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Pompeii‎ > ‎Regio V‎ > ‎Reg V, Ins 1‎ > ‎

House of L. Caecilius Jucundus

Description of the House (Reg V, Ins 1, 26)

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On the rear wall of the atrium, facing the entrance, is the tablinum (h). The room (pictured upper right) is open to the atrium over its full width and is decorated in the third style with three yellow panels with decorative frames on each side above a lower black frieze. The side panels on each wall have small scenes featuring satyrs and maenads in various poses (pictured below) while the central panels contain larger mythological scenes including that of  Iphigenia in Taurus (pictured opposite), now in the Naples Archaeological Museum.
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The columns of the peristyle consist of stuccoed brickwork. The walls retain some of their plasterwork on which was found a piece of graffiti reflecting on the merits of love (CIL IV 4091). Also found in the peristyle was the erotic scene pictured below which is now in the Naples Museum.
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The house, situated on the east side of Via del Vesuvio in its latter days belonged to the banker L. Caecilius Jucundus as evidenced by a quantity of financial documents found in the property. The simple entrance (pictured below) was flanked by shops (c and d) which are now in a ruinous condition.
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The fauces (a), which retains some faded remnants of its fresco decoration, is paved with a black and white mosaic portraying a sleeping dog. The fauces opens onto a rectangular atrium (b) (pictured left and below) which has rooms off all four sides. In the centre of the atrium is an impluvium with a fine mosaic border.

On the rear wall of the atrium, adjacent to the tablinum, is a copy of a herm of the owner's father,
Lucius Caecilius Felix (pictured lower left). The original is in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
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To the left of the entrance is a lararium (e) (pictured above and left) around which were carved reliefs showing the destruction of the Forum area and the castellum aquae which collapsed during the earthquake of AD62. The lararium is now without the reliefs, one of which was stolen - the other is in the Naples museum. The archive photograph below shows the reliefs in situ.
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The atrium retains some faded plaster remnants but its mosaic floor is in much better condition. The paving consists of a black mosaic carpet with white insets and a double white border. The rooms off both sides of the atrium are in a semi-ruinous condition but , here again, some mosaic flooring has survived almost intact, particularly in the alae (f and g).
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The tablinum has a fine mosaic floor in white mosaic with a decorative centre piece and a double lined black border. The threshold between the atrium and tablinum is decorated in a simple geometric pattern in black and white. On the north east side of the tablinum, in place of a decorative threshold, a marble step leads up to a small garden (i) which is colonnaded on three sides (pictured below).
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In the centre of the north west side of the peristyle is the triclinium (j). Each of the room's three walls is decorated in the third style with three orange panels framed in red above a lower dark red frieze. The side panel on each side held a medallion containing a small portrait while the large central panels depicted scenes from mythology. The scene from the north east wall is of Theseus abandoning Ariadne and can be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. Of the remaining two frescoes, one is completely lost while the other, on the north west wall is badly faded.

The floor of the triclinium consists of a black and white mosaic with a central panel of coloured tiles
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In the north east corner of the peristyle is a short flight of stairs (pictured opposite) which descends to a small cellar. The north east wall consists of a central exedra flanked by cubicula.

A cabinet with 154 waxed wooden tablets comprising receipts for the sale of land, animals and slaves and for the payment of colonial taxes was found in one of the rooms at the back of the peristyle.  (A similar archive, the
'Tablets of Murecine' was discovered in the Inn of the Sulpicii). Financial activities had been recorded up to and including the year of the earthquake. Here is one from AD 56:
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Umbricia Januaria declares that she has received from Lucius Caecilius Jucundus 11,039 sesterces, which sum came into the hands of Lucius Caecilius Jucundus by agreement as the proceeds of an auction sale for Umbricia Januaria, the commission due him having been deducted.

Done at Pompeii, on the 12th of December, in the consulship of Lucius Duvius and Publius Clodius.

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The wax tablets are now on display in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

* 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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