Description of the House (Reg IX, Ins 5, 18-21)
A doorway in the west wall of this room (pictured above) opens onto cubiculum
'd'. The cubiculum
lit by two corner windows, is decorated in a similar manner to the
preceeding room but with a large mythological scene in the central panel
of each wall (long since removed to the National Museum in Naples). The
scene on the north wall depicts Paris awaiting Aphrodite
(pictured upper right) while that on the west wall (opposite) shows Medea contemplating the murder of her Children
The scene on the south wall, a detail from which is shown below, shows
Phaedra talking to her nurse before killing herself in unrequited love for her stepson Hippolytus.
On the south wall was a scene depicting Phoenix and Polyxena while the only scene left in situ (on the north wall) is perhaps of Pentheus and Dionysus but it is too faded to identify with any degree of certainty.
To the north of the triclinium off the north west corner of the atrium
is cubiculum (f) (pictured above). The room is in a very similar state
to the triclinium, having been subjected to the vagaries of the weather
for over 130 years. The room had three large mythological scenes (now in the Naples Museum) in the
central panels of the north, west and south walls.
The scene from the north wall shows Hercules with Deianara and Nessus (pictured right). On the west wall was the scene of Europa and the Bull, a detail from which is shown below.
On the south wall was the mythological scene of Pan and the Nymphs
(pictured opposite). Although much criticised, the stripping of the
house's best frescoes in this instance proved to be justified in view of
the woeful neglect suffered by the rest of the house.
'h' in the north east corner of the house retains some of its fresco
decoration which consisted of white panels with plain borders above a
lower dark red frieze (pictured above with the wide entrance to oecus
'i' in the centre). The room opened onto a reasonably sized oecus (i) to
the north which was decorated in a similar style.
On the east
side of room 'h' is a small annex or alcove (j) (pictured opposite). The
alcove, lit by a small window in its eastern wall, is simply decorated
with red panels above a lower yellow frieze.
House of the Jason, also known as the House of the Fatal Loves, lies on
the north side of an unnamed street (pictured left) to the south of the Via
di Nola. The
house is in a seriously dilapidated condition having been neglected and
left to the ravages of the elements since its initial excavation in
1878. Had it not been for the then practice of stripping the house bare
of anything that didn't move, there would be little left of note from
the property. By luck or good judgement, therefore, several frescoes
have been preserved and can now be seen in the National Archaeological
Museum in Naples.
The fauces (a) opens onto an unusual atrium come garden (b) (pictured left looking back towards the fauces). As can be seen from the photograph the atrium is in a ruinous condition with little surviving decoration. Room (c) on the west side of the fauces retains some of its decoration which consisted of red panels with plain borders above a lower black frieze (shown lower left).
triclinium (e) occupies most of the east side of the atrium. The room
retains large areas of plasterwork, but as can be seen for the
photograph of the west wall (pictured left) most of the detail has been
washed out. The scene that occupied the empty place in the central panel
of the west wall is of Jason and Pelias (pictured below).
the north west corner of the house is a small vestibule (g) giving
access to a posticum which opened off the Vicolo di Tesmo at door no.
21. On the north side of the vestibule was a latrine while on the south
side a small room under the stairs to the upper floor at door No. 20.
* 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)