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House of the Ceii

Description of the House (Reg I, Ins 6, 15)

The house 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 House of Fabia and Tyrannus. The house was excavated between May 1913 and August 1914.
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Outside, 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.
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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.
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The cubiculum (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.
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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
atrium to the upper floor while at the rear are the two main reception rooms, the tablinum (f) and the triclinium (g).
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The tablinum (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 motif.
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The triclinium (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, the triclinium has a decorative mosaic floor (pictured below) with a central feature in opus sectile.
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The 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).
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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.
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On 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 function.

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The entrance opens off the north side of the Vicolo del Menandro. The finely decorated fauces (a) (pictured below) is painted in the third style with red panels on a white ground over a lower mauve frieze.
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The atrium, 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.
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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.
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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.
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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 bands.

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* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are reproduced by permission from their website at www.pompeiiinpictures.com
(Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali: Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei)




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