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The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii: Volume 1: The Structures$
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Roger Ling, Paul Arthur, Georgia Clarke, Estelle Lazer, Lesley A. Ling, Peter Rush, and Andrew Waters

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198134091

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198134091.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 June 2021

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The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii: Volume 1: The Structures

Roger Ling

Paul Arthur

Georgia Clarke

Estelle Lazer

Lesley A. Ling

Peter Rush

Andrew Waters

Oxford University Press

This small corner house had acquired an irregular plan in its final phase, thanks, on the one hand, to the offset caused by the fountain at the street corner (Pls. 1, 2), and, on the other, to the small kitchen yard projecting westwards into the neighbouring property 1 10, 2-3. Its entrance, protected by a pent roof, the beam-holes for which (19 cm. in diameter) are visible beneath its modern replacement (Pl 3), was set at the right extremity of the north facade. It opened directly into the central hall (room 1), which can for convenience be called an ‘atrium’, though lacking the architectural pretensions and distinguishing features of traditional atria. Decorated with simple late Third Style paintings in a predominantly red, black, and yellow scheme, this ‘ atrium’ was around 3.50 m. high, and measured 3.75 m. by 5.35 m. on the ground. At its north end the east wall opened in a recess which may in an earlier phase have functioned as a latrine; its side walls preserve the grooves for a wooden shelf which, though rather high and deep (65 cm. above ground and 74 cm. deep), could possibly have been a lavatory seat. By the last period, however, this recess had been blocked by the construction of a stairway, and could only be entered, if it was still used at all, at a height of about 1 m. above floor level. Outside the recess, and also apparently put out of commission by the stairway, was a lararium, the sole relic of which was part of a painting on the north wall showing the Lares and a Genius; the left-hand Lar was missing and had almost certainly been clipped by the stairs. A socket in the wall just beneath the painting could have held a stone shelf for offerings, but is more likely to have been for a wooden beam which bridged the gap between the wall and the first three steps of the stairway, built in masonry against the east wall. The remaining steps, in wood, would have rested on this beam and risen westwards above the street door (Fig. 34 (S3)).

Keywords:   bardiglio scum, ceilings, dating, graffiti, jetties, kitchen, lamps, niches, opus listatum

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