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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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Structural History of The Insula

Structural History of The Insula

(p.223) Structural History of The Insula
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

Having looked at the different units within the insula individually, we now need to review and summarize the structural history of the insula as a whole. As stated in Part One, Section 4 (pp. 19-20), the sequence has been divided into five main phases. The first corresponds to structures in opera a telaio and related techniques; the second to the First Style of wall-painting, i.e. mid-second to early first century BC (structures generally in opus incertum with a preponderance of lava and Sarno stone); the third to the Second Style of wall-painting, i.e. broadly the period from c.80 BC to the last years of the century; the fourth to the Third Style of wall-painting, i.e. broadly the period from the late first century BC to the mid-first century AD; and the fifth to the Fourth Style of wall-painting, i.e. the period from C.AD 50 to AD 79. In contrast to the preliminary report, this survey does not attempt to subdivide the phases, except in the more eventful Phase 5, since this approach now seems unduly rigid and implies a degree of precision beyond what the evidence warrants. Some of the main points in which the present analysis differs from the earlier one will be referred to in footnotes. Inevitably many aspects of the interpretation remain uncertain, particularly with regard to the early phases. Selective excavation might fill some of the gaps, but at the moment the early phase plans necessarily contain large areas of empty space or fragments of unrelated walling. Only where there is some ground for predicting missing elements have parts of plans been restored, but even then it has sometimes been necessary to choose between alternative restorations. The diagnostic features are the use of opera a telaio and inferences from the property boundaries and wall alignments. The Irregular shapes of houses 3,7, and 16 imply that they have been inserted in the gaps between pre-existing properties; we may, therefore, suggest that houses 1, 4, and 8 belong to the earliest development in the insula.

Keywords:   columns, dating, jetties, latrine, mosaics, oecus, redecoration, stuccowork, triclinium

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