Villa of Cicero

Description of the Villa

The Villa of Cicero was initially excavated in 1759 under the direction of the Accademia Ercolanese, set up by Carlos III de Borbón specifically to produce scientific accounts of the monuments that were coming to light.

In the first years sites were explored haphazardly, and among these sites was the large complex of the Villa of Cicero.
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During the excavations many fine frescoes and mosaics were discovered. These, like the scene of street musicians (below) and that of the 'Advice of the Sorceress' pictured right, can be viewed at the Naples Museum.
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The mosaic of the street musicians illustrates a scene from a play by Menander. Followed by a dwarf, a woman accompanies on her flute the dance of two men, one of whom plays the cymbals while the other beats a frame drum.
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The villa, on the south side of the road leading from the Herculaneum Gate, was re-buried in 1763. Accordingly the plan of the villa (above) is rather sketchy.

The entrance (A), pictured left, opened off the Via dei Sepolcri and gave access a large sprawling property.
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