Pompeii: Its Life and Art

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

CHAPTER XXXVIII
THE HOUSE OF THE SILVER WEDDING

AMONG the more interesting of the large houses excavated in the last decade is the house of the Silver Wedding, which marks the limit of excavation in the fifth Region (V. ii. a on Plan VI). The main part was. cleared in 1892 (Fig. 8); and in April, 1893, in connection with the festivities with which the Silver Wedding of the King and Queen of Italy was celebrated, a special excavation was made in one of the rooms, in the presence of their Majesties and of their imperial guests, the Emperor and Empress of Germany. Portions of the house are still covered, the façade, the inner end of the oecus, and the greater part of an extensive garden on the left side.

Notwithstanding the extent of the house -- the greatest length is not far from 150 feet, the breadth of the excavated portion 130 -- and the number of apartments, the plan is simple (Fig. 146). From the fauces (a) we pass into a tetrastyle atrium (d), the largest of its kind yet discovered, with alae on either side and a high tablinum (o). Back of this is a Rhodian peristyle, at the rear of which is an exedra (y) with sleeping rooms at the right and the left (x, z). Opening into the rear of the peristyle on one side is the oecus (4), on the other a long dining room (w).

Another series of apartments lay between the peristyle and the garden at the right (2), a kitchen (s), and a bath (t-v). In front of the garden and extending to the street is a small house (a-ι) which had been joined to the larger establishment; it was connected with this by a small door under the stairs in the corner of the atrium (ß), which opened into a side room (e) of the large atrium.

The essential parts of the house date from the Tufa Period. Alterations were made from time to time in the course of the

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