Pompeii: Its Life and Art

By August Mau; Francis W. Kelsey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIV
THE HOUSE OF THE SURGEON

THE house of the Surgeon (casa del Chirurgo) is the oldest of the Pompeian houses that retained to the last, with but slight modifications, its original plan and appearance. It lies at the right of the Strada Consolare (VI. i. 10), about fifty paces inside the Herculaneum Gate. The name was suggested by the discovery of several surgical instruments in one of the rooms.

Fig. 132. - Plan of the house of the Surgeon. 1. Fauces. 16. Colonnade. 5. Atrium. 18. Stairway to rooms 7. Tablinum. over the rear of the 8,8. Alae. house. 9,10. Dining rooms. 19. Room with window 13. Kitchen, with hearth opening on the (a). garden. 14. Posticum. 20. Garden.

This house was undoubtedly built before 200 B.C. The façade (Fig. 10) and the walls of the atrium are of large hewn blocks of Sarno limestone; other inner walls are of limestone framework (p. 37). The plan conforms to the simple Italic type, before the addition of the peristyle; yet it does not illustrate the oldest form of the native house, for the tablinum (Fig. 132, 7) has already displaced the recess for the bed opposite the front door. The measurements of the rooms are according to the Oscan standard (p. 44), the atrium being about 30 by 35 Oscan feet.

We pass directly from the street through the fauces (1) into the Tuscan atrium (5) at the sides of which are sleeping

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