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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: 23 June 2021

The Insula: Position, Terrain, Layout

The Insula: Position, Terrain, Layout

Chapter:
(p.6) (p.7) The Insula: Position, Terrain, Layout
Source:
The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii: Volume 1: The Structures
Author(s):

Roger Ling

Paul Arthur

Georgia Clarke

Estelle Lazer

Lesley A. Ling

Peter Rush

Andrew Waters

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198134091.003.0009

The insula del menandro (pompeii I 10) is one of a number of large and slightly irregular blocks lying between the presumed old part of the city (the Altstadt, roughly equivalent to the area south of Via delle Terme and Via della Fortuna and west of Via Stabiana) and the regular rectangular grid which occupies the eastern part of the final walled city (the Neustadt) . It has traditionally been believed that the Altstadt was the original settlement, dating perhaps to the seventh or sixth centuries BC, and that this expanded during the fifth or fourth centuries to accommodate a massive rise in population; but research since the early 1980s has suggested that there was a circuit of walls on the present line as early as the sixth century BC, in which case the Altstadt should perhaps be regarded as a religious or commercial enclave marked off within the city—a ‘kind of acropolis’, as Kockel describes it. None the less, it is clear that the development of the walled area did not take place in one fell swoop but represents a series of successive phases spread over a period of time. A crucial phase In the process was the laying out, perhaps in the early third century BC, of the city’s three major streets: the principal cardo, Via Vesuvio/Stabiana, and the two main decumani, Via delle Terme/della Fortuna/di Nola and Via dell’Abbondanza. The creation of our quarter ought logically to have come soon after, since It is predicated upon the existence of the new thoroughfares. The positions of Via di Nola and Via dell’Abbondanza were determined by dividing the length of Via Stabiana into three; the divisions so created were then bisected by further decumani aligned upon the towers of the eastern defences, and the central and southern zones were further subdivided to establish a series of rhomboidal blocks roughly 60 m. wide and deep. This phase extended only a couple of blocks east of Via Stabiana, and our insula is one of those on the eastern periphery. The rectangular grid to the east is clearly later.

Keywords:   city plan, columns, dating

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