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Insula IV

General Description

Insula IV lies across Cardo IV from Insula III as shown in the schematic on the right. Along the Lower Decumanus lie several small shops, while at its junction with Cardo V there is the remains of a thermopolium that sold food and drink. Eight earthenware jars that would have contained cereals and vegetables are set in the counter. The insula also contained a fullonica, but it is the two large houses along the southern side of the insula that are the most impressive, with magnificent views over the Bay of Naples.

Properties of particular note in this insula are the House of the Mosaic Atrium, the House of the Deer and the House of the Alcove.

House of the Mosaic Atrium House of the Alcove House of the Deer Insula II Insula III Insula IV Insula V Insula VI Insula VII Insula oI Insula oI Insula SD

Plan of the Insula

House of the Alcove looking south from Cardo IV.
.........................................A. House of the Mosaic Atrium...........i....B. House of the Alcove
.........................................C. House of the Deer..

Full List of Properties

Name or Description
Area (sq.m) No of Rooms Description,
Decoration and Comments
House of the Mosaic Atrium 1150 14 Atrium (off No.2). Peristyle. Extensive fourth style decoration, with mosaics and opus sectile in the atrium area and the rooms off the peristyle. Cliff front location. 3 flights of stairs up. Posticum at No.1.
3-4 House of the Alcove 460 18 Central court leading to a second court, partially colonnaded (2 sides) with stairs down to a third court. Suite of rooms with apses and vaulted ceilings. Third and fourth style decoration in 7 rooms with mosaic and opus sectile floors in 2. Stairs up at No.3.
5-7 House of the Fullonica 230 7
Atrium (off No.6) at rear with impluvium converted for use as a fuller's basin. Traces of first style
decoration. Shops at No.5 and No.7 linked to No.6.
8-9 House of the Painted Papyrus 110 6 Long passage leads from No.8 to a central court with 6 rooms off. Third style decoration in 1 room and court including painting of papyrus. Stairs up at No.9.
Shop and apartment 110 5 Shop at No.10 with room to rear, linked to apartment at No.11 containing 3 rooms. Third style decoration in 1 room. Lararium. Cereal in jars in shop.
& 15-16
Taberna and apartment 215 12 Shop at No.12. Passage at No.13 (with stairs up) leads to atrium with 6 rooms off. Trace of decoration. Shop at Nos.15-16 with rooms to rear. Linked to No.13.
14 Taberna Vasaria 112 3
Shop with mezzanine used as living quarters. Latrine to rear. Amphorae in shop suggest property was not a tavern but a shop selling amphorae and terra-cotta ware.
17-18 Taberna and apartment 240 12 Passage at No.18 (with stairs up) leads to atrium with 10 rooms off. No decoration. Shop at No.17 with room to rear linked to No.18. Pots, pans and walnuts in shop.
19-20 House of the Stofa 145 6 Shop at No.19 with stairs up and passage to small court with 5 rooms off. Largest room has black-ground decoration with polychrome marble floor. Stairs up at No.20.
21 House of the Deer 1190 15+ Atrium with stairs up. Peristyle with rooms off and stairs up. Extensive fourth style decoration in reception rooms including panels in the cryptoporticus around the peristyle. Mosaic flooring in 5 rooms. Marble statuary in garden.

The information in the above table is based, in part, on data published by Amedeo Maiuri (1958), supplemented by Cerulli Irelli (1974) and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (1996).

Tour of the Insula

To examine any of the three featured buildings in more detail, select the property from the above list. Each property is located within the insula and has its own individual plan and walk through. The buildings are arranged in order of reference number, which may not necessarily be the route chosen when actually visiting the site.

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