Description of the House (Reg I, Ins 6, 15)
of the Ceii is also known under two other titles - the House
of L. Ceius Secundus whose name is mentioned in a campaign message
painted on the house's facade (pictured lower right) and also as the
Fabia and Tyrannus.
The house was excavated between May 1913 and
the front of the house is faced with stucco in imitation opus
quadratum. The roof overhangs the footway with entry to the
building by way of a simple, but elegant doorway. The cast of the double
leafed entrance door still exists.
..The white upper zone contains architectural elements coupled with
small landscapes and still lifes. The fauces
leads to a square, columned atrium
(b) (pictured above and below) which has at its centre, a marble lined impluvium...,,..
(c) off the south east corner of the atrium
(pictured right and below) is decorated in the third
style with alternating panels of green and red over a black lower
frieze. The yellow upper zone has a black frieze and architectural
elements. In the south wall are two windows, one square and one nothing more than a narrow slit.
The room (d) in the south west corner of the atrium is a service area housing the kitchen and latrine. Next to this room a
flight of stairs once led to the upper floor. A second staircase with a wall in opus craticium leads from the northwest corner of the
to the upper floor while at the rear are the two main reception rooms, the tablinum (f) and the triclinium (g).
(pictured right) has a window in its south wall and also a large opening in its north
wall onto the garden area. At the time of the eruption the walls were
undecorated but the room has a decorative black and white mosaic floor with a central
(pictured above and right) is decorated in the third
style with red and black panels above a black frieze. The central
panel on each wall contained a large mythological scene. Of the two
remaining scenes that on the west wall is of Dionysus while that on the
east wall is of a maenad. The white
upper zone contains architectural elements. Like the tablinum,
has a decorative mosaic floor (pictured below) with a central feature
walls of the garden area are decorated in the fourth
style above a lower decorative red frieze featuring plants and
bird life. There is a large hunt
scene painted on the north (back) wall (pictured opposite and below).
..The east and west walls of the garden area (pictured below and bottom right) carry Egyptian
landscapes featuring pygmies, hippopotami, crocodiles and Egyptian style
buildings, all with red or yellow borders containing decorative elements.....
the east side of the garden are two additional rooms. Room (l) opens
off the north east corner of the ambulatory
and has a large window in
its west wall overlooking the garden. The walls are undecorated and
covered in a layer of coarse plaster. The room may have been a service
room or used for storage.
The small room (m), which was entered
by a narrow doorway off the north west corner of room (l) is also
plainly furbished with a layer of coarse plaster. This room too was
probably a service room although there is little evidence as to its
entrance opens off the north side of the Vicolo del Menandro. The finely decorated fauces
(a) (pictured below) is painted in
style with red panels on a white ground over a lower mauve frieze.
with rooms only off its north and south sides, is decorated in the third
style with alternating panels of red and black above a mauve
decorative frieze. Like the fauces,
there is an upper white zone with architectural elements.
Between the tablinum and the triclinium is an andon
(pictured below) which leads from the atrium to the garden area at the
rear of the property. Its decoration consists of a black central zone
with small still lifes.
Along the southern side of the garden area is an ambulatory
(h) (pictured left looking west towards room (j) which appears to have
been used latterly as a storeroom). The ambulatory is decorated in the third style with black panels featuring stylised plant life above a lower black frieze.
On the east side of the ambulatory, is an oecus
(k) decorated in the third
style with red and white panels above a lower black frieze (pictured left). The
white upper zone has architectural elements, garlands and ornamental
* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are
reproduced by permission from their website at
(Su concessione del Ministero per
i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei)