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House I.7.19

Description of the House (Reg I, Ins 7, 19)

This unnamed house lies on the Vicolo di Paquius Proculus (pictured below at its junction with the Vicolo del Melandro). In the peristyle of the house is a flight of stairs linking the house with the garden of the House of the Ephebus. This may indicate that the properties were both under the same  single ownership.
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Facing the entrance, in the middle of the east wall of the atrium is the tablinum (d) (pictured opposite). Fully open on its west side and with a window on its east wall overlooking a small garden area (j), the room is decorated in the third style with central panels on the north and south walls containing mythological scenes framed by side panels in yellow, all above a lower decorated black frieze.

The scenes depicted were of Aphrodite and Ares on the north wall and Hylas and the Nymphs on the south wall. Both these frescoes are now, unfortunately, badly faded. However, site photographs taken at the time of excavation have recorded each scene as they were first exposed. The photograph lower right is of the scene from the north wall, Aphrodite and Ares (sadly the photograph was only in black and white).

Immediately to the north of the tablinum is the triclinium (e). The room is decorated in the late third style with alternating panels of red and yellow above a lower black, decorated frieze (pictured below). The central panels on each wall contain architectural landscapes. The upper zone consists of architectural elements drawn in red on a white ground.
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A corridor leads from the south east corner of the atrium to the garden area to the east. Opening off the north side of the corridor is a small cubiculum (h) (pictured above). The room is decorated in the late third style with blue, black and red panels above a lower black frieze. In the centre of the north wall is a scene featuring Helen and Paris. (pictured right).
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The exedra (m) on the north side of the peristyle is fully open along its south side. The east and west walls are decorated in the third style consisting of white panels on a white ground with red side panels above a lower black decorative frieze. In the centre of the east wall was a painting of Hercules and Nessus (Maiuri), but this has long since weathered away.

Immediately to the east of the exedra is a flight of stairs (o) (pictured below) leading to the garden of the House of the Ephebus. Next to the stairs are two niches, one above the other, which probably served as cupboards.
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The narrow cubiculum (n) off the north east corner of the peristyle is decorated in the third style. The decoration on the east wall (pictured right) consists of a black middle panel with red side panels. The upper zone contains architectural elements on a white ground.

The large room (p) in the centre of the east wall of the peristyle appears not to have been in use at the time of the eruption. The adjoining room (q) was a second service area with a kitchen and latrine. It was undecorated.

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The house was first excavated between 1925 and 1927, but little has been done to protect it from the elements since then. The frescoes in particular are now all but lost, the only evidence of the subject matter being from photographs taken when the house was first cleared.

The fauces (a) (pictured left) opens off the east side of the Vicolo di Paquius Proculus. Little remains of the fresco decoration, but it consisted of a white area above a high black frieze. The skeletons of five individuals were found in this area; they were possibly waiting for the eruption to subside before being killed by one of the more devastating phases.

The fauces opens onto the atrium (b) with rooms off all but its south side. In the middle of the atrium is a marble lined impluvium with a small fluted marble column at its centre (pictured left). Judging by the plaster remnants, the atrium was decorated in the fourth style with a red central zone above a lower, decorated black frieze.

In the south west corner of the house is a small cubiculum (c). The room is decorated in the fourth style with white panels framed in red above a lower black frieze (pictured left). Directly above the framed panels is a series of small architectural landscapes. The skeleton of a single individual was found in the room's south east corner.  
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In the centre of the north side of the atrium is an exedra (f) which is fully open on its south side. The room was undecorated at the time of the eruption, the walls being simply coated with a layer of rough plaster.

Off the north west corner of the atrium is a cubiculum (g). The decoration consists of a white central zone with yellow and red bands above a lower black frieze. On the south wall were two cupboards built under the adjoining stairs from the atrium leading to the upper floor.
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To the east of the cubiculum is a service area with an adjoining kitchen (i). A doorway on the north side of the service area opens onto the small court (j) overlooked by the tablinum.

The eastern end of the corridor opens onto a small peristyle which is colonnaded on two sides (pictured left). The walls of the ambulatory are decorated in red and white as are the stuccoed columns. The decoration on the south wall of the enclosed garden is badly weathered but it consisted of a large garden painting behind a lattice fence with statues, basins and chalices on pedestals. The photograph below was taken at the time of excavation, but little of the detail remains today.
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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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