall from any point in the city without any problems, which was of no small importance in the case of a defense. The buildings only reached up to the wall in the west and south-west (old town) secured by the steep wall. This resulted in an almost continuous wall ring. Another positive point of this planning was unhindered traffic in the city - where there are no dead ends, there are fewer backlogs.

It should be noted that the roads were primarily used by pack animals and load carriers. For the normal pedestrians there were mostly footpaths on the main streets. Despite the deep wheel tracks, one must assume that there was not as much traffic with wagons as one would have imagined in the past. The deep wheel tracks have grown over 150 years in the course of the 1st century BC. Chr. Paved road floor eaten. Further evidence of manageable wagon traffic is that in the side streets there were only minor signs of wear on the streets from wagon wheels. Heavy barrows were probably reloaded onto smaller, two-wheeled carts, beasts of burden and porters before entering town due to traffic regulations similar to those in Herculaneum. On the tablets of the law (Tabulae Heracleenses) found there , traffic with drawn carts is banned into the night. During the day, only suppliers of public works were allowed to drive on the streets. There is evidence of massive use of pack animals. Throughout the city there are hundreds of eyelet-like holes drilled in the curbs , which may have served to leash the animals and as supports for sunroofs.

In Pompeii there were mostly only footpaths on the main streets. In the side streets, the buildings usually extended right up to the street, so that all of the traffic took place on it. Sidewalks were not public facilities either, but were built by local residents. This can be seen from the fact that the width of the sidewalks is different on different insulae on the same street and that the paving of the sidewalks usually change at the property boundaries. The sidewalks were evidently not intended for traffic as such, but for lingering, chatting, or looking at the shop displays. They were a kind of "restricted traffic zone".

Names for the streets are not known. Today's names are modern inventions, although street names such as Via del Foro ("Forum Street") may well have been possible. Unfamiliar visitors certainly had problems finding their way around the city. Anyone wishing to go to a certain location had to ask questions or be guided through the maze of streets by a guide.

Water supply

Public fountain; A lead pipe connection can be seen on the left edge of the picture
Broken (defective) lead water pipe

For centuries, the water supply for the Pompeii population was one of the greatest problems. Water was freely accessible only from the Sarno or from springs on Vesuvius. If you wanted to get water in the city, you had to build cisterns or - because of the location on a plateau - dig very deep wells. These wells represented a remarkable technical achievement. A well found at one of the highest points at the Herculaner Tor was 35 meters deep. Several fountains were found in the urban area, most of them centrally located at crossroads. However, there were even greater numbers on land or, especially in later times, even inside buildings. However, it is unclear whether these wells were only used for private supply. After the construction of the aqueduct , the wells were abandoned and - partly used as a waste pit - filled in over time. It is believed that most of the buildings also had a cistern before the aqueduct was built. It can be assumed, however, that this water was primarily used as industrial water - e.g. for washing, for watering the gardens or for watering the farm animals. So far, however, there have been no more detailed investigations into the cisterns, as they are mostly very unstable and the risk for the archaeologists to be buried during the investigation is too great. When investigating the Insula Arriana Polliana , the excavators found a huge cistern that stretched the entire width of the building (30 meters). In four of the six shops ( tabernae ) that were there, holes were found through which one could draw water from the cistern.

In the 1st century BC An aqueduct was built, which greatly improved the supply of fresh water to the city. East of Vesuvius a line was branched off from the already existing Serino line . The Pompeian aqueduct, which ran mostly underground as far as Pompeii, met the city at the highest point at the Vesuvius Gate . A distribution building, the so-called water fort, was built there, in which the water was cleaned by two large lead sieves - first a coarse screen and then a fine screen - and distributed to three inlets via three weirs. From here it flowed into the city in lead pipes that could be up to 30 centimeters in diameter. The first inlet fed the public water supply, the second the thermal baths and the third the private connections in the houses. The latter two connections could be blocked in the event of water scarcity.

The water was distributed via a network of elevated tanks (13 known so far), which could be up to six meters high and, like the pipes, were made of lead. Its most important function was to equalize pressure. Due to the high water pressure in the lead pipes, water damage seems to have occurred quite often, as evidenced by various signs of repair on the pipes.

Despite many connections in private households, public fountains were the most important for supplying the population with water. Most of these wells were positioned at crossings. So far 42 wells have been located, which indicates a fairly high density in the water supply. Due to the distribution of these public fountains, the usage area is assumed to have a radius of approx. 50 meters.

As much as they tried to get water supplies in the city, just as little did they care about its disposal. Since there was a natural gradient in the city, the sewage was simply discharged via the streets.

Public buildings


Aerial view of the Pompeii Forum from the northeast

The forum is located in the middle of the old town of Pompeii. His buildings date from different times - the ensemble therefore does not give a closed, homogeneous impression. The open space of the forum is a rectangular system. This square will have served as a market, especially in the pre-Roman times. Initially, the forum also had an important function as a meeting place, but it can be assumed that the people's assemblies have been held there since the first theater was built. Except on the north side, the complex is surrounded by a two-story portico , which was built around the year 100 BC. Was started. An inscription in Latin - but with the mention of the Quaestor's office , which dates back to the Oscar period and was no longer in use during the Roman period - suggests that the building was built shortly after the Allies' War, but before the establishment of the Roman colony, i.e. between 89 and 80 BC BC, was completed. The development on the west side probably took place on the basis of earlier private houses.

Older plan of the forum by August Mau


The only building on the square was the capitolium at the north end , the temple for the Capitoline Triassic . At first it was only dedicated to the supreme Roman god Jupiter . It was built in the middle of the 2nd century BC. BC, as well as the Temple of Apollo (see below) was renovated. At that time, the Roman Jupiter replaced the Greek Apollo as the highest city god. Pompeii thus leaned on Rome very early on. The size of the temple exceeded that of the Temple of Apollo; its exposed location testifies to its outstanding position. The construction was also based on Roman models, not on Greek models as in the Temple of Apollo. The furnishings seem to have been particularly rich, even in the cella there were statues. At the beginning of the 1st century BC The function of the temple to the worship of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva was expanded .


In the northeast corner was the Macellum of Pompeii . During the reconstruction of the forum in the 2nd century BC The forum had changed its function. It was no longer the city's central market square, as was previously the case. These tasks were taken over by other places. One of those places was the Macellum . At the beginning of the 1st century the building was completely renewed, but was badly damaged during the earthquake of 62 AD. In the center of the hall there was a tholos , at the head (east) three rooms, in the middle a place for the imperial cult could be located. In the previous building there was probably a cult area for the god of merchants, Mercurius . In the macellum, food was primarily traded, especially meat and fish. Numerous remains of bones and bones, as well as stables, were found. In the tabernae on the north and west sides, remnants of fruit, grain and baked goods were found. After the fall of Pompeii, part of the statues there was recovered from the cult room in the middle of the east side through a wall breakthrough.

For a long time, the area south of the Macellum was not built on with public buildings, but with private houses. This was probably not a problem because the front of the house facing the forum consisted of tabernae (integrated into the residential buildings) . Thus, the rich families who owned the land in this prime location could still afford to live here until the early imperial era. It was only at this time that private houses were given up in favor of representative public buildings. A smaller sanctuary was built next to the Macellum in honor of the imperial family. This was followed by a small temple of the Genius Augusti , which at least a fragmented inscription suggests. The shrine was donated by the priestess Mamia.

Eumachia building

The largest building on the Forum, adorned with the most splendid facade , was the Eumachia building . It was named after the building's founder, the high-ranking priestess Eumachia . Two inscriptions identify herself and her son as the founder of the building, but unlike usual, it is not stated what the building was intended for. It can be assumed that the built property had previously belonged to the Eumachiern, an old-established, rich Pompeian family who had their house here at the Forum. The building was dedicated to the goddess Concordia . One statue that was found represented the symbolic Concordia Augusta . Due to the foundation of a statue of Eumachia by the city's wool manufacturers, it was assumed, probably incorrectly, that the building served as a wool market. More recently, a slave market or a place for auctioning goods has been adopted as the use of the building. Most likely, however, it will be used as a ballroom for celebrations honoring the Concordia.

Polling station and official offices

The polling station was built as a Roman colony in the early days. One can only speculate about the function of the small building. It used to be called the comitium , but the building was too small as a meeting place for the people's assembly . That is why more recent interpretations assume that the votes of decisions of the people's assembly may have been counted here.

There were three offices on the south side of the forum. The eastern and middle buildings date from pre-Roman times and seem to have been built at the same time as the basilica (see below) or a little later. The western building was probably built in the course of the elevation of Pompeii to a Roman colony. Possibly there were three buildings because the administration of a city consisted of three pillars: Quaestors (financial management), Aediles (construction, public order) and the duumviri iure dicundo, the two highest judicial officials in the city. The building could also have been used as a storage place for legal documents and contracts as well as a meeting room for the city council.


View from the interior of the podium of the basilica

The basilica was located on the southwest side, with the front facing the forum . It was (around the same time as the Temple of Jupiter and the new building of the Temple of Apollo) in the second half of the 2nd century BC. BC (in the course of the monumentalization of the city) on a site on which previously private houses and - on the forum front - shops had stood. The basilica has a rectangular floor plan with three naves and a sloping hipped roof on both sides, which is supported by the central columns and the half-columns on the upper part of the walls. There decorations (wall paintings from the 3rd to the beginning of the 1st century BC - also known as the structural style) have been preserved. This was the first time that large quantities of fired bricks were used in Pompeii. In order to achieve a representative appearance, the building was covered with stucco at the end , which was smoothed and polished. A brick wall was imitated through a fine network of surface reliefs. This method has been called the First Pompeian Style since the research of August Mau . A graffito that the consuls of the year 78 BC. BC, dates the building to a pre-Roman time.

In the rear area is the tribunal with the seats for the judges, accessible via wooden stairs. The building was possibly used for jurisdiction and commercial negotiations, but this assumption is not certain.

Temple of Apollo

Remains of the Temple of Apollo. In front the altar. Vesuvius in the background

The Temple of Apollo was the oldest building on the forum. There are traces of a previous building from the 6th century BC. Found. The traditional temple construction, however, dates from the middle of the 2nd century BC. And was obviously built according to urban Roman models. This is interesting because there was no need for Pompeii, which at the time was only loosely connected to Rome, to orientate itself towards Rome. The construction of the temple testifies to the Greek models of Rome. Originally the Temple of Apollo was a symbol of the influence of the Etruscans on the city, as Apollo was one of their most important gods. The temple was initially the main sanctuary of the city. But even after other temples were built, the cult of Apollo remained very popular. Various private offerings were found here, as well as bronze statues of Apollo and Diana as well as Hermen of Mercurius and probably his mother Maia . A sundial was erected in front of the temple in the early imperial era.

Market hall

Calibration table ( mensa ponderaria ) with recesses for measurements of capacity

In the northwest there was a second market hall next to the Macellum. Food and other everyday goods may have been traded here. The discovery of a calibration table for measuring the dimensions was particularly important for research . The limestone slab with recessed depressions dates back to pre-Roman times, as one could find Oscar inscriptions on it. In Augustan times, the city council decided that the recesses were adapted to the Roman units of measurement. Another special feature were the communal latrines in the very north of the hall - the only ones outside the thermal baths that have so far been found in Pompeii.

Statues and arches of honor

Bases of at least 25 statues were found on all sides inside and outside the portico . Today, however, it is no longer possible to reconstruct which statues stood here. After the burial, these were either deliberately or rescued by looters along with the plinths and cladding. However, the dimensions of the base allow some conclusions. Apparently there were only life-size equestrian statues on the forum , while the foot statues were placed in front of the columns inside the portico.

The best place was on the south side of the forum. Ten equestrian statues were previously replaced by three very large ensembles of statues. According to inscriptions, there was a 12 BC in the middle. Chr. Donated equestrian statue of Augustus. The other two bases suggest that there were two squares . Such squares generally represented the emperor as a triumphant . Another large equestrian statue, presumably depicting the emperor, stood in the center of the forum. In the late 1st century BC There was hardly any space left for more statues. On the long sides there were images of the city's dignitaries, on the narrow front sides those of the imperial family.

Honor arches were erected on both sides of the south side of the Capitolium . A third was added in Tiberian times on the north east side. The southern arch on the east side was later dismantled, probably as a result of the earthquake of 62 AD. The arches were used for imperial propaganda. We know from an inscription on the Tiberian arch that there was no picture of the emperor here, but that of a member of the imperial family.

Temples and cult buildings

Plan of Pompeii showing the distribution of the public cult buildings - 1. Temple of Venus; 2. Temple of Apollo; 3. Jupiter Temple; 4. macellum; 5. Laren Sanctuary; 6. Temple of the Genius Augusti; 7. Eumachia building; 8. Forum Triangolare; 9. Isis Temple; 10. Aesculap and Salus temples; 11. Fortuna Temple

Forum Triangulare: Hercules Minerva Temple and Heroon

Through the routing of the streets along the former old town wall, the steep edge in the south and the later other buildings in the west, a triangular system was created outside the old town of Pompeii and directly on the outskirts in the southwest, which is modernly called the Forum Triangolare . Much of the area was undeveloped, there was only the Hercules Minerva Temple, the Heroon and a few smaller buildings.

The Temple of Hercules Minerva is the second oldest temple in the city after the Temple of Apollo. A Doric temple stood in its place in the early days. Due to the exposed position on the steep edge, the temple was easily recognizable from the sea. It had, which was a rarity in antiquity, an odd number of columns (seven) on the facade. This is attributed to the use of the temple for two gods. In his cella there were two separate bases for cult images . Based on the representations on tiles on the roof, it is assumed that these two gods were Minerva and Hercules . They are made around 300 BC. Dated. From this one concludes that the building was extensively renovated at that time. The assumption that one of the deities is Minerva was confirmed by a later find of the Oscar facade inscription dipinto .

In the late 2nd century BC A small deep well was created over which a small round temple ( Monopteros ) was built. An Oscar inscription identifies the temple as the foundation of a meddix (a kind of mayor of the city). Apparently the fountain was used as an oracle site . At the same time, two rows of columns were also erected, one in the west, one in the east and a monumental entrance gate in the north.

In the early days of the colony (after 80 BC) a Heroon was built between the Hercules Minerva Temple and the Monopteros , a four-sided walled area in which Hercules was worshiped as a hero .

Other small additions were made in the imperial era. These were a semicircular bench with a view of the sea, a sundial and a statue of Marcellus , which the city council had erected on a high base.

Isis and Aesculapian Salus temples

The Isis cult was not established until the 2nd century BC. Introduced in Pompeii. Isis was most likely worshiped by the simple urban population. While rich, mostly long-established families acted as donors in other temples, inscriptions show that the equipment of the Isis Temple was financed primarily by people of simple origin. The popularity of the cult of Isis also shows that the Temple of Isis was rebuilt very quickly after the earthquake of AD 62 as one of the few public buildings.

This is also indicated by the inscription above the entrance gate: N (umerius) Popidius N (umeri) f (ilius) Celsinus aedem Isidis terrae motu conlapsam a fundamento p (equnia) s (ua) restituit; hunc decuriones ob liberalitatem, cum esset annorum sexs, ordini suo gratis adlegerunt. (“Numerius Popidius Celsinus, the son of Numerius, rebuilt the temple of Isis, which collapsed in the earthquake, at his own expense; in thanks for this generosity the decurions accepted him into their congregation, although he was only six years old . ”) The donor's father was a wealthy freedman who could not become a decurion himself and wanted to pave the way for his son to gain political office.

When the temple was excavated as one of the first Pompeii buildings in the 1760s, the public was surprised to find an oriental cult in Italy. This triggered a fascination with Egypt in Europe, which you could even recognize in Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel about the fall of Pompeii, published in 1837, as the latter gave the cult of Isis and its priest a large place in history.

The Isis Temple - also called Iseum - was built towards the end of the 2nd century BC. At an exposed location in the immediate vicinity of the theater, it was built as one of the first of its kind in Italy. Although the cult originated in Egyptian mythology , the furnishings were Roman - further evidence of a very early reference to Rome. After renovations, the small temple received several side rooms. A cult image was not only set up of Isis, but also of Serapis , Harpocrates and Anubis . Along the back walls of the portico there were statues and herms of Isis, Venus, Bacchus and the actor Norbanus Sorex . An access in the southeast of the temple was used to get underground, where Nile water was kept for purification purposes.

To the east of the Isis Temple was another small temple of foreign gods. At first it was believed that a temple for Zeus Melichios had been found. However, after finding a statue in the cella , one must assume that it is a temple for Aesculapius and Salus . The temple was built in the early first century, possibly at the time the colony was founded and on the initiative of the new settlers. Since it was obviously difficult to find a place to build, it was wedged between older houses. Numerous altars and cult images show that the cult was very popular. However, their modest execution also shows that the Aesculapian cult was more widespread among the poorer classes of the city.

Venus Temple

In contrast to the Isis and Aesculapian Salus temples , the Venus temple had a large protector. Its construction goes back to 80 BC. At the time of the foundation of the Roman colony. The large temple was built in the old town, between the basilica and the port gate and aligned with the steep wall in the south. Not much has survived from the first building, as the temple was heavily rebuilt in the imperial era and badly damaged in the earthquake. It was still being renovated when the city fell, so the marble cladding is missing.

The erection of a temple of Venus at the time the colony was founded is significant, as Venus was the personal patron goddess of the conqueror Sulla, which is not only reflected in the erection of the temple, but also in the new name of the colony, Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum . Venus thus became the new patron saint of the city. However, the worship also went back to an earlier worship of Venus Fisica, the patron goddess of the treaties. This explains the unusual cult image of Venus in a long tunic, with cloak, diadem and scepter .

Fortuna Temple

A little to the north of the forum, at the prestigious intersection of Via di Mercurio and Via della Fortuna, which leads to the forum, the Fortuna Temple was built around the same time as the Forum's imperial cult buildings . This temple was donated to Fortuna Augusta by Marcus Tullius . It was erected on a high pedestal in the style of old Italian temples. Thus, the construction dominated the surrounding buildings.

Especially slaves and freedmen practiced the Fortuna cult. Mercurius was also venerated here - as in the Macellum. The main concern of the temple was probably to lead the lower classes to the imperial cult, to involve them in this way and thus to strengthen the concordia (unity).

Altars in the city

During the excavations, many smaller altars were found, especially at intersections. Often they were only fleetingly bricked up stone plinths or cult niches, sometimes even only attached to house facades as wall paintings. These small altars functioned as the smaller religious centers of the neighborhood. Here, above all, the cult of the lares compitales was cultivated.

The distribution across the city shows larger gaps, which had several reasons. On the one hand, such altars were not or only inadequately documented in earlier excavations. On the other hand, many of the only painted frescoes are lost today. Sacrificial and processional scenes can be seen on preserved remains. To date, these altars have only been insufficiently documented.

An interesting aspect of these altars is that the imperial cult, which the dignitaries conspicuously cultivated, apparently lagged behind the older cults among the common people.

In addition to the publicly accessible altars, there were also altars in private houses, where the Lares and Penates were especially venerated.

Thermal baths

Plan of Pompeii with the location of the thermal baths and sports facilities - 1. Suburban thermal baths; 2. Forum baths; 3. Central thermal baths; 4. Stabian thermal baths; 5. Republican Baths; 6. Forum Triangolare; 7. Samnite Palaestra; 8. Great palaestra

Stabian thermal baths

For a long time there was a discussion about the creation of the city's oldest thermal baths . Some researchers wanted them as early as the 5th or even 6th century BC. BC, with which it would have vied with the Olympias thermal baths for the location of the oldest public bathing facility. However, only the installation of an early seat bath is certain. Since it was built outside of the earlier city wall, it can only be built in the 3rd century BC. Have been built. A large bathing complex was only built here several generations later.

Floor plan of the Stabian thermal baths

The facility was conveniently located at the intersection of Via dell'Abbondanza and Via Stabiana. In the center there was a large palaestra . The baths were on the southeast side. From the entrance on Via Stabiana you came into a changing room. In the next large room, the Apodyterion , which had a large, stuccoed barrel vault, there were niches where clothes were kept. From here one entered the tepidarium (the warm bath). This was followed by the caldarium (the hot bath) or you could go to the laconicum (the sweat bath). The rooms were unusually large, even in the tepidarium there was a tub for full-body baths. The basin in the caldarium was probably used to cool off, as there was no cold water bath at that time.

Inner courtyard of the Stabian thermal baths

In the first years of the colony the bath was renovated and rebuilt with public money. Among other things, a destrictarium was built, a sweat bath where you could clean yourself from oil and sand. During further renovations in the early imperial period, the laconicum was converted into a frigidarium (cold water bath). The palaestra was also made smaller and a large swimming pool ( natatio ) was built on the west side .

The bathroom equipment was splendid, even if the repairs after the earthquake of 62 AD were not yet completed. During the renovations, additional entrances were also built in the north and south. The women's pool was in the northeast. It was a little smaller and only had a tepidarium and a caldarium. Nevertheless, women had to pay double the entrance fee.

The laconicum is vaulted by a conical vault, an early form of the dome. The beginning of the 1st century BC The dome shell dated to the 3rd century BC represents the oldest known example of the use of concrete in the later monumental Roman dome structure, here still with a modest diameter of 6.52 m.

Forum boilers

The forum baths were located directly to the north above the forum. Inscriptions reporting public funding are dated around 70 BC. Dated. The thermal baths were maintained by the fact that they were surrounded by shops on the outside walls in the north, west and south and that the second floor was probably rented as living space.

At first there was only one male wing; the women's wing was added later and in a small form. In addition, the palaestra belonging to the thermal baths, which should serve to exercise, is only very small. From this it is concluded that these thermal baths were primarily used by older men who went about their business at the forum.

The forum baths were the only ones that were quickly repaired after the earthquake of 62 AD and looked almost exactly the same as before and were in operation in 79 AD.

Suburban spas

Immediately outside the city at the port gate in the west, another thermal bath was built in the early imperial era. It was built according to the most modern knowledge of the time and had some technical refinements to offer. Large windows that gave a view of the sea were particularly interesting.

Today these thermal baths (also known as suburban thermal baths ) are mainly known for their erotic frescoes. However, the long-held view of being able to suspect forum prostitution here is not justifiable. Rather, these paintings in the changing room were intended as an aid to finding one's own clothes and were based on contemporary literature such as Ovid's Ars amatoria .

The suburban baths were badly damaged by robbery graves . At the end of the first millennium, they were even inhabited. They were already found by Maiuri, scientifically excavated and reconstructed, however, only between 1987 and 1992.

More thermal baths

Relatively central, at the intersection of several important streets - including Via Stabiana and Via di Nola - new thermal baths, the central thermal baths, were to be built after the earthquake of 62 AD. However, when it went down in AD 79, only the shell was ready. At least it could be seen that the builders were based on Roman models.

The Republican thermal baths were the second oldest, still pre-Roman, but also the smallest in the city. They were opposite the Samnite palaestra. It can be assumed that these thermal baths were mainly used by the local athletes. It is possible that the bathing establishment even belonged to the sports facility at first, as it was in a rather unfavorable location at the time of its creation. Besides, they did not have their own palaestra.

The thermal baths consist of two separate wings. The bigger one also had a sweat bath. This is where the men's bathroom is almost certainly to be found. These small thermal baths seem to have been abandoned at the latest in Augustan times.

Sports facilities

Forum Triangolare

The Forum Triangolare and the Theater District - Green: Forum Triangolare with temple; Red: large theater with theater portico; Yellow: teatrum tectum; Blue: Samnite palaestra; Orange: Isis Temple; Pink: Aesculapian Salus Temple

The Forum Triangolare was partly discussed in the discussion of the Hercules Minerva Temple and the Heroon . In addition to its use as one of the city's sacred centers, the open space offered by the forum was used as a sports facility for the youth. The aim was to train the city's youths and young men for possible military operations. Since the entire forum was surrounded by a portico - it was only missing on the steep slope in the southwest - the forum was a self-contained structure.

Today one can only make assumptions about its use, but it seems to have been the case that in pre-Roman times and early Roman times the forum was intended for the sporting-military training of the young men of the city. By erecting a wall on the east side of the square, about five meters from the portico, an easier-to-control sports facility was created. It can be assumed that the wall served as the boundary of a running path. It was only half a stadium long, but that supports the interpretation of the site as a campus . At the north end of the wall there was also a water basin for refreshment and a statue of Marcellus . He was the city's patron saint until his death and was supposed to serve as a kind of model and leader of the city's youth.

Samnite palaestra

The so-called Samnite Palaestra borders the Forum Triangolare in the northeast . Both were connected by an entrance, so that the palaestra, which was a designated sports facility, had access to the running track.

The building could be identified as a palaestra through the discovery of an Oscar inscription in which the vereiia are mentioned, an old pre-Roman name for young men who had to be schooled. As can be seen from the inscription, the facility was donated by a Vibius Atranus, who ordered the construction of the facility in his will. Furthermore, the connection to the Republican thermal baths, which did not have their own palaestra, speaks for an interpretation as a sports facility.

The last facility that can still be visited today dates from the imperial era. On the narrow side in the west there were five, on the two long sides eight columns, the east side was open. In an earlier construction phase, the palaestra extended further to the east, but had to give up space to the Temple of Isis. On the west side there are three rooms that were used as changing rooms.

A copy of Doryphorus , a famous spear-bearer statue, was found in the building. There was an altar in front of the statue base, which suggests that religious acts were also performed at this point.

Great Palaestra (Campus)

Great palaestra - view from the amphitheater

In Roman times, the sports facilities on the Forum Triangolare and the Samnite Palaestra increasingly lost importance, as did the aspect of military training in general. Since the Augustan period , physical exercise for pure pleasure came into fashion, especially among the youth of the upper class. In order to meet the new requirements, a huge palaestra was built right next to a very large open space west of the amphitheater. The area was delimited by a three-wing portico open to the amphitheater. To the amphitheater there was a simple wall with three passages as a boundary. Shady trees stood in front of the porticos, and there was a large swimming pool in the center of the complex. There was no running track or room for changing clothes and storing sports equipment. Also on this site is a place for the imperial cult, a cella- like room.

In the imperial era, the handling of sharp weapons in the city was reserved for gladiators . They had their training facility south of the theater, i.e. right next to the Triangolare forum. Initially, this area was a huge portico belonging to the theater, where theater-goers could stroll. The archaeologists found various devices used by gladiators in the adjacent buildings.


Large theatre

View into the big theater
View from the orchestra over the stands

During the 2nd century BC A large theater was built at the southern end of the lava plateau, east of the Forum Triangolare . It was the first building in the neighborhood, all the other buildings were built later and coordinated with the theater. No noteworthy remains of the first building have survived today. The building initially corresponded to the Greek tradition - there was a large round open space ( orchestra ) in front of the stage and the theater slightly extended beyond a semicircle. Only after several renovation phases was the theater adapted to Roman theater habits. For example, the first step was to raise the stage. During the Augustan period, the stage house (scaenae) was rebuilt, moved closer to the tiers , a trench was created for the effective use of the curtain and a larger venue was created. In addition, the stage facade was rebuilt and clad with marble. After the earthquake of 62 AD, the facade got a slightly different appearance when many niches and columns were added. The former horseshoe-shaped orchestra (the dance floor for the choir) was also reduced in size.

Another important addition were the boxes of honor on the side. You didn't have a good view of the stage from here, but what was more important than seeing what was happening on stage was that you were being seen. The boxes were intended for the city ​​magistrates and the gamblers. Marcus Holconius Rufus and his son Marcus Holconius Celer , who were members of one of the richest and most important families in the city, were responsible for a large part of the renovations . Marcus Holconius Rufus was even honored with a seat of honor (bisellium) at the foot of the lowest steps.

theatrum tectum (Odeion)

Small theater (Odeion)

Known from inscriptions under the name teatrum tectum ("roofed theater"), the smaller theater directly southeast of the large theater was built during the first few years as a Roman colony. Responsible for this on behalf of the city council were the well-known officials Marcus Porcius and Quinctius Valgus , both of whom were not locals. The building, designed as a semicircle like the ancient theater, was not only roofed over, but also built in a square shape. Thus, the building was reminiscent of Greek Odeia . This explains the view, which is still often, but probably wrongly, held to this day, that the teatrum tectum was a place for musical recitations that required better acoustics than a normal theater could offer. However, this is very unlikely because the construction had to do with the influx of Roman colonists. But it cannot be assumed that the former soldiers needed such entertainment. It is more likely that the Latin- speaking Romans , who were still in the minority at that time, got their own theater, since the large theater was still used by the still Oscar-speaking Pompeians. It can also be assumed that the small theater was used as a meeting place, where the fortunes of the city were regulated.


The amphitheater was built around the same time as the theatrum tectum . It was the first known amphitheater ever and had a capacity of 20,000 seats. The two officials named at the small theater were again responsible for the construction. The building was built directly in the southeast corner of the city. It was so high that it towered over the city walls and was the first to be seen by newcomers. So it was easy to reach for visitors from outside the city. Since no one had any experience with such buildings, the sophisticated technology as in later systems of this type, such as the Colosseum in Rome , was not yet available . Even the stairs to the auditorium were not yet integrated into the building, but attached outside.

Here the building took a back seat to its function. It was even referred to in an inscription as spectacula. How important the amphitheater and, above all, the events that took place there were, can be seen from the vast amount of graffiti that was found on the walls of the city, for example many doodles by the fans of the fighters such as: “Nikanor, siege!”; “ Spiculus from Nero's group of gladiators, a newcomer, has won: the freed Aptonetus , with 16 fights, perished”. You can also find big announcements for the games all over the city: “On the occasion of the inauguration of the archives (gladiators) of Gnaeus Alleius Nigidius Maius in Pompeii on June 13th (fight). There will be pageants, animal baiting, athletes fighting and sun sails . Nigra goodbye. "


Although Pompeii is the most important and most informative source for the economic history of antiquity, the analysis of the finds in this context is not always easy. There was long debate in science as to whether Pompeii was a producer or a consumer city . According to current knowledge, one must assume a mixed form.

Food supply

Olive mill
Bakery. To the right flour mills, in the middle an oven

The city seems to have been supplied at least in part by external suppliers from the surrounding area, such as the Villae rusticae in Boscoreale . These companies were probably specialized in the production of certain products. In Boscoreale, 18 clay barrels ( dolia ), a large wine press and an underground reservoir that could hold 10,000 liters of wine were found in the ground . Viticulture was since the 1st century BC. BC one of the most important industries in the area. It is also known that the Eumachians and the Holconians had wineries outside the city and made considerable profits with them. The Campanian wine was also exported, not least a considerable part of the supply of the city of Rome (20 to 25) came from the Vesuvius area. Viticulture has also been proven in Pompeii itself. On the almost completely undeveloped Insula II 5, which is directly adjacent to the eastern city wall and south of the end section of Via dell'Abbondanza, there was a wine plantation. The holes in the vines could be detected.

The city was also supplied with goods via the river port at the mouth of the Sarno. Last but not least, fish came from here. The fish sauce garum , which was an important food of the time, was made here in larger production facilities for the city. The meat can only be supplied from outside, as it was not possible to keep a large number of animals within the city. Smaller numbers of small animals could certainly be kept inside the houses, but it is difficult to prove this.

The supply of fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, could take place at least to a small extent within the city in gardens belonging to the houses. Kitchen gardens have been found in many houses even at the time of the fall in AD 79. Occasionally there were even larger inner-city cultivation areas. It cannot be said whether this was enough to fully supply the city, but it cannot be assumed.

In contrast to fruit and vegetables, there was hardly any self-sufficiency with pasta. While hand mills were mostly found in the villas outside the city, which speak for self-sufficiency with flour, these were hardly found in the city. However, it is noticeable that there were many bakeries within the city, interestingly some with and others without mills. As a result, smaller bakeries in the old town and in obvious conurbations of the city that had neither space for mills nor for storing large quantities of grain had to be supplied with external flour. It is possible that these smaller bakeries were branches of the larger ones, which usually had three, in some cases even more, mills.

Crafts and handicrafts

Analogy to the Pompeiian blacksmiths workshops: Hephaestus ( Vulcanus , the god of blacksmithing , with the attributes of pileus and hammer ) presents Thetis with the reflective shield for Achilles . Foreground: Finished breastplate and greaves made of bronze, journeyman during the final chasing of the helmet . Fresco, Pompeii, Naples National Archaeological Museum

In the Roman Empire, most of the handicraft products were produced for the local trade market in small businesses ( officina ) in which members of the family and often some wage laborers and slaves worked. These businesses or craftsmen mostly made their goods to order. The workshops ( tabernae ) they ran were mostly located on the ground floor of the tenement blocks ( insulae ) in the cities . The records are particularly numerous in Pompeii with around 650 workshops, most of them for the sale of food, but also 25 tanneries and fulling mills , two clothing and one linen dealers , ten metalworking workshops, three pottery shops, including a small lamp factory, and some carpenters, (Flick) cobblers and perfume makers.

Durable goods, raw materials, building materials and metal semi-finished products had to be imported from outside the city. Clay pits were needed for the production of bricks or pottery such as amphorae. Both the Eumachians and the Holconians are known to operate clay pits. The brick of Lucius Eumachius supplying what the basis of stamps is apparent, for example, Boscoreale . Depending on the season, amphorae were produced in the summer and the pre-harvest months and bricks for the rest of the year. Further production and service companies could be occupied. A painting and pottery workshop (figuli) - whose owner was called Zosimus -, perfumeries and a clay lamp workshop were found.

The longstanding assumption that Pompeii was a local center of the wool industry can no longer be upheld today. The previously found capacities for wool processing - work surfaces, kettles for heating liquids, basins and troughs for dyeing, for example - were not sufficient for much more than urban self-sufficiency. Further processing with home looms could only be proven through the finds of around 50 loom weights in a single house. That is far too little for a larger production. Graffiti shows professions such as cloth walker (fullones), dyer (tinctores) and felting (coactiliarii) . However, statements about the number can no longer be made today, as the mostly thin-walled equipment required by them can no longer be detected in many workshops due to the earlier excavation methods. The city is likely to be self-sufficient with these goods. The same can be assumed for other industries such as tanneries and metalworking .

In the case of metalworking workshops in particular , the assumption that Capua , as the regional center , supplied the other cities with tools, agricultural implements, chains , scales , weapons, bronze goods , etc. , can now be viewed as incorrect. In Pompeii workshops for example, were the forged trades found as armourers or device Forge (fabri ferrarii) , coppersmiths and bronze smiths (fabri aerarii) - which for the bustle of vases , amphorae, boilers, pans, lamps or artistic reliefs were responsible - or silver - and goldsmiths . The classifications must not be classified here narrowly, because at that time work was often “interdisciplinary” and goods were produced for both daily needs and high-quality goods. Parallel would be here in today's metalsmith recognize. Some of the smiths from Pompeii are still known by name because of excavated recommendations, such as Iunianus , the iron smith, or Verus , who made bronze work and smaller candelabras . In addition, a workshop was found in which statuettes and even life-size statues were made using the bronze casting process. There were also jewelers (gemmarii) and chasers (caelatores) .

There were rows of shops in many public buildings and also in numerous large private houses. The city used it to finance projects or the house owners had an additional income that should not be underestimated. The Postumier House is an example of this interplay of living and living . Tabernae were located on three sides of the building, which took up a large area . Some of these stores were linked to the actual house. It can be assumed that slaves or freedmen worked here on behalf of the owner. Other shops had no connection to the interior of the building, but had a false ceiling. The owners of the shops and their families could have lived here. There is also access to the second floor. This should also have been rented by the owner. Some of the stores could be identified. There was a cookshop and a metal workshop here. The cookshop was possibly supplied by a large kitchen belonging to the building.


Signpost to the brothel
View of a prostitute's study

Another proven trade in Pompeii was prostitution . It is of particular importance that the only ancient building that can be identified with certainty as a lupanar ( brothel ) has been found in the city. The earlier assumption that there were far more brothels in the city has not yet been confirmed by research. Often places were wrongly named as brothels because there were erotic or sexual representations or graffiti with obscene content or with reference to prostitution. However, these were omnipresent and cannot be taken as an indication of such establishments. However, it can be assumed that prostitution did not only take place in this one building. Prostitutes probably went about their business in their own apartments or in rented rooms (often directly on the street with direct access). In addition, many waitresses were also active in this job, so that many restaurants were used in this way. Even in more prestigious areas, graffiti can be used to identify prostitutes who apparently had their quarters on the upper floors of the houses, which are no longer available today. Thanks to this graffiti, handed down by the hundreds, many names of prostitutes, who often came from the east of the empire and were slaves, and the pricing are also known. You can find out about: Athenais 2 As , Sabina 2 As, The house slave Logas, 8 As or Maritimus licks the shame for 4 As. He also receives virgins. The amounts range from one to two As to large amounts in the sesterces area . In the lower price segment, the service cost no more than a bread or a liter of wine.

Evidence of long-distance trade and cultural exchange with Asia

Statuette Pompei Lakshmi in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples

Among other things, an ivory statuette from India was discovered in the ruins of Pompeii . The Pompei Lakshmi statuette was produced in the century when the city fell. It is 25 centimeters long and was probably a mirror handle. The deliveries of nard , ivory and textiles are evidenced by archaeological finds and similiarly that the Roman trade with the east reached its peak in the first and second centuries. The statuette is a very unusual representation of Lakshmi or Yashis in Indian art.


Dipinti , black and white photo from around 1920–1923: House of Aulus Trebius Valens

Inscriptions ( Dipinti ) in Latin painted in red and black have been preserved on the walls of houses and walls . In other cities in the Roman world, too, the house facades are likely to have had similar “graffiti”, but nowhere could they have been preserved as well as in Pompeii. Those that are most likely to be interpreted as calls for political elections provide an archaeological source for an insight into the political mentality and everyday life of the city. Usually the inscriptions were whitewashed again after the city council had re-appointed to make room for the next ballot. At the time of its downfall, the city was in the election campaign. The candidates had to set up support committees that posted calls and recommendations on as many walls as possible in order to be perceived as such. In particular, the facades of buildings on the main traffic arteries, public places and shopping streets were painted. For example, neighborhood groups or entire professional associations could stand up for someone. The Pompeian fruit traders supported a certain Sallustius Capito . Amazingly, women also campaigned intensively, although they were neither allowed to vote nor could they be elected. One of the election recommendations was: "Pollia asks to elect Marcus Cerrinius". Another very direct: "Vote Gaius Rufus!"

It is noticeable that the calls did not refer to anything like a party or election manifesto. Election promises were also rarely found. Most of the candidates apparently did not want to be committed. His voice was given to a personality rather than a political program. There were no parties in the current sense. For one of the candidates, the Pompeian Helvius Sabinus, the distribution pattern of his election advertising in the city was mapped out. Over 100 appeals in his favor had been painted in the city. Helvius received support from various groups, which should be an indication of his high level of awareness.

The advertising slogans were very different, at one point there is a mere letter abbreviation: "OVF" ( spelled out: oro vos faciatis , in German "Please choose him"). Friends and drinking buddies advertised their candidates as did collegia , the ancient associations. But there are also examples of bakers, landlords, dice players, animators as supplicants and teachers who advertised “with their students”. Advertising on posters was still unusual. In Rome, however, legal texts or white wooden boards ( albae ) were placed in public places as early as pre-Christian times . Official notices were written on them. They were the forerunners of what is now called a poster.

Fresco : Young lady with wax tablet book and stilus

The voting procedure for the approximately 5,000 to 10,000 Pompeian men who are eligible to vote can be traced on coin reliefs and with contemporary text sources. They met at the forum as well as at the urban political center and voted in fenced off areas with wax tablets. In connection with the ancient election campaigns, there is talk of clientele politics, nepotism and even open corruption. There was certainly support from well-meaning professional groups expecting something in return. At that time, too, a lot of money was invested in the election campaign, even Julius Caesar once had to fear that he was overindebted for his high election campaign costs in Rome. For this, a Bruttius Balbius advertised in Pompeii with "sparing the city treasury" and thus constitutes an exception to the election campaign by conveying an at least vague political content. It is generally evident from the finds that in antiquity, innovative politics were not advertised, but rather everyday problems and lasting traditions were the themes. And there was also macabre anti-advertising: a Marcus Cerrinius, for whom allegedly even "the assassins would vote". At least once, something like the economic competence of a candidate should be expressed in terms of content: “Bonum panem fert” (he brings good bread).

When the imperial era in January 27 BC When the Roman Senate renounced power, elections were more or less suspended in principle. The emperor more or less determined everything and the offices were distributed in a small circle. Local self-government only prevailed in the approximately 2000 rural towns of the Roman Empire, and there were lively and authentic election campaigns there, even during the imperial era.

During the time of the Roman Republic, political elections were usually held in the cities in order to occupy the local self-government, the city council, which in a way was modeled on the Senate in Rome. Only a small part of the city ​​council, consisting of 100 so-called decuriones , was elected. Most of them bought their political office for a certain amount. The undemocratic process, which is questionable and undemocratic from our point of view today, was typical of antiquity, because the population was of the opinion that people who had wealth should also make decisions in politics. Elections were also held in Pompeii for two other offices - one of which was the office of duumviri , a college made up of two men. The officials exerted great influence on city politics, sat on the city council and spoke city law. The term of office here was one year. Every five years, two special duumviri, the duumviri quinquennales, were elected to take care of administrative tasks such as updating the citizen lists as part of the census . The actions of these duumvirn were reviewed by the city council.

Candidates for administrative posts were also elected. The so-called aediles , who were subordinate to the duumvirn , formed the head of the administration. Their tasks were, for example, road construction management, hosting games and maintaining public buildings.

All people with Roman citizenship who were over 30 years of age were eligible to vote . Women, slaves and foreigners were not allowed to participate.

Private homes

Living in pre-Roman Pompeii

Most of the town's houses were simple residential areas, often with an attached workshop or shop. However, Pompeii has its outstanding reputation mainly because of its luxurious houses of the upper class. Many of these palace-like structures were laid out in the Samnite period and were far ahead of the Roman buildings of that time. Some buildings, such as the Faun's House , had a floor area of ​​3000 m² and a second floor above. Thus, these houses could even compete with the palaces of the Hellenistic rulers in the eastern Mediterranean. Only with the Roman expansion in the 2nd century BC This living luxury came to the Roman capital in the 4th century BC.

A sign of the houses of this time was that attempts were made to build a peristyle or at least a portico in smaller properties too. The construction of the buildings was quite strict. For example, an attempt was made to arrange the doors of the rooms adjacent to the atrium symmetrically and at equal intervals. Lots of doors meant the house was big and that the owner was wealthy. Therefore, in smaller buildings, false doors were often painted on the walls. Individual building elements such as certain masonry techniques were adopted from magnificent public buildings. In addition to the paintings, the walls were lavishly stuccoed. In research, this type of wall decoration is called the First Pompeian Style.

Unlike the larger buildings, there were few developments in the simple houses. Many of them were designed as terraced houses. Small, open courtyards were normal, but there were no atriums. The inner courtyard was probably used for little more than the breeding of a little vegetables and the keeping of small pets such as chickens or possibly a pig or a sheep. The findings for the simple houses are still inadequate and, in some cases, can no longer be fathomed, mainly because of the lack of interest from archaeologists and the negligent excavations of earlier times.

Living in republican Pompeii

In the mystery villa
Silver treasure from Pompeii; front from left: patera (Roman offering bowl), ladle for wine ( simpulum ), patera, mirror: in the background two jugs and bowls

After the Roman veterans and their families had been settled in Pompeii, massive upheavals in the city were almost certain to take place. Whether this can be proven on the basis of the archaeological findings is one of the questions asked when exploring the city.

In parallel with the new settlers, a new form of wall decoration, the second Pompeian style, was introduced: the plastic stuccoing of the first style was given up in favor of large-scale frescoes. Nevertheless, the goal of creating an architecturally sculptural, intricately structured wall was retained. Walls were divided into three parts: At the front there was a column in front, in the middle there were half-height shear walls and, as a third, framed views that were both illusionistic and naturalistic. For example, sanctuary areas or just beautiful, fantastic landscapes were depicted. An important stylistic device was working with optical illusions and foreshortening, which only worked because the dimensions and proportions of the first style were retained.

In the area of ​​the south-west and west, space was cleared by the demolition of the city wall, and the location on the steep slope made it possible to build terraced houses. Porticos or large salons with large windows were built on the lake side, offering a fantastic view of the gulf, the island and the mountains.

The erection of larger building complexes within the city was more difficult, as several adjacent parcels had to be bought. When this happened, mostly new living quarters and peristyle were built on the new land. The most impressive example of a building that has gradually grown is the House of the Labyrinth . In the south was the old atrium house, in the middle the garden wing and far away from the entrance in the north an area of ​​newly built salons. Guests therefore had to go through the entire house and should certainly be impressed by the richness of the furnishings and the wealth of the landlord associated with it.

In many houses, smaller and larger alterations can be made in the course of the 1st century BC. Prove. What has not been researched, however, is the extent to which this also applies to the residents of smaller properties because, as is so often the case, insufficient evidence is available.

Living in imperial Pompeii

Although no real new construction of a large house is known from the imperial era, it is still the houses from the imperial era that shape the idea of ​​living in Pompeii. Mostly noticeable is the attempt by the owners to accommodate remnants of the older architecture and decoration as well as modern, new elements. So you can often find the interplay of small vestibules and extensive gardens and frescoes in bright colors next to old architectural elements.

Peristyle in the Vettier house

A noticeable innovation in the early imperial era was, for example, the upgrading of the atrium. However, this was not renovated equally, but special emphasis was placed on the eye-catcher (the impluvium ). Often the floors and frames of the rainwater tanks were renewed and water features were built, in which fountains of water shot into a catch basin from openings in figures (mouth, beaks). These water features were set up in such a way that they acted as eye-catchers for visitors. Behind it there was often a marble table - in simpler houses a brick, stuccoed table. Its function is not entirely clear; certain valuables may have been presented on it. Often the atrium was also transformed into a garden landscape. All of this was an important process because it required major modifications, pressure lines had to be laid to supply the water features and a permit had to be obtained from the aedile. During this time, the dining rooms were laid out more spacious and, if possible, with a view of the peristyle.

There was also a renewal in the wall painting. The Third Pompeian Style was very different from the first and second. Basically everything became more symmetrical. The picture elements were now framed in one color and structured by a miniaturized frame work. The walls were always divided into three parts and, in the middle part, which was the eye-catcher, often showed landscapes with shrine scenes, but increasingly also mythological scenes. Dionysian themes and erotic representations were particularly popular .

A move towards the symmetrical-geometric was also recognizable in the planting of the garden wing. New research has shown that mainly low flowers and shrubs as well as hedges cut like a border were planted. Even the planting of fruit trees followed predefined patterns, which suggest that show garden effects should be achieved here. There were no paths that invited people to walk; the gardens should only be viewed from the outside. Smaller statuettes and herms , depicted below life-size, were intended to convey a remote impression.

This abundance of elements, compressed into a small space, was also the main feature of the paintings of the Fourth Pompeian Style. The painting appears delicate, often fragile, and mostly erotic, mythical scenes are depicted. The figures are shown in the current fashion, so that one can assume that the homeowners have allowed themselves to be represented indirectly.

For more detailed descriptions of various houses, see List of Buildings in Pompeii .


In front of almost all city gates there were larger and smaller cities of the dead that every newcomer had to cross. The largest of these systems were in front of the Noceraner and above all the Herculaner gate. The more important the buried, the closer the grave was to the city. In an area about 30 meters in front of the city, the city council reserved the allocation of honorary graves.

The places in front of the Herculaner Tor must have been particularly popular. The buildings stood very close together here. The tombs were not only a place of remembrance and a status symbol, but also a place of political and social propaganda. There are various conspicuous, sometimes very idiosyncratic grave structures - often by respected families in the city - that were still fighting for attention with the dead members of the family.

In order to make room for new buildings, old grave structures were often torn down, which is why older structures can hardly be found today. However, there are a few examples that testify to the care of the graves of old, venerated notables of the city. A large cubic grave structure was found where Marcus Porcius, one of the first notables of the newly founded colony, was buried. This grave was cared for more than a hundred years after his death, although no descendants of him are known.

Next to this old grave, two new buildings were erected at the beginning of the imperial era, the graves for Aulus Veius and the Venus priestess Mamia. Both were erected in the form of semicircular benches facing the sea and inviting people to linger and talk. In order to stand closer to the city wall, some builders even decided not to have their graves built on the street and moved to the second row. Directly behind the already mentioned graves was the two-story monument of the Istacidians. In front of the Noceraner Tor, the Eumachians also built a particularly large building, which, however, protruded in width and not in height. The building served the members of the family as a mausoleum for several generations .

In post-Augustan times, however, this competition seems to have come to an end. The burial precincts were now more of a uniform design. They were bordered by low walls and corner turrets. In the middle there was a base for the urns. Relatives only entered these grave districts on certain occasions. Most important now was the grave altar, which was lavishly designed with fine marble. The inscriptions praising the merits and piety ( pietas ) of the deceased were also found here. In the Republican and Augustan times there were mainly graves of the city's dignitaries, but later graves of freedmen can also be found here.

Apparently grave structures were often misused as latrines. We know from the Trimalchio's feast that he even wanted to post a guard at his grave to prevent this. An inscription from a tomb outside the walls of Pompeii is eloquent evidence of this:

“Stranger, the bones ask you not to pee on this burial mound
and, if you want to please this one even more, don't poop!
You can see nettle's grave here. Get out of here, poop!
It's not safe for you to open your butt here. "


Incisions in a wall painting, lupanars (VII.6.34-35)
Phallus (graffiti) at Theatrum tectum (Odeion)

In Pompeii, around 10,000 wall inscriptions, known as graffiti and dipinti , were uncovered. Even today they represent a common form of everyday communication. There were numerous early scratches in ancient Egypt. This does not mean the richly decorated wall paintings in the temples and tombs, but according to the definition private, scratched inscriptions that are on temples, in graves, on rocks and statues. With the Romans these were rarely made with charcoal or with chalk. Usually a stilus was used for this, a pointed stylus used to write on wax tablets . The blackboards were in everyday use to be able to write something down quickly. The metal pen penetrated any plaster without any problems. In order to discover the fine scratches, you usually have to look very carefully. That means that these have a completely different appearance than today's graffiti, which are often designed in a very large and colorful way. Presumably because of this, these were mostly judged relatively generously and they were at least tolerated. Even in temple columns or in the walls of amphitheatres, whole gladiator graffiti was found incised. These incisions were even painted in color, which suggests that they were made without fear of being discovered.

It was found that in terms of numbers, sexuality and eroticism - in very different forms, from obscene to almost elegiacly romantic - came first in the incisions. Second were the gladiator fights. Because there were many fans who simultaneously kept records with such line drawings, for example how many victories their favorite fighter had achieved. Representations of a loser lying on the floor were also scratched on the walls, and this, too, was sometimes counted with lines. There was also a large group with personal presence carvings. Often it is everyday things that have been scratched relatively small on the walls, such as the prices of food. The walls were told that their own slave had escaped or that a donkey had been born, that a particularly impressive actor had been in town, and wishes that he would come back soon. Although the scratch drawings were widespread, they did not play a major role in antiquity and mostly had no artistic claim, but today they offer good opportunities to explain many questions. A lot of scratches and doodles were added by tourism.

Documentation and reception

Especially in the early days of documentation and cartography, the creations from these areas were to be viewed as independent works of art, which is why they are viewed from the perspective of reception .


In later research, it was often criticized that the scientific documentation was insufficient before Fiorelli's time. What is correct, however, is that the documentation was irregular, but in some cases was already on a high visual level. The main problem is that earlier documentation can now only be found in sources that are very difficult to access.

Since the 1760s, not only frescos but entire walls have been documented true to scale and very carefully. Unfortunately, many of these papers were never published. There were stitches the Villa of Diomedes that were never published. Excavation draftsmen have always been employed since the 1820s. Since today many excavation findings - especially wall paintings - are falsified or even lost, these precise documentation are an important source for today's science. A cork model of the city made since 1806 on a scale of 1:48, which showed all wall techniques, wall decorations, etc., is of inestimable value today in the remains that have been preserved.

With the establishment of an excavation diary and the establishment of the first regular publication, Giornale degli Scavi di Pompei (1868–1879), the documentation became scientific and detailed. Under Fiorelli, the new medium photography was used for the first time to document the excavations. The Pompeian Court , built in London's Crystal Palace , was more of an idealized structure than a recreation of Pompeian architecture.


Plan by Francesco Piranesi: Topographia delle fabbriche scoperte nella città di Pompei (2nd version, 1788)

Archaeological cartography was breaking new ground in Pompeii. Even today, old maps are an important tool used by archaeologists to reconstruct destroyed or falsified findings. Francesco La Vega created an initial plan, which is extremely flawed in the representation of the overall situation, but reproduces the details very precisely. It was the same with Francesco Piranesi's city ​​map , the only map that was available for sale for a long time. It was published in three different versions between 1785 and 1793.

Geodetically accurate plans created in the 1820s were not published. However, they were the template for many plans of the city, mostly published on a scale of 1: 3000, which were often enclosed with descriptive literature. In 1885, at Fiorelli's instigation , Giacomo Tascone prepared a new, precise plan on a scale of 1: 1000. The main features of this are still valid today and form the basis of most of the more recent plans. On a photogrammetric basis, another plan on a scale of 1: 1000, the Corpus Topographicum Pompeianum , was made, which has so far only been published in parts.


The Pompejanum in Aschaffenburg, state room
The Pompejanum in Aschaffenburg

In architecture, models from Pompeii were rarely used. The Pompejanum in Aschaffenburg , built by Friedrich von Gärtner , is a major exception . It is modeled on the Casa dei Dioscuri . Individual set pieces of architecture were also used elsewhere, such as the Palais de Prince Napoleon in Paris , which is now destroyed .

The idea of ​​completely replicating one of the houses true to the original in Naples has repeatedly failed. The Casa di Pansa and the House of the Faun were considered .

Much more often, ornamentation and small art were reproduced, albeit often in a modified form. Nevertheless, the establishment of Pompeian rooms was the first step in the reception area in the living area. This fashion lasted until the middle of the 19th century.

Visual arts

The restrictive provisions were a problem for the representation in Bourbon times. Not only the visits were regulated, but the ban on drawing in the ruins for guests prevented further representations. Pietro Fabris contributed drawings for the travelogue of the British Ambassador William Hamilton . Giovanni Battista Piranesi created plans and views of the city shortly before his death in 1778, which his son Francesco did not publish until 1804. Towards the end of the 18th century, small series of colored vedutas based on models by Louis Jean Desprez and Philipp Hackert were created , which were sold to visitors to the excavation site.

Bryullov: The last day of Pompeii

François Mazois worked for several years on a monumental depiction of Pompeii, which mainly took architecture into account and which appeared in four volumes by 1838. In the second half of the 19th century, the first photo series - by Brogi and Alinari - came onto the market. In the course of time, the presentation changed more and more from the picturesque presentation of individual finds to documentation and partial reconstruction of the ancient world. The eleven-volume Pompei series stand out here . Pitture e Mosaici and the German project Houses in Pompeii , which illustrate the already excavated parts of the city with lush representations.

With a few early exceptions, Pompeii only became a topic in painting in the course of the 19th century. The painting The Last Day of Pompeii (1827 to 1833) by the Russian Karl Pawlowitsch Brjullow was particularly effective , and after its completion it was exhibited in several European cities with great success. Brjullow's painting, which is laid out as a family drama, captivates not only with its intense depiction, but also with its detailed and precise depiction of the archaeological findings. The influence of the picture was so great that it was even a model for the later magic lanterns . Bulwer-Lytton's novel (see below) was also inspired by the painting.

Later painters, such as Théodore Chassériau , localized historical genre scenes in the backdrops of the city. The emerging photography was also dedicated to Pompeii both in a documentary (see above) and artistically way. Lawrence Alma-Tadema, for example, added photographs to his own sketches. Historical costume scenes were also recreated in the city.


The excavations in Pompeii were only reflected in the literature with some delay. One of the first to take up the subject was Friedrich Schiller in 1796 with his elegy Pompeii and Herculaneum. Here, as with Johann Isaak von Gerning (with the Ode Pompeji, 1802) and Johann Jakob Jägle (with the elegy Pompeji, 1797), the excavations in Pompeii (and also in Herculaneum) were a symbol of the revival of Greco-Roman antiquity. Jägle was also the first to interpret the resurrection of the city in a Christian-religious sense of the resurrection. Most of the works of this period relating to Pompeii were inspired by a visit by the respective author, including poems by Friederike Brun , Gustav von Ingenheim , Giacomo Leopardi and Wilhelm Waiblinger .

In many cases, the impressions of the visitors were different than expected, and the ruins could not withstand the idea of ​​a high classical music. Above all, the windowless buildings and the paintings, which often appeared obscene to the visitors, ensured that over time Pompeii had something wicked attached to it. The erroneous assumption that the name Colonia Cornelia Veneria Pompeianorum given by Sulla suggests that Pompeii is a city of the goddess Venus, did the rest. So it is not surprising that Karl Ludwig Nicolai was the first to use Pompeii as a backdrop for wicked hustle and bustle in his epistolary novel Das Grab am Vesuvius .

In the course of time, four main themes emerged in literature:

  • Pompeii as a place of historical reflection;
  • Pompeii as the city of Venus;
  • Pompeii as a Christian resurrection motif;
  • Pompeii as a contrast between high art and normal everyday life.

By Edward Bulwer Lytton work The Last Days of Pompeii ( The Last Days of Pompeii, founded in 1834) was the genre of historical and archaeological novel. He was inspired by the painting by Brjullow. Shortly after it was published, the work was translated into several languages ​​and developed into an influential bestseller, which became the style for all similarly stored novels. The success can be explained by the combination of secured archaeological findings, the very detailed reconstruction of the remains and, last but not least, elements of the Gothic novel . The constructed conflict between the long-established priesthood and a - to this day undetectable - Christian community, which culminated in the fall of the sinful city and the salvation of the Christians, was discussed by many authors, such as Woldemar Kaden ( In der Morgenröte, 1882) and Gustav Adolf Müller ( The dying Pompeii, 1910). More rarely, as in Thomas Gray's novel The Vestal or a Tale of Pompeji (1830), Pompeii also became a grave for Christians. The plaster casts of the suffering and dying Pompejians made since Fiorelli could only substantiate the impression of the criminal court. This Christian view of the immoral city was particularly pronounced in children's and youth literature. Books like Eduard Alberti's Marcus Charinus, the young Christian in Pompeii only described the conflict between good Christians and immoral pagans.

In the literature of the 20th century, Pompeii was no longer an issue. On the one hand, the emergence of mass tourism allowed many to get to know the city themselves, on the other hand, the novels had meanwhile sunk into moralizing clichés and could no longer reach a large audience. It was not until the end of the century that the historical novel flourished and Pompeii became the scene again more frequently. Philipp Vandenberg's Der Pompejaner (1986) and Pompeji by the British author Robert Harris (2003) are particularly well-known .


Stage design for the 1st act of Pacini's L'ultimo giorno di Pompei (Milan 1827)

On November 19, 1825, the first opera on Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius was performed in the Teatro San Carlo in Naples : Giovanni Pacini's L'ultimo giorno di Pompei (The Last Day of Pompeii), based on ideas by Antonio Niccolini and a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola . The exquisite sets were directly inspired by the archaeological sites and publications on Pompeii and Herculaneum. The opera was a huge success and was also one of the sources of inspiration for Karl Brjullow's painting mentioned above.

Errico Petrella's opera Jone o L'ultimo giorno di Pompei (Ione or The Last Day of Pompeii) from 1858 was one of the few successful works by this now forgotten composer. Its plot follows Edward Bulwer-Lytton's famous novel, and it continued to be performed until the early 20th century.


Very soon after its invention, the new medium of film turned to the subject of Pompeii. It was first filmed in Pompeii as early as 1898 when a dance performance was filmed at the Forum (Neapolitan Dance at the Ancient Forum of Pompeii). Another recording was made in 1900 when the British Robert W. Paul realized a first version of the fall of Pompeii (The Last Days of Pompeii) . Further film adaptations - often based on Bulwer-Lytton's novel The Last Days of Pompeii - followed in 1906, 1908, 1913, 1935 under the direction of the animation specialists Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper , 1950 and 1962. Particularly popular were the film adaptation of Mario Bonnard and Sergio Leone with Steve Reeves , Christine Kaufmann and Fernando Rey from 1959 and the American television mini-series of the station ABC by director Peter R. Hunt from 1984. Here Bulwer- Lyttons novel reproduced in great detail with a large star cast. In many cases, however, Pompeii only served as a known shell for any action that had nothing to do with Pompeii or the literary models. The film Warrior Queen (1987) from the workshop of the trash filmmaker Joe D'Amato was set in Pompeii according to its name, but in no way can it be found there. It is the same with a number of comedies that were set in Pompeii. Above all, the British Up film series repeatedly used the incorrectly reproduced backdrop of Pompeii as the familiar background for their rustic humor. The Polish filmmaker Roman Polański planned to adapt the bestseller by Robert Harris, but this film project was not implemented due to cost reasons. In 2014 the topic was taken up again in the disaster film Pompeii .

There was a special encounter between modern pop culture and the ancient backdrop in 1971 when the rock band Pink Floyd gave a concert in the ruins of Pompeii. The concert took place in the amphitheater without an audience, but was recorded for the musical film Live at Pompeii .

Meaning, present and future

In recent years, recent research has shown many assumptions about Pompeii to be incorrect. The often widespread statement that Pompeii is a representative Roman city that was "sealed" in the middle of life is not tenable. As early as Roman times, findings were changed through robbery excavations and finds were removed. This also contributed to the falsification of the findings, as did the distribution of the spoil from the excavations of the first hundred years in the surrounding area or even in the previously excavated houses. Since at first only representative pieces were looked for, finds are found in places to which they do not originally belong. The inhabitants of Pompeii were not suddenly surprised by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The outbreak had been announced for days and many Pompeians had left the city with their families and their belongings. After all, the city hadn't been rebuilt after the earthquake of AD 62. Atypical findings, such as living rooms used as storage rooms, half-finished rebuilt buildings or ruins, bear witness to this condition.

The now 44 hectare excavated urban area is the largest known contiguous city ruin in the world. It confronts today's archaeologists with seemingly insoluble problems. Many of the buildings are in poor condition, some of them in disrepair. The ruins can only be saved through international cooperation. The Italian state reacted and granted the Pompeii administration a great deal of autonomy and financial autonomy. Pompeii has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1997 . The most important task for archaeologists, building researchers, preservationists and restorers at the moment is to stop the city from decaying and still give the public access to the city. Despite many efforts, this can only be achieved to a limited extent, and large parts of the city are closed to the public.

The decline is increasing rapidly, partly because of drastic savings in the cultural budget. In the early morning hours of November 6, 2010, the Schola Armaturarum collapsed after rainfall and despite previous warnings from local archaeologists. The building ( III.3.6 ) on Via dell'Abbondanza , which had already been damaged in World War II , was completely destroyed. Further collapses occurred in the Casa di Trebio Valente on the same day and in the Casa del Moralista on November 30, 2010. The state of Pompeii is increasingly discussed in the Italian public as a symbol of a failed cultural policy. Even after heavy rains in October 2011, a wall was damaged. In 2011, the European Union made 105 million euros available for urgent restoration work in Pompeii. About two million people visit the city every year; the Pompeii tourists are an important economic factor in the region.

In connection with the neighboring city of Herculaneum, the name Pompeii gained a high level of awareness and was initially a synonym for the catastrophe of the year 79. The synonym Pompeii is later used in the media for a variety of catastrophes and events. In addition, the city name Pompeii is used as a metaphor in connection with traditional or modern archeology .


in alphabetical order by authors / editors


  • Mary Beard : The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found . Harvard University Press, 2008 (Alternative title: Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town. ISBN 1-86197-516-3 .)
    • German translation: Pompeii. Life in a Roman city. German first edition. Translation by Ursula Blank-Sangmeister. Reclam, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-15-010755-3 .
  • Filippo Coarelli (eds.), Eugenio La Rocca, Mariette de Vos Raaijmakers, Arnold de Vos: Pompeji. Archaeological guide. Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1993, ISBN 3-404-64121-3 (Coarelli's book is the archaeological counterpart to Étienne's work. In several tours through the city, the author brings the reader closer to the remains of the city).
  • Filippo Coarelli (Ed.): Pompeji. Hirmer, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-7774-9530-1 .
  • Egon Caesar Conte Corti , Theodor Kraus (ed.): Fall and Resurrection of Pompeii and Herculaneum. With an appendix: The latest discoveries in the Vesuvius cities. 9th supplemented edition. Bruckmann, Munich 1978, ISBN 3-7654-1714-9 (captivating and clearly written representation of the path from Pompeii from its early Oscar period to the 20th century).
  • Jens-Arne Dickmann : Pompeii. Archeology and history. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-50887-1 (Dickmann offers a brief summary of all sub-areas of Pompeii research, with a special emphasis on archeology).
  • Liselotte Eschebach (Ed.): Directory of buildings and city map of the ancient city of Pompeii. Böhlau, Köln / Weimar / Wien 1993 (due to the research activities of her husband Hans Eschebach for decades, after his death Liselotte Eschebach presented a book that briefly lists all the buildings in Pompeii that have been excavated so far. Names, alternative names and special features are described briefly and in note form. Particularly good are the enclosed large folded city maps).
  • Robert Étienne : Pompeii. Life in an ancient city. 5th edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-15-010370-3 (Étienne offers a particularly detailed account of the history of the city and its discovery. In addition, it deals with economy, administration, politics, public and private life).
  • M. Flohr, A. Wilson (Ed.): The Economy of Pompeii. (= Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy). Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2016.
  • Björn Gesemann: The streets of the ancient city of Pompeii: Development and design. Lang, Frankfurt am Main and New York 1996.
  • Michael Grant : Pompeii, Herculaneum. Fall and resurrection of the cities on Vesuvius. Translated by Hans Jürgen Baron. Gondrom, Bindlach 1988, ISBN 3-8112-0602-8 (English original title: Cities of Vesuvius. Penguin 1971, ISBN 978-0-14-004394-5 ) (The well-known British ancient historian presents a richly illustrated, but somewhat one-page monograph ; the historical dimensions of the work far exceed the archaeological ones, and some evaluations and weightings are questionable).
  • Götz Lahusen , Edilberto Formigli : Large bronzes from the Herculaneum and Pompeii: statues and busts of rulers and citizens . Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, Worms 2007, ISBN 978-3-88462-250-6 .
  • Katharina Lorenz : Pictures create spaces. Mythical images in Pompeian houses. (= Image & context. Volume 5). De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-11-019473-9 .
  • Ciro Nappo: Pompeii. The sunken city. Verlag Karl Müller, Cologne 2004, ISBN 3-89893-563-9 .
  • Fausto and Felice Niccolini: The Houses and Monuments of Pompeii . Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-8365-5687-3 .
  • Umberto Pappalardo : Pompeii. Life on the volcano (= Zabern's illustrated books on archeology ). Zabern, Mainz 2010, ISBN 978-3-8053-4240-7 .
  • Marisa Ranieri Panetta: Pompeii. History, art and life in the sunken city. Belser Verlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 978-3-7630-2266-3 .
  • Dieter Richter (ed.): Pompeji and Herculaneum. A travel companion (= island paperbacks. Volume 3099). Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-458-34799-2 .
  • Paul Zanker : Pompeii. Cityscape and taste in living (= cultural history of the ancient world . Volume 61). Zabern, Mainz 1995, ISBN 3-8053-1685-2 (Zanker's book is first and foremost an essayistic analysis of life in the city. The basis of his work are the archaeological sources. The book is very good for understanding the political dimensions of the City architecture suitable, but is not an overall representation).


Inscriptions and graffiti


  • Pompeii in ancient texts. Greek / Latin / German. Compiled, translated and edited by Arno Hüttemann. Reclam, Stuttgart 2014.

Web links

Commons : Pompeii  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Pompeii  - Sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Pompeii  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Pompeii  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. For geography see u. a. Jens-Arne Dickmann : Pompeii. Archeology and history. CH Beck, Munich 2005, pp. 15-16.
  2. Dickmann: Pompeii. P. 16.
  3. ^ Strabo, Geography 5, 4, 8 ( English translation ).
  4. Dickmann: Pompeii. P. 19f .; Titus Livius 9, 38, 2f.
  5. Tacitus, Annales 14, 17 .
  6. Seneca , Naturales Quaestiones 6, 1, 1 . Tacitus, Annales 15, 22, 2 .
  7. Seneca, Naturales Quaestiones 6, 1, 1.
  8. Tacitus, Annales 15:22 , 2.
  9. Pliny the Elder , Naturalis historia 2, 137 .
  10. ^ Coarelli: Pompeii. Archaeological guide. P. 46.
  11. Pliny , Epistulae 6, 16 and 20.
  12. Pliny , Epistulae 6,16,1.
  13. Pliny, Epistulae 6:16.
  14. Grete Stefani: The date of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. In: Harald Meller, Jens-Arne Dickmann (ed.): Pompeji - Nola - Herculaneum - catastrophes on Vesuvius . Hirmer Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-7774-3801-6 , p. 81-84 .
  15. Cassius Dio 66.21.
  16. ^ Carlo Maria Rosini: Dissertationis isagogicae ad Herculanensium voluminum explanationem pars prima. Naples 1797, p. 67 f.
  17. Michele Ruggiero: Pompei e la regione sotterrata dal Vesuvio nell'anno LXXIX. Giannini, Naples 1879, pp. 15-20.
  18. For discussion see Michele Borgongino, Grete Stefani: Intorno alla data dell'eruzione del 79 d. C. In: Rivista di Studi Pompeiani. Volume 12–13, 2001–2002, pp. 177–215, which on p. 206 after evaluating all fruit and leftover food also decide on October 24th.
  19. CIL IV, 8489 : Oliva condita XVII K (alendas) Novembres.
  20. Antonio Ferrara: Pompei, un'iscrizione cambia la data dell'eruzione: avvenne il 24 ottobre del 79 d. C. In: La Repubblica , October 16, 2018 (accessed July 17, 2020); Pompeii was destroyed later than assumed on deutschlandfunknova.de on October 17, 2018 (accessed on July 17, 2020).
  21. ^ Kockel, Valentin: Herculaneum. In: The New Pauly. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_dnp_e1403690
  22. ^ Giuseppe Fiorelli: Pompeianarum Antiquitatum Historia . Volume Primum, S. 153 .
  23. Jens-Arne Dickmann: Pompeii. CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 12
  24. ^ Italian trip to Pompeii
  25. See War in the Treasure House . In: Time of February 21, 1944 and Allied bomb at Pompeii ( Memento of March 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). In: The Times of November 9, 1943.
  26. CIL 10, 793
  27. Filippo Coarelli (Ed.): Pompeji. Archaeological guide. Augsburg, Bechtermünz 1997. p. 209
  28. Jürgen Rasch: The dome in Roman architecture. Development, design, construction. In: Architectura. Volume 15, 1985, pp. 117-139, here p. 118.
  29. CIL 4, 3950 .
  30. CIL 4, 1474 .
  31. CIL 4, 7993 .
  32. CIL 4, 10237 .
  33. With the help of yield calculations for this area and similar areas - with different results - calculations were made with regard to the number of inhabitants.
  34. Oliver Gassner: Shops in Pompeii . Dissertation 1986, Vienna, ISBN 3-85369-643-0 , pp. 21-23. Heidi
  35. For the production of various crafts (such as blacksmiths) and the names of their masters that are still known today. On imperiumromanum.com. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  36. CIL 4, 4150
  37. CIL 4, 5203
  38. CIL 4, 8940
  39. To Indian Statuette from Pompeii , Mirella Levi D 'Ancona, Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950), pp. 166-180
  40. ^ Abstracts of Articles . The Classical Weekly. 32 (18): pp. 214-215. 1939.
  41. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/greece-and-rome/article/the-reception-and-consumption-of-eastern-goods-in-roman-society/AB382741FDBC75BFFE346C155DAC84AE
  42. To Indian Statuette from Pompeii , Mirella Levi D 'Ancona, Artibus Asiae, Vol. 13, No. 3 (1950), pp. 166-180.
  43. «Choose Gaius Rufus!» - Election posters in Pompeii. In: nzz.ch. August 19, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2018 .
  44. http://www.dhm.de/archiv/ausstellungen/grundrechte/katalog/15-22.pdf
  45. http://www.fnp.de/lokales/frankfurt/Antiquierter-Wahlkampf;art675,1850414
  46. http://www.deutschlandradiokultur.de/er-bringt-gutes-brot.954.de.html?dram:article_id=144638
  47. Eschebach, Hans: Pompeji. Experienced ancient world , Leipzig 1984, p. 10f.
  48. ^ Weeber, Karl-Wilhelm: Wahlkampf im Alten Rom, Düsseldorf 2007 , p. 14 f.
  49. Eschebach, Hans: Pompeji. Experienced ancient world , Leipzig 1984, p. 17 f.
  50. CIL 4, 8899
  51. The wall inscriptions (without the pictorial representations) and translations are available from Rudolf Wachter : Pompeian wall inscriptions , Latin-German. Edited and translated by Rudolf Wachter. Tusculum Collection , De Gruyter , Berlin / Boston 2019, ISBN 978-3-11-064943-7 ( doi : 10.1515 / 9783110658286 ).
  52. a b https://www.br.de/fernsehen/ard-alpha/sendung/alpha-forum/karl-wilhelm-weeber-sendung-100.html
  53. ^ Friedhelm Hoffmann : Egypt, culture and life in Greco-Roman times . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-05-003308-8 , p. 226 f.
  54. http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/kleine-kulturgeschichte-des-graffiti.1148.de.html?dram:article_id=180080
  55. Jans-Arne Dickmann: Pompeji. CH Beck, Munich 2005, p. 120
  56. House in old Pompeii collapsed. Neue Zürcher Zeitung , November 7, 2010, accessed on November 7, 2010 .
  57. Pompei, crolla l'Armeria dei Gladiatori. La Repubblica , November 6, 2010, accessed November 7, 2010 (Italian).
  58. Pompei, la Uil denuncia nuovo crollo. La Repubblica, December 3, 2010, accessed December 3, 2010 (Italian).
  59. Scavi, crollano altri due muri. La Repubblica, December 1, 2010, accessed December 3, 2010 (Italian).
  60. Mary Beard: Has another Pompeii wall collapsed? ( Memento of October 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). October 22, 2011. Ancient wall in Pompeii collapses . In: Spiegel online . October 22, 2011.
  61. Tilmann Kleinjung: The EU wants to stop Pompeii's second downfall . In: tagesschau.de , April 17, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  62. The eruption of Vesuvius: Sunk in flames and sad ashes. Retrieved September 12, 2018 .
  63. Archeology: Greeks are looking for "new Pompeii". Retrieved September 12, 2018 .
  64. The smaller sister of Pompeii. Retrieved September 12, 2018 .
  65. Archeology - Archaeologists discover "little Pompeii". Retrieved September 12, 2018 .
  66. "Lost Places": The "Pompeii of the Present". Retrieved September 12, 2018 .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 12, 2006 in this version .