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House of the Genius

Description of the House (Ins II, 3)

The House of the Genius is located near the north end of Insula II on the west side of Cardo III. The house derives its name from the small statue of a winged genius or guardian spirit that decorated a candlestick found in the building.

Along with the neighbouring houses in the insula, the House of the Genius was among the first to be openly excavated (between 1828 and 1850).

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Since those early excavations little has been done to expand our knowledge of the insula. Although only partially excavated, the House of the Genius appears to have been a spacious building. The main entrance to the house was on Cardo II, so what we see today is the rear of the peristyle and the rooms (c) that line the back wall. The entrance on Cardo III (pictured left) is actually the rear entrance (posticum).
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The entrance (a) opens onto the rear of the peristyle (pictured lower left). In the centre of the peristyle are the remains of a basin with apses on either side.
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The rooms at  the east side of the peristyle (pictured above, left and lower left) are in a very poor state and retain none of their original decoration. A remnant of some plasterwork does remain in the southeast corner of the peristyle, but anything else that was exposed in the early excavations has now been lost.
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The photograph above is of a winged genius from a second style mural from the ante room to the main bedroom of the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor in nearby Boscoreale.





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