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House of Galba

Location of the House (Ins VII, 1-2)

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The fauces (a) leads directly to the partially excavated peristyle (c). The walls of the fauces have some plaster remnants, but not enough to easily determine the original decoration. Immediately left of the entrance is the kitchen area (b) and latrines.
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The pre-Roman peristyle (pictured opposite) was remodelled sometime in its history; the original tufa Doric columns were stuccoed, and a pluteus inserted between the columns. In the centre of the peristyle is a cruciform piscina.
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Much of the house has yet to be uncovered, especially as it extends as far as Cardo II. The property appears to have included a taberna (e), north of the secondary entrance on Cardo III. Beyond the taberna a flight of stairs led to an upper floor.

One of only two buildings so far excavated in Insula VII, the House of Galba occupies a small part of what is a much larger area lying beneath a residential part of Ercolano.
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The house was named after a silver portrait bust of the emperor Servius Sulpicius Galba, found outside the building. (Galba was the first emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors and reigned for a period of just over seven months from June, AD68). The bust, of beaten silver, was badly damaged, but is now restored (pictured left) and can be seen in Naples at the National Archaeological Museum.
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Like several other houses in Herculaneum, the house was built during the Samnite period. The main entrance has yet to be unearthed, but the posticum or secondary entrance (pictured above) opens off the west side of Cardo III.


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Several of the rooms ranged round the peristyle have been excavated, the most imposing of which is the exedra (d) on its eastern side. The exedra is decorated in the fourth style with the rear wall containing a central pavilion in red flanked by perspective architectural vistas (pictured opposite and below).
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