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Evidence: numerous mosaics, posters + statues of Mercury (God of commerce) were found
near shop stalls.

P+H surrounded by villas.
Wealthy Romans built them in the countryside + along the coast of the Bay of Naples as
retreats from Rome + places to discuss political matters w/ impressive surroundings.
Almost 100 identified.
Three types:
o Maritime, Urban, Rustica.
Maritime were outwards, whereas Urban looked inwards + Rustica were
The Villa of Papyri - Herculaneum:
o Built on the seafront; was a maritime villa.
o 240m long house; a 100m long garden w/ a large pool (Weber).
o Has bronze statues + its own aqueduct to supply water to the pool.
The Villa of the Mysteries - Just outside Pompeii:
o Connected to working farm but was still luxurious > spacious rooms, view of the sea
+ frescoed walls.
o Built in 2
century BC + renovated twice afterwards
o Had residential quarters, servants quarters + area for wine production.
Villa Rustica - country/farmhouses:
o Ranged from basic shelters for workers to comfortable houses where owners lived.
Example: Villa of Pisanella at Regina.
o Many citizens of P + H were pagani - people who inhabited the countryside.
o Some were still luxurious > decorated like city villas, e.g. frescoes on walls + floors.
o However, did not contain peristyle like maritime + urban villas.
Instead the internal courtyard was used as storage, e.g. wine + olives.

Influence of Greek and Egyptian Cultures: art, architecture + religion:
Considerable Greek + Egypt influence in art, architecture + religion of both P + H.
The Greeks probably occupied P+H at one stage.
Also an ongoing fascination w/ Greek religion in Roman culture.
The name Herculaneum was possibly derived from the Greek god Herakles.
Legend has it that Hercules founded Pompeii as he passed through the area.
Egyptian scenes found in decoration/art + cult of Isis seems to have been popular.
o Due to Romes conquest of Egypt and the subsequent immigration of Egyptian
craftsmen into Italy.

Greek Influence:
Frescoes were built Italian but incorporated Greek elements, e.g. Greek columns + scenes of
Greek mythology and religion.
o Image of Greek hero Hercules from the 4
century BC was found in triangular forum,
o Image of Hercules appears in H, e.g. a public fountain, private houses + wine shops.
o Sanctuary of Dionysus found near amphitheatre in P + the Frieze of the Mysteries
from the Villa of the Mysteries suggests that the cult was still worshipped despite
the Romans trying to suppress it.
o Frescoes + mosaics depict aspects of Greek drama.

o Alexander the Great mosaic from the House of the Faun depicts a battle scene
between Alexander and Darius (Persian King).
Most likely a copy of a Hellenistic painting from Macedonia or created by an
Egyptian craftsmen.
Some inscriptions + graffiti were written in Greek, e.g. quotes from Homer + inscriptions on
Temple of Jupiter.
A Roman was only regarded educated if he read + spoke Greek.
o Evidenced by the scrolls (in Greek) found in Villa of Papyri in H.
Statues of Greek gods + heroes, e.g. Apollo and Hercules > also Greek influence.
Both public and private architecture shows Greek influence:
o Temple of Apollo has a peristyle.
o Palaestra originated from Greece.
o Public porticoes also featured Greek columns, e.g. the basilica used all 3 types of
columns > Doric, Ionic + Corinithian.
o Private houses had peristyle gardens.
Theatres also reflect Greek influence, e.g. colonnades.
Some older Greek deities were transformed into Roman forms, e.g. Aphrodite became Venus
and Dionysis became Bacchus.

Egyptian Influence:
Mosaics depict various Egyptian plants and animals, e.g. Nile Mosaic from the House of the
Famous Alexander mosaic from the House of the Faun may have been created by an
Egyptian craftman.
o Wallace-Hadrill: suggests Romes conquest of Egypt led to an influx of Egyptian
Statuettes + amulets of the Egyptian god Bes (protector of women + children).
Egyptian goddess Isis was very popular > depicted in many frescoes + statues, e.g. House of
Octavius Quatrios in Pompeii.
Isis was very popular amongst women + large following in both towns.
o Evidence: numerous of household shrines to Isis found in P.
o Temple of Isis Pompeii: contained statues of Isis, Osiris + Horus.
It had a banquet hall + small room for storing Nile water > used for
Was bad damaged in AD 62, but fully restored before AD 79 > testament to
its importance?

Religion: temples, household gods, foreign cults + tombs:
P was a multiethnic community w/ a combination of religions (Birrell) but most followed
Roman beliefs + practices anyway.
Campania had changed from Hellenistic to Roman gods.
Public/State religion: public/civic temples, worship of Greek deities and their Roman forms +
worship of imperial cult.
Private/Domestic religion: household shrines.

Temples - Public Religion:
Temples were considered homes for the gods.
o Thus people would go to temples to ask for help w/ problems, e.g. pray to Mercury
for help w/ business.
Would burn incense, make an offering or say prayers.

In pre-Roman P+H, the Greek gods Herakles and Apollo were worshipped > continued till AD
Doric style temple in Triangular Forum built in 6
century BC > possibly for Herakles.
Temple of Apollo: built in 6
century BC and restored in the 2
century BC (although
o Augustus himself honoured Apollo.
o Was raised on a platform + housed a cult statue.
o Sacrifices were made/burned on the outside marble altar.
o Festivals for Apollo were held in the nearby Forum.
The Forum later became the central religious centre and The Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno +
Minerva became the focus of worship for the Roman state cult after 80 BC.
Temple of Jupiter: stood at northern end of the Forum on an elevated platform.
o Eventually dedicated to the Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno + Minerva.
o Was a huge statue of Jupiter inside - but fragmented now.
o Dominated civic space - the heart of the Romany city (Brennan + Lazer).
o Podium of the temple meant it could also be used as a rostrum.
Temple of Venus: built post 80 BC by Sullas supporters > to mark their loyalty.
o Was considered the protector of P.
o Was rebuilt during Claudius time and being rebuilt again during AD 62 earthquake.

Roman Deities - Public Religion:
The Romans had parallel gods to the Greek Twelve Olympians.
o Zeus = Jupiter, Hera = Juno, Dionysus = Bacchus, Apollo = Apollo, Hermes = Mercury,
Athena = Minerva.
Iconography also borrowed from the Olympian deities so the Pompeians were familiar w/
them (Birrell).

Imperial Cult - Public Religion:
During Augustus time, his genius (spirit) was worshipped.
o Done to promote peace (as after the civil wars).
After his death (AD 14), the name Augustus became a title used by each emperor + each
emperor was worshipped by the state cult.
Emperor worshipped in both P+H.
o Local elite gained status + showed loyalty by worshipping emperor (Birrell).
There was a priest of Augusti (flamen Augusti) at P, while he was still alive.
Temple to Augustus at P > Temple of the Fortuna Augustus - financed by duumvir.
Structure for Augusti built in marketplace > head was screwed off when a new emperor
The Temple of the Genius of Augusti/Temple of Vespasian - funded by public priestess:
Mamia (inscription).
Shrine of the Augustales at H indicates imperial cult was worshipped there as well.
The Temple of the Public Lares > may have been associated w/ imperial cult (Nappo).
o Currently interpreted as an attempt to protect the city from further damage after
the AD 62 earthquake.

Priesthoods - Public Religion:
In P+H, leaders of important priesthoods were held by people of leading/elite families.
o Was politically advantageous > advertised themselves + their family.
Women could also be priestesses in certain cults, e.g. Eumachia = priestess of Venus.

o Leading families could display the Roman virtue of pietas (piety).
The Augustales = college of priests established when Augustus died (was declared God by
the Senate).
o Needed sufficient property for entry.
Same priesthood existed in H as well.
Probably honoured Augustus + current Emperors through sacrifices + banquets.
Slaves + freedmen could also participate in another imperial cult: Servants of the Augustan
Good Fortune.
o Was associated w/ the Temple of Fortuna in P.
Omens could be good (bees) or bad (owls).

Foreign Cults - Public Religion:
From 1
century BC onwards, eastern/foreign (mystery) cults were introduced to P > possibly
by slaves + freedmen.
Were more popular w/ lower classes, i.e. did not attract the upper classes.
o Grew popular in the 1
century AD.
o Her syncretism appealed to many, but esp. to women.
o Was a private cult, thus initiation was required to gain entry > provided information
about life after death.
o It merged easily with the established religious traditions (Birrell).
o Temple = destroyed by AD 62 earthquake, but was fully rebuilt w/ private funds
before AD 79.
Possibly a testament to its importance.
o Maiuri excavated an ivory statuette of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi (beauty, fertility +
wealth) in the House of the Four Styles.
Worship may have come through trade links.
o Some suggest Jews inhabited P - biblical names Mary and Martha found on

Household Shrines - Private Religion:
Found in both towns + in many houses.
Was for private worship > they prayed for prosperity, fertility, protection from sickness +
misfortune and business success - done through religion rites.
Believed a protective barrier was needed to prevent evil entering the home > hence built in
atriums, gardens or entry halls.
A shrine of the Lares (guardian deities) became common in many houses > a lararium:
o Many lararia resemble small temples w/ columns, etc.
o The paterfamilias would lead prayers at the lararium and offered first fruits, crops,
incense, libations, special cakes + sometime piglets were sacrificed.
o Blessings were sought when a new child was born (Horace + Ovid).
o The House of the Vetti had an elaborate lararium: it featured columns and depicted
two Lares, the family genius (spirit) + a snake.