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Pompeii‎ > ‎Regio VI‎ > ‎Reg VI, Ins 6‎ > ‎

House of Pansa

Description of the House (Reg VI, Ins 6, 1, 8, 13)

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As can be seen from the photographs, the house is in a general state of disrepair with little in the way of remaining decoration. Opening off the atrium are six reasonably sized cubicula (c), three on the east side and three on the west side of the atrium (pictured right). The cubiculum off the south west corner of the atrium has a doorway in its south wall opening onto the shop (d) at VI.6.22.

Opening off the north west corner of the atrium is an oecus (e). The room is in a ruinous state with little in the way of decoration. There is a wide window in its north wall overlooking the west side of the peristyle.

In the centre of the north side of the atrium is the tablinum (f). The tablinum is open to the atrium over its full width. The east and west walls of the tablinum retain some patches of plasterwork, but any decorative detail has long since been lost. The tablinum (pictured lower right) has a fine white mosaic floor with a single black border. In the north wall of the tablinum (pictured below) is a wide opening with two low marble steps giving access to the peristyle.
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In the middle of the peristyle is a small garden with a basin originally decorated with images of water plants and fish on a blue ground (pictured below). The basin featured a small fountain in its centre.
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The bronze candelabrum pictured opposite was found in or around the peristyle. The candelabrum, set on lion claw feet, features four scrolled arms each supporting an oil lamp. On the base are a square altar and a statuette of Dionysus riding a panther.
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Several rooms open off the east and west sides of the peristyle including, on the eastern side, a triclinium (i) and an oecus (j) which had direct access to the street at No.8.
The house had an upper storey, but the access stairways are in the rented area, suggesting that the upper floor was not occupied by the owners of the main property.
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The kitchen (k) is located off the north west corner of the peristyle, and includes a paved yard (m) with access to the street at No.13. In the kitchen (pictured below and lower right) the masonry hearth was against the east wall.
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In the centre of the north side of the peristyle is a large exedra (n) (pictured right). The exedra was open to the peristyle over virtually its full width. On its north wall is an almost equally large window which overlooked a veranda (p) and the garden (q) to the north. Access to the veranda was gained by way of the corridor (o) between the exedra and the kitchen.
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The owner of the property at the time of the eruption, as a for-rent sign informs us, was a the above mentioned Gnaeus Aleius Nigidius Maius.
The House of Pansa, otherwise referred to as the House of Gnaeus Aleius Nigidius Maius, occupies an entire city block. Most of the block fronting the surrounding streets was let out for shops, stores and living accommodation as can be seen from the grayed areas in the accompanying plan. The main entrance to the house itself lies on the Via delle Terme (pictured below). The house was initially excavated in 1810 and again in 1813, 1827, 1852 and finally in 1943 after the property was bombed.
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The fauces (a) (pictured left) opens off the north side of the Via delle Terme. The walls of the fauces retain some areas of plasterwork but these are too weathered to allow any description of the original decoration. The fauces opens directly onto a large Tuscan style atrium (b) with a central impluvium (pictured below).
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Immediately to the east of the tablinum is an andron (g) which connects the atrium with the peristyle (h) to the north.
The peristyle had sixteen Ionic columns supporting the inner margins of the roof (pictured below). The columns are of tufa, stuccoed in the lower part and fluted above. The circular lower portion was painted yellow while the upper part was painted white.
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In the north east corner of the kitchen is an arched niche. Next to it was an elaborately painted lararium, but sadly this has now been lost due to its exposure to the elements. Adjoining the kitchen to the west is a second service area (l) which contained the latrine.
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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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